10 March 2005 | F Gwynplaine MacIntyre
Hang up and don't call back
'Fraulein, Wrong Number' attempts to be a frothy farce, but it's neither especially frothy nor particularly funny. Imagine the MGM musical 'Bells Are Ringing' with all the songs cut out, and that's about what you'd have here.
Blonde actress Magda Schneider -- pretty, but not very interesting -- plays Inge, the dogsbody in a subdistrict post office. She has such a lowly position, she hasn't even met the new postmaster of her office. She dials a wrong number, which connects her to a randy opera singer (played by José Wedorn, who must surely be the only man named José ever to act in a German movie). Intrigued by her voice, he persuades Inge to meet him for a date at a nightclub. This is over the 'phone, so neither knows what the other looks like. See where this is heading?
At the nightclub, Inge meets a handsome older man (Johannes Riemann) whom she believes is the baritone. We know what she doesn't: this is her boss the postmaster, and she'll get the (mail) sack if he finds out who she is. Not realising that this is his employee, he finds himself attracted to her.
Meanwhile -- this is one of those movies with plenty of meanwhiles -- the opera singer shows up at the same nightclub and meets an attractive woman (Trude Berliner) whom he believes is Inge. But this woman's a gold-digger.
Complications ensue. None of them are funny, and most of them are obvious. A few of the plot twists are not obvious, but only because they're so implausible. I'll rate this mess 2 points out of 10.