A revue more than a story. Erik Charell has directed mass scenes at the UFA studios in Babelsberg instead of staging them at the Grosses Schauspielhaus. He has done it with a seldom-seen luxury, a movement full of dance and life, but also with the disadvantages brought about by unconnected sequences. But Charell offers grace, taste and a light hand.

A revue more than a story. Erik Charell has directed mass scenes at the UFA studios in Babelsberg instead of staging them at the Grosses Schauspielhaus. He has done it with a seldom-seen luxury, a movement full of dance and life, but also with the disadvantages brought about by unconnected sequences. But Charell offers grace, taste and a light hand.

Plot is rather thin and goes back to the time of the Congress of Vienna, 1814, when all princes, kings and diplomats assembled to confer about the fate of Europe, and Emperor Napoleon. But the Austrian prime minister arranges festivities and dances in order to divert the gentlemen from the actual questions and the political events.

The Russian tsar (Willy Fritsch), especially, seems dangerous to him and he sends two ladies so that he will not trouble about the negotiations. But the tsar is wiser, he has a double take his place at the official festivities. However, he falls in love with one of these women, a Viennese glove maker (Lilian Harvey).

Fritsch has only to look well, which he does, and the charming Harvey, who is on the way to becoming a good actress, is again a dancer and, on orders, pouts her lips. Lil Dagover, as the Countess, only impresses in appearance. Only Otto Wallburg, with his blubbering, breaks the stiff coldness of this revue-play. Carl Hoffmann’s photography is not sharp and too indistinct. The sound, however, is excellent.

Der Kongress Tanzt

Germany

Production

UFA. Director Erik Charell; Producer Erich Pommer; Screenplay Norbert Falk, Robert Liebmann; Camera Carl Hoffmann; Music Werner R. Heymann (arr.); Art Director Walter Roehrig, Robert Herlth

Crew

(B&W) Extract of a review from 1931. Running time: 95 MIN.

With

Lilian Harvey Willy Fritsch Otto Wallburg Conrad Veidt Lil Dagover Alfred Abel
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