7 July 2017 | TheLittleSongbird
Where the Lark Sings
Saw 'Wo Die Lerche Singt' as part of my quest to get better acquainted with Marta Eggerth and re-assess my initial somewhat indifferent opinion on her. It is a shame that some of her films are not the easiest to find because to me they, and her performances in them, are much better than the films that she features that are better known (didn't care for 'Presenting Lily Mars' and liked 'For Me and My Gal', but didn't like Eggerth in either of them).
Luckily those seen so far are not completely obscure, either online under their German titles or available on DVD on the somewhat less popular DVD-selling sites. They are definitely worth seeing too and Eggerth is much better in lead roles singing in opera/operetta-style music than when she was trying too hard in supporting roles in the few Hollywood films she featured in singing music that really didn't suit her voice. That is all dependent though on what your opinion on Eggerth is, personally after seeing more of her stuff she has grown on me.
Eggerth is the main reason to see 'Wo Die Lerche Singt', well her and the music and that the film is an adaptation of the 1918 Lehar operetta (one of his more successful operettas and with such wonderful music, even if even for an operetta the story was nothing exceptional, it's hardly surprising). She is also one of the better elements too. She has immense gusto and charm, and the music suits her occasionally metallic but very clear as crystal and mostly beautiful voice perfectly. As to be expected the music is wonderful and very well performed not just by Eggerth but with the rich tones of the accompaniments as well.
'Wo Die Lerche Singt' has other strong elements. Eggerth is well supported by the rest of the cast, that performed with charm, grace and like they were enjoying themselves, always allowing her to shine but never upstaging her.
Production values are suitably sumptuous while not being overly elaborate, never static either. The direction is competent if not perhaps distinguished at times, and the characters have their charms.
The script mostly sparkles like bubbles on top of a glass of champagne and is as light as a bon-bon, even if lightweight in depth. The weakest element of 'Wo Die Lerche Singt' is the story, silly and pretty paper thin even for a film based on an operetta (which are not known or regarded for their stories) with a few instances of laid-on-too-thick wartime elements and some of the pacing in the non-musical scenes lacking momentum.
In conclusion, very nice Marta Eggerth film and a treat for anybody wanting to get more acquainted with Lehar's other work outside of 'Die Lustige Witwe' ('The Merry Widow'). 8/10 Bethany Cox