Three from the Filling Station (1930) Poster

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Astonishingly assured for such an early musical
wlkrrch1 December 2004
Three good friends arrive home from vacation to discover they're bankrupt and the bailiff is about to strip their home of its contents. Left with just their car, they decide to open a gas station and it's then that they meet the lovely, blonde Lilian Cossmann - Lilian Harvey in one of her biggest hits. For such a very early talkie it's an astonishingly confident film, one of the first UFA 'operettas' yet with a contemporary, rather than period, setting. The Comedian Harmonists put in a guest spot as barbershop-style singing barmen, Olga Tschechowa appears in a supporting role and Werner Richard Heymann's marvelous music helps it all move along at a swift pace. This is a perennially popular Weimar-era German musical, and deservedly so.
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10/10
a charming musical comedy
andrabem7 May 2007
"Die Drei von der Tankstelle" (Three Good Friends) is really a charming film. It was released in 1930, so I guess it was filmed in 1929. As the Great Crash happened in 24th October of that year and the crisis effects would only be felt in Europe some months later, I think the film was not an answer to the Great Depression (but it could as well be). Germany, anyway since the end of the First World War lived in a state of permanent crisis, but as we know crisis can many times stimulate the creativity - see the German Expressionism and see also, for instance, "Die Drei von der Tankstelle" - Yeah! Art is not just Murnau, Fritz Lang etc.., it can be represented by a musical comedy like "Die Drei von der Tankstelle" (Three from the Gasoline Station).

"Die Drei von der Tankstelle" tells the story of three rich friends that suddenly lose everything they have (this tastes like Depression!), including house, furniture and all, and have to work for the first time in their lives. They open a gasoline station and meet a girl that will conquer their three hearts. This intrigue will challenge their friendship. This is the basis of the story that is punctuated by hilarious gags and musical numbers. This is really a feel-good film, that at the same time is very creative and funny. The actors look like they are having lots of fun.

Highly recommended! I don't understand why this film is not mentioned together with other great musical films. And pay attention: This is not just another film with an indifferent plot sprinkled with musical numbers - music and plot work very well together and the result is this charming film. Go for it!
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7/10
A true entertainer well worth its salt.
FilmCriticLalitRao6 August 2007
This is not a kind of film which your neighborhood Goethe Institut would like to screen for you.The reason is that in the past it was not at all considered an auteur film and as it was more of a song and dance film which according to cultural authorities would not appeal to serious film viewers.However with the passage of time the official status of this film has changed a lot and fortunately it is currently considered as one of the 100 most influential films of the rich history of German cinema.The film is a very nice comic tale of three men in love with a rich girl.This may sound trite but in 1930 when it was made there was hardly any current of such type of films.That is the reason why this film is really unique in the annals of German cinema.A great film to cheer you up when you feel complete lost and return home with a woebegone look on your face.
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7/10
agreeable froth
mukava99128 November 2010
This operetta, so frothy that at times it threatens to evaporate, manages to hold the interest due to a charming cast led by Willy Fritsch and Lilian Harvey and pleasant songs by Werner R. Heymann and Robert Gilbert, particularly the jaunty "Ein Freund, ein guter Freund" and the lushly romantic "Liebling, mein Herz lasst Dich grussen." The general tone – breezy, joyous, playful -- brings to mind Lubitsch's American-made operetta films such as "The Love Parade" and "The Smiling Lieutenant."

The Comedian Harmonists (a then-popular close-harmony sextet) appear all too briefly in a nightclub scene and character actor Felix Bressart, familiar to American audiences as one of the "comrades" in "Ninotchka" and other supporting roles, gets big laughs as a barrister. The loose-limbed Harvey gets in some high kicks in the surprise finale.
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7/10
Best gas station musical I have ever seen! Charming romantic comedy on many levels.
Larry41OnEbay-26 September 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Three well-off young men return home in a luxurious cabriolet to find that all their furniture has been seized. Their lawyer informs them that their bank has gone bankrupt and that they have lost their entire fortune. Instead of bemoaning the catastrophe, they open a petrol station which provides enough to live on, but does not make them rich. Willy, Kurt and Hans have no intention of allowing their friendship to suffer as a result of life's caprices. The appearance of a charming woman, however, poses a serious threat: all three fall in love with Lilian, although none of the three at first realizes that the same woman is taking them for a ride. Lilian enjoys their attention for a while, but then decides in favor of Willy and is faced with the difficult task of telling the other two. A major quarrel ensues, apparently leading to the end of the friendship between the three men, as well as of the romance between Lilian and Willy.
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10/10
interesting German film musical before the third Reich
cynthiahost5 August 2009
Warning: Spoilers
This is definitely a good musical film classic from Germany' in 1930. Like the remake it's the same situation. But as with the remake of,"Blue Angel, the original one is the best. Three friends are broke so they decide to sell their car and run and open a gas station.Lillian Harvey shows up , as Lillian Cosman, teasing and taunting the three friends, played by Willy Fritz, Heinz Ruhamann, Oskar Karlwies. Lilian is the daughter of a big magnet played by Fritz Camper and had a girl friend , played by Olga Tschechowa.They all three find out that Lilian was teasing all three of them and this almost breaks up their friendship and business. What confused me ,cause I don't understand German that much, Is that Olga shows up offering a deal to the place they all agree but the next scene they still own the business but it's big now.It looks like that Kamper is offering to buy the business. Could it be that she was offering a loan approve by the company? This is confusing. Felix Bressahart, character actor who would later immigrate to the U. S. A. shows up as the person who takes the three mens furniture away. Everyone seems to be at ease compare to the ones that were made under Hitler.
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4/10
Little direction, little fun
Horst_In_Translation13 March 2016
Warning: Spoilers
This is "Die Drei von der Tankstelle" or "Three from the Gasoline Station", a 90-minute black-and-white sound film from 1930's Germany and I must say I am surprised that this one is much more known than most other comedy films from that time. The reason may be the inclusion of Heinz Rühmann, even if the story and list of cast members makes it obvious that Willy Fritsch was still a much bigger star in Germany at that point than Rühmann. 3 years before the Nazis came into power, we have a light operetta movie with lots of romance here. No hard feelings though and no serious drama either. They had the possibility to include that too, but I guess they wanted something light because the music parts and, of course, the lesson on friendship would not have worked so well otherwise.

Then again, it did not work really well. The action does not make sense for the most part in my opinion and I was not impressed by any of the aspects of the film. There are a couple catchy songs, but overall the music is as forgettable as the comedy, the story and the acting. By some, it may be considered one of the best German comedy films, but in my opinion, it is far far away from such a title. I guess those who say so, just need to watch more German comedies. Rühmann himself rarely has the opportunity to show us what he is capable because otherwise we may forget that Fritsch (besides Harvey) is the star here. A fairly forgettable 90 minutes I must say. I was not really entertained well. I am a bit surprised to see the people who wrote/directed this one managed to have successful careers in Hollywood afterward. I guess they must have stepped things up later on, because here they really do not show us quality filmmaking. Thumbs down for "Die Drei von der Tankstelle". I don't recommend it.
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Another Silly Movie With No Purpose
pvtsew20 September 2015
I'm gonna start off with a little bit of a tangent. The scene where Lilian (Lilian Cossmann) to the gas station and meets the second attendant Kurt (Oskar Karlweis) is quite something. Kurt starts singing about how she's just a woman and needs a man with her. There's all these references to women and driving. On the one hand, he's trying to find an excuse to let him ride with her. On the other hand, it reminds me of this Schwachsinn in Saudi Arabia that denies women the right to drive. Now, Europe is being flooded with Muslim immigrants who apparently can't run their own country to go to a country that was more progressive than much of the Arab world is today about 80 years ago.

And that's what so much of this early German really is - a relic. This is a rather silly, light-hearted comedy perfect for TMC with no moral or ethic implications and little connection to the reality of the day. Yet it is still studied because it was a very financially successful, early talkie.

The dance scenes are fairly entertaining. Whenever the three men are together, it's funny and the lyrics are quite clever. However, such films seem typical of that escapism. It's no shocker that, in a world where people make such fluffy, good-for-nothing films, street battles and concentration camps would be the norm.

So how do I reconcile the progressive situation of Weimar Germany with its predilection to mass murder? Well both the Muslim world and Nazi Germany engaged in it, but at least women could drive in one of them. It's the little things.
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