28 November 2004 | Chip_douglas
Ich WeiB est nicht
Although this film was made in black and white, it looks like the opening credits were designed to be filmed in colour, with the technical credits preceding the actors over bright, swirly images. It makes you wonder what these shades of gray really looked like (but not too much). We start with a bit of useless narration and a wild dream sequence featuring our heroine Anny (Germaine Damar) dancing her stockings off in the empty Cafe Precht. Having decided to head for München to become famous like Curd Jürgens, she immediately gets robbed by some old swindler on a train. Yes boys and girls, the message of this lighthearted romp is: all the world's a criminal.
Luckily Fraulein Brecht has a suitor waiting in Munich town. Like all trustworthy men, he wears a tuxedo. They sing a love song in the dressing room, before going on stage for a impromptu concert featuring a band that looks like the cast from "The Phil Silvers Show" and fat old Heinz Erhardt dancing like one half of Laurel and Hardy. Once all of them have done their bit, we can finally get on with our story. Anny soon runs out of money and is kicked out of her hotel without further ado. Finding inspiration in a newspaper clipping, she decides to fake amnesia. Now I enjoy a good memory loss routine as much as the next guy, but with the audience fully aware Anny is putting on an act, it just seems a bit stale. Luckily for her there are always bigger criminals around, like a couple who plans to get rich by pretending their own daughter Mary has gone missing. These two wicked fibbers take Anny home to see if they can squeeze some sort of inheritance out of the situation.
Suddenly living a life of luxury, Anny/Mary bumps into an American suitor in a swiss outfit (don't trust him either). This guy makes up some words to the theme that's been following Anny around all film long. As if there was not enough deception going on, lover boy Tux shows as the new maid. You guessed it, the double crossing daddio puts the moves on 'Lina' before he/she/it has set one foot inside. Of course Annymary is shocked to see her boyfriend in drag, making her alleged parents very nervous. Remember, in the movies, a sudden scare is the only known remedy for amnesia. Our Oliver Hardy wannabe also finds work there as a waiter, and the rest of the gang from the beginning returns just in time for Mary's birthday bash, reprising all the same songs (well, we did manage an extraordinary long time without them). Which of these criminal masterminds will have the last laugh?
I don't know (said the amnesiac)
3 out of 10