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The Great Love (1931)

Die große Liebe (original title)
Ten years after the end of World War I, Austrian soldier Franz leaves Russia and returns to his village, where he is reunited with Frieda, a woman who believes he is her long-lost son.

Director:

Otto Preminger (as Otto Ludwig Preminger)
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Cast

Credited cast:
Hansi Niese Hansi Niese ... Frieda, die Mutter
Attila Hörbiger ... Franz
Betty Bird ... Anny Huber, Tochter
Hugo Thimig Hugo Thimig ... Polizeikommissar
Ferdinand Mayerhofer Ferdinand Mayerhofer ... Huber
Maria Waldner Maria Waldner ... Amalia, seine Frau
Hans Olden Hans Olden ... Dr. Theobald Steinlechner
Adrienne Gessner Adrienne Gessner ... Rosa
Franz Engel Franz Engel ... Fritz Eckstein, Reporter
Georg Dénes Georg Dénes ... Fery
Carl Goetz Carl Goetz ... Ein Strolch
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Martin Berliner Martin Berliner
Julius Brandt Julius Brandt
Vilma Degischer
Karl Ehmann Karl Ehmann
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Storyline

Ten years after the end of World War I, Austrian soldier Franz leaves Russia and returns to his village, where he is reunited with Frieda, a woman who believes he is her long-lost son.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

Austria

Language:

German

Release Date:

21 February 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Great Love See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Tobis-Klangfilm)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Suggested by an actual event reported in the press. See more »

Connections

Featured in Preminger: Anatomy of a Filmmaker (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Die Forelle
Composed by Franz Schubert
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User Reviews

 
Otto's first.
28 April 2006 | by guy-bellingerSee all my reviews

Otto Preminger made one film - and only one - in his native tongue, German. The result, entitled "Die grosse Liebe" is rather unconvincing, to say the least. For starters, the theme is trite: a young man is back in Vienna from Russia ten years after the end of World War I. A woman thinks he is her son, once reported missing in action, and the young man, who is unemployed, accepts to settle down at her home. The question is of course whether this person is really the woman's disappeared son or an impostor? Such a situation had been shown before and will be examined later - and more competently - mainly by Lubitsch in "The Man I killed"(1932), then by French playwright-turned-director Jean Anouilh in "Le Voyageur sans Bagage"(1943).

The adjective "trite" I used above to qualify the theme is in fact irrelevant. No starting point of a story is good or bad in itself. All depends on the the way to deal with it, on the angle chosen by the scriptwriter and the director, on the tone given to the narration. And here the approach is obviously the wrong one: Preminger opts (but did he really choose? This was his first film after all...) for blatant melodrama. Although the misfortune of the mother is evident from the start, Preminger stresses anything that can remind the spectator of it, enthusiastically supported by his female star Hansi Niese, who whines and moans and sobs unashamedly. Wouldn't it had been better to play on the ambiguity of the relationship frustrated mother/alleged son? At any rate, a little restraint would have helped.

Luckily, a few elements of interest save the film from being a bomb. There is a welcome touch of satire (Petty bureaucracy gets a good dressing-down in this one!) as well as a few interesting notations on the misery that resulted from the Treaty of Versailles in the vanquished countries

Let's forgive Otto Preminger for this unsatisfactory tear-jerker. He proved himself later in Hollywood with two particularly striking unsentimental film noirs "Laura" and "Angel Face". Which demonstrated that cheap melodrama was not in his nature. A commercial choice from the producers of "Die grosse Liebe" most probably.


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