Die Unheimlichen Wunsche (1939)

aka The Unholy Wish
Article 4175 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 3-8-2013
Directed by Heinz Hilpert
Featuring Hans Holt, Olga Tschechowa, Kathe Gold
Country: Germany
What it is: Wish fantasy

A young man comes by a skin that grants wishes; unfortunately, for each wish that is granted, the skin shrinks and the wisher loses part of his life.

Here’s another one that I’ve just rescued from my “ones that got away” list. It also is in German without English subtitles, and I really couldn’t find a decent plot description of the movie. However, I did discover that it was based on Honore de Balzac’s novel, “La peau de chagrin”, and I was able to find some plot descriptions of the novel. It appears that the movie more or less follows the novel, though I do get the feeling that the tragic ending of the novel was replaced by a somewhat happier ending here. Still, this is another movie that requires familiarity with the language to appreciate it, and I can only give some vague impressions at this time. My overall feel is that the movie was well acted, but pretty ordinary; the special effects are pretty basic, and I didn’t find it visually enticing. Nevertheless, it is nice to be able to mark this one as having been watched.


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