6 October 1999 | J. Steed
As "Die Feuerzangenbowle" of 1944 this is a classic Heinz Rühmann vehicle from the 40's, and in the meantime has a certain cult status. Rühmann is very good in this film that, due to the direction of Kurt Hoffmann (whose best films were still to come) is entertaining and funny. The flying sequences are great.
The film gave passionate flyer Rühmann the chance to do what was not possible anymore in 1941 in public: to fly. In how much Rühmann was aware of the political tendency of the script and film, will forever remain a mystery. He himself always maintained that it was the flying that attracted him and that during shooting he never had the feeling that it would be a propaganda film.
Close watching of the film will soon show that this film is more than simply entertainment. Quax is an individualist, someone who stands beside the group. When the group of flyers are having a sort of a party with community (!) singing Quax stands aside. He shows skill in flying and is brave and energetic, but always with himself as goal. The whole premise of the film is to direct Quax from his individuality to the interests of the whole group, i.e.: the premise of the film is to show that a person's values only are valid if they are devoted to the group, read: Deutsche Volksgemeinschaft.
On another level this is also an air-propaganda film aimed at the youth: become a pilot for your country. Curiously enough thpugh, if David Stewart Hull is to be believed (and I have no reason to doubt his book), amongst the German youth this film was one of the most disliked films. Something must have gone wrong.
Existing copies that are shown, are with minor cuts (in the dialogue) to cover up the propaganda.