Gräfin Mariza (1958)

  |  Comedy, Musical, Romance



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23 January 2013 | TheLittleSongbird
| A great adaptation of one of Kalman's best operettas
I cannot help be enchanted every time I see or hear Grafin Mariza(Countess Mariza) as an operetta. And this is a great film adaptation if not quite as good as the 1973/4 film with Rene Kollo. I agree that the direction wasn't always as good as it could've been, with some languid and somewhat awkward moments, though there are many more that suits the operetta style quite well. But with everything else so wonderful, this didn't seem like a massively huge problem. The costume and set design look beautiful here, as does the photography on the most part. The music is among Kalman's best, especially Tassilo's lied Wenn Es Abend Wird, and the orchestra do it justice with lively and elegantly textured playing. The chorus are animated and well-rehearsed as well. The interplay and drama between the characters are charmingly played and doesn't dull the story in any way, and the choreography is choreographed and danced with a lot of infectious spirit. Christine Gorner is a beguiling and capricious in the title role with a well-produced voice, and while Rudolf Schock I agree is not the best of actors he is appealing as Tassilo(here called Michael) and sings Wenn Es Abend Wird with sensitive beauty. Gunther Phillip and Renate Ewert are well matched for each other, but the scene stealer is the uproariously funny turn of Hans Moser. The Kesslers are equally delightful, but you do wish there was more of them. Overall, I found it great, true the story is not exactly the same as that of the operetta but the spirit is there, which is more important to me. Even more important is what a film does on its own merits, and there is plenty to like about this Grafin Mariza. 9/10 Bethany Cox

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