Powell & Pressburger take Strauss' "Die Fledermaus" and update it. I'm not familiar with the original work, but from what I can tell most of the plot points remain intact. The updating comes in the form of bringing it to postwar "Four Power" Vienna (like THE THIRD MAN) with some light commentary on the occupation. My problem with opera is quite similar to my problem with Shakespeare. The story is being advanced in a manner I find difficult to comprehend. Sometimes it's alright, but whenever there's a large chorus singing, it all sounds like mush to me. And some of the ladies go into that ridiculously high register where all words turn into "aaaaaaEEEEEEeEeEeEeee!!!" Still, when I couldn't make out the words I managed to get most of it from context, and the movie is fun musical comedy. The farce is well-constructed and the performances are very enjoyable (including Michael Redgrave being far more flamboyant than I would have ever imagined him). It's not brilliant, it's not stunning, it doesn't stick with you, but it's a good little romp with some nice tunes.
"Die Fledermaus" (The Bat) is the pseudonym adopted by Dr Falke. Floating on the buoyant waltzes of Strauss, this Viennese romp is sure to please. Disguises, tricks and every kind of ...
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September 3, 2019