Oh… Rosalinda!! (1955)

Dir. Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. A retelling of the Johann Strauss operetta, Die Fledermaus, “brought up-to-date” and set in post-war Vienna, then occupied by the four Allied countries. Many familiar faces for fans of Powell and Pressburger, including the wonderful Anton Walbrook as the black-market operator who puts the entire farce into motion to get his revenge on the philandering, party obsessed French colonel, played by Michael Redgrave with a delightfully absurd French accent. The production design is simultaneously playful and baroque, and endlessly imaginative. There is lots of humour made from highlighting the contrasting national traits of the various Allied countries, and the film would make an interesting double bill with The Third Man (1949). This delightful film was unfortunately a box office disaster, but it’s unclear if this was or wasn’t related to the signing of the Austrian State Treaty four months before the film’s release, and the reunification of Austria as a sovereign state; I think it was, though reasonable people might disagree.

By Nicholas Hudson-Ellis

Co-Founder & Film Programs Manager of Bangkok Screening Room.