The Immortal Heart
Original title: Das unsterbliche Herz
- 1h 47m
Time stops for no man.
The demonisation of director Veit Harlan resulting from his notorious film 'Jud Suss' has been well documented. A year earlier he made 'The Immortal Heart' which although not one of his greatest has touches of the master film-maker that he undoubdtedly was. It is a biopic covering the final years in the life of Peter Henlein, inventor of the world's first pocket watch and based upon the play 'The Nuremburg Egg' by Veit's father Walter. Henlein is played by one of the greatest actors of all time, Heinrich George and playing his wife Ev is Kristina Soederbaum both of whom were to appear in 'Jud Suss'. Ev is much younger than Peter and one cannot help but sympathise with her as she lies in bed each night hoping for some 'tender loving care' whilst he is downstairs slaving over his invention. Bearing in mind that he has a wonky heart it is likely that had he fulfilled his marital duties he would not have lived long enough to invent the watch! Unsurprisingly they part but are reunited just before he expires. Their scenes together are excellent as his single mindedness is in contrast to her strong emotions. Ironically Kristina plays the inventor's third wife whilst also being the third wife of the director! Excellent support also from Paul Wegener as Henlein's doctor. There is a great sense of time and place here as we really feel we are in 16th Century Nuremburg. Despite an indifferent print one can still appreciate Bruno Mondi's work as lighting cameraman. One of the most striking features is the inspired use of the music of J. S. Bach especially in the opening and closing sequences. Far from being a classic this piece has a great deal to recommend it and like all of Harlan's films, including 'Jud Suss'(!) is worthy of consideration.
- Jun 20, 2020
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By what name was Das unsterbliche Herz (1939) officially released in Canada in English?Answer