Die Fledermaus (The Bat) (1946)




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Though made in Germany, this film version of Johann Strauss' comic opera Die Fledermaus was distributed in the U.S. by the Russian firm of Artkino. Such full-throated singing personalities as Marte Harell, Johannes Heesters, Willi Dohm and Haus Brauseweiter go through the time-honored paces of the opera's libretto, wherein an upper-class Viennese gentleman simultaneously tries to avoid arrest and to prove his wife's fidelity. Because of running-time restrictions, the audience is denied the pleasure of the original opera's third-act highlight, wherein the participants are invited to sing their favorite operatic arias, whether written by Strauss or not. Happily, the lengthy, largely ad-libbed scene with Frosch the jailer remains intact, with Willi Fritsch bringing down the house as the bibulous Frosch. The Afgacolor process is cleverly deployed throughout, especially in the scene wherein Rosalind (Marte Harell) dyes her hair a flaming red. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi


Marte Harell
as Rosalinda Elsenstein
Johannes Heesters
as Herbert Eisenstein
Will Dohm
as Falke (Die Fledermaus)
Hans Brausewetter
as Melzer the Tenor
Dorit Kreysler
as Adele the Maid
Willy Fritsch
as The Warden
Joseph Egger
as Frosch the Guard
Siegfried Breuer
as Prince Orlovsky
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