"The White Horse Inn" (Im weißen Rössl') is an operetta from 1930, written by Hans Müller and Erik Charell with the songs by Robert Gilbert and Ralph Benatzky a.o., based on the same-name-play by Oskar Blumenthal and Gustav Kadelburg from the 1910s. Set in the real existing hotel "The White Horse Inn" in St. Wolfgang at the Lake Wolgangsee, Salzkammergut, Higher Austria, it tells the story of Leopold Brandmeyer, the head waiter in the hotel, who is in love with his boss, the "Rösslwirtin" Maria Gabriella Josepha Voglhuber who inherited the hotel from her husband. Josepha however is not interested in Leopold and is in love with her favorite customer Dr. Otto Siedler, a lawyer from Berlin, who comes every summer to the hotel. This year also Wilhelm Giesecke is also here, with his daughter Ottilie. However he's not happy about it as Otto Siedler is here, who is in fact the lawyer of a process enemy of Giesecke, Mr. Sülzheimer, who apparently stole a patent from Giesecke. And during the process the characters try either to avoid each other or to try to convince the other, which is pretty entertaining. The play has been adapted into various plays and movies all over the world, including the stage version from 2008 starring Rainhard Fendrich as Leopold and Klaus Eberhartiner as Sigismund or the movie from 1960 starring Peter Alexander as Leopold and Gunther Phillip as Sigismund.
"Im weißen Rössl - Wehe du singst!" (In the White Horse Inn - Don't you dare singing) from 2013, starring Diana Amft, Fritz Karl, Tobias Licht, Edita Malovcic a.o. is a loose adaptation of the original play, which in this case is not a bad idea. In fact, it differers not only from the play but also from all the other movie adaptations of the play and the songs all get great new arrangements. While the original is set in the 1910s, this movie transfers the story to modern times which of course makes the characters from the play differently than the once from the source material and it barely follows the original plot. Here Ottilie, a 29-year-old working woman is the main character. Her boyfriend and colleague Nobbe invited her to the restaurant. However she was disappointed that it's not a proposal. Instead she got a text message from him that he breaks up with her, while sitting in front of her in the restaurant. The same day Ottilies father Wilhelm arrives and wants to take her to the "White Horse Inn" to put his wife's urn in the mountains, away from the city, also because he promised it to her in life. He convinced Ottilie and they are off to Austria. After they enter Salzkammergut the grey world suddenly becomes colorful and on the way she almost hits Otto Siedler who was repairing a flat motorcycle tire on the street and was falling of a cliff. After he easily climbs back up, they talk: Ottilie: "Excuse me, but have you ...;" - Siedler: "(interrupts) ... got nothing better to do than repair my motorcycle on the street? You're so right, miss. If you had hit me right now, I would never forgive myself."
After arriving at the White Horse Inn and Ottilie is declining all the singing, dancing and Otto's flirting, she meets the head waiter Leopold, who is in love with Rösslwirtin Josepha but can't get her cause of Otto Siedler. The two come closer and try learn from each other about love.
The movie is described as an operetta adaptation, but to me it looks more like a parody of it, a good one. Many songs from the play are also spread through the movie as samples or in the background, like "Und als Der Herrgott Mai gemacht", played in a scene where Leopold and Ottilie get drunk from their love sickness. Some musical numbers have some fair of Bollywood, also in the movie, with less violence. This movie also features many humorous puns on German "Schlagermovies", as they are produced since the 50s until today, with many clichés, like the dark rainy city and jolly countryside of Salzkammergut, which is always sunny, has a DOUBLE rainbow, birds fly in shapes of hearts, everybody is happy (Leopold: Everybody sings here) and is in love within 12 hours including getting marriage proposals, without knowing anything about each other. Also there are charming lines like "Your nasal wings flatter my fingers tips. Both are elegantly curved, like tiny Olympic trails." or "You stamped over the white Flokati of my soul with dirty walking shoes".
The plot of the source play is barely in it. No reference to patent problems, different juristic issues, no big references to Berlin, which were prominently in the original.
There are also plot holes, which were never explained. E.g. Josepha is always portrayed as a woman who loved Dr. Siedler but during the movie she seems to forgotten it, as in the second half it is never mentioned and suddenly she even likes Leopold. How comes? Is this one of the many secrets of a woman's heart? ;-)
The actors fit their roles perfectly. Especially Diana Amft (Ottilie), Fritz Karl (Leopold) and Edita Malovcic (Josepha) are pretty good in their roles and give the characters a few twist. Especially Fritz Karl, Edita Malovcic and Tobias Licht also give great singing performances. Gregor Bloéb is also good as Sigismund but he is kinda crazy by portraying his character by acting like Austrian singer Falco. Armin Rohde is also good as Wilhelm, but his singing voice is not that good, which also can be heard in the first line of his song, there you can hear that he didn't get the right note, but catches on later.
It is not a perfect movie but an entertaining one, with many memorable moments, a great theme song, wonderful song arrangements, a movie which I would recommend.
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