Tuesday, October 22, 2019

By the Gods!

Mercury and Jupiter stand at the feet of a statue of Jupiter in AMPHITRYON (1935)

I finally got a hold of this German movie. It's a musical. The movie plays like a comedy of the battle of the sexes. The story is Jupiter pretending to be Theban general Amphitryon in order to woe the latter's wife, Alkmene (or Alcmene, played by Käthe Gold. Alcmene is the mother of Hercules). The story is completely at odds with the actual myth. The film is very kitschy. The actor who plays Jupiter, Willy Fritsch, reminds me of the Cowardly Lion in THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939). Oh, and Jupiter wears a cowboy hat while on Earth. Mercury (or Hermes) moves about Mount Olympus on roller-skates. When Jupiter and Mercury fly down from Mount Olympus, they use a huge umbrella. The expensive looking sets and costumes all have an art deco style to them even though it's set in Ancient Greece. This includes the many statues and Mount Olympus itself (below). The dialogue is often sung (a la UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG). Since this is a German movie, I had to read the never ending subtitles. With the addition of a musical score from the 1930s, the entire production comes across as very ornate and sorta Baroque.

The production itself is lush and eye-filling but all of it is done in by choppy editing. A French version was apparently filmed at the same time. This might explain the editing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great sets!