20 July 1999 | J. Steed
MEDIOCRE FAREWELL TO WILLY FRITSCH
This curious film is centered around Willy Fritsch, whose last film this is, and his son Thomas and is meant as a festive farewell to Fritsch senior and the launching of Fritsch junior's career (although he already made a couple of films). In a 1972 interview Fritsch senior said that almost every film after 1945 was not important being most of them of mediocre standards. I think this last film of his, alas, should be included; it has a tedious story not unlike the average German farce of that period, and the direction of Alex von Ambesser is very uninspired. The man should have been ashamed of himself to make this mediocre film for a someone who meant so much in and for German cinema in the 20's and 30's.
By the way, bits of Fritsch's earlier career can be seen in clips from early talkies: Melodie des Herzens (1929) and Der Kongreß tanzt (1931).
The cast tries hard to make something out of it; credit must go to Gustav Knuth, and Paul Hörbiger, who can also be seen in the clip from "Kongreß" and of whom Willy Fritsch remarks: Well, he is still filming!. And last but not least there is Willy Fritsch himself who up to the last moment stayed charming, elegant, always smiling and a bit ironic.
Thomas Fritsch would never really follow his father's footsteps: he is an average actor.