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Wally of the Vultures (1940)

Die Geierwally (original title)
Wally is the daughter and only child to Fender, a rich, widowed mountain farmer in the Ötztal valley in the Tyrolian Alps. She is young, beautiful, intrepid and, most of all, strong-minded.... See full summary »


Hans Steinhoff


Wilhelmine von Hillern (novel), Jacob Geis (screenplay) | 1 more credit »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Heidemarie Hatheyer ... Wally Fender, die "Geierwally"
Sepp Rist Sepp Rist ... Joseph Brandl, der "Bärenjoseph"
Eduard Köck Eduard Köck ... Alois Fender
Winnie Markus ... Afra Kuttner
Leopold Esterle Leopold Esterle ... Vinzenz Gellner
Mimi Gstöttner-Auer Mimi Gstöttner-Auer ... Luckard, Fenders Magd
Ludwig Auer Ludwig Auer ... Klettenmeier
Maria Hofen Maria Hofen ... Mariann Rosenbauer
Georg Vogelsang Georg Vogelsang ... Nicodemus Rosenbauer
Hans Adalbert Schlettow ... Leander Rosenbauer (as Adalbert von Schlettow)
Käte Merk Käte Merk ... Resi (as Käthe Merk)
Marta Salm Marta Salm ... Nani, Obermagd
Anna Exl Anna Exl ... Ochsenwirtin
Hans Kratzer Hans Kratzer ... Dorfbote
Gustav Waldau Gustav Waldau ... Graf


Wally is the daughter and only child to Fender, a rich, widowed mountain farmer in the Ötztal valley in the Tyrolian Alps. She is young, beautiful, intrepid and, most of all, strong-minded. When she at great risk catches a vulture's young from its nest she carries the respect of her father, but also the scorn of Bear-Jospeh, assistant hunter to the local squire. He mocks her as "Geierwally" (Vulture-Wally), as he thinks young women shouldn't wear pants and climb around in the mountains hunting. What he doesn't yet know is that Wally is almost mad with love for him - and too stiff with pride to admit the slightest idea of that. To make it complicated, her father wants her to marry Vinzenz, a neighbouring farmer. But Wally, loathing Vinzenz and burning with desire for Joseph refuses. Mad with frenzy, Old Fender bludgeons her with a heavy stick, and, as she still won't budge, he orders her away to a sole hut high up in the mountains, where she has to live in snow and ice beyond the ... Written by Haddoque

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance


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Release Date:

12 August 1940 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Havasi vasmadár See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Tobis Filmkunst See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Tobis-Klangfilm)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The poster with Heidemarie Hatheyer in front of a blue sky was the result of a competition organized by Tobis. It won the third prize. See more »


Version of La leggenda di Wally (1930) See more »

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User Reviews

Heavy Handed WW2 time German rural drama.
24 August 2017 | by MozjoukineSee all my reviews

This much filmed film nineteenth Century piece, here becomes an unappealing if well crafted costume drama with characteristic War Time bombastic performance style. It's tempting to try an relate it to Nazi ideology.

It is both a berg film with a brief roping down the mountain scene and a montage of music to go with clouds squashed with an anamorphic lens. It's also a heimatfilm, kicking off with Hatheyer and her dad Köck in Tyrolean costume reaping against a mountain peak back ground and rolling on through folklorico inn, funeral and festival scenes. This is not all that interesting but the story is worse. No one generates much sympathy.

Add in some odd developments. No one is disturbed about killing the vulture to steal it's chick and Hatheyer's romantic idol, a middle aged Rist mocks her as the Vulture Girl while her also over aged suitor Esterle goes about beating people with lumps of wood. Her dad also takes the stick to Heidemarie when she scorns Esterle, his choice of husband. She is banished to a solitary existence in a mountain hut accompanied only by the tamed vulture. The bird however comes in useful, tapping Lassie style on mountaineer von Schlettow's window to alert him to her lying in the snow.

Hatheyer becomes head of the house, in her turn a mean authority figure denigrating believed rival Markus. Then Heidemarie puts on her big fur hat and it's on again off again with Rist.

Hatheyer in heavy lip gloss is a presentable if rather stocky lead. Director Harlan is able to muster the heavy weight film making talent effectively but not able to present a compelling drama for them to deliver.

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