A Romance in Minor Key

A Romance in Minor Key

Romanze in Moll (Original Title)

Though uncredited, the Maupassant story, Les Bijoux, was the inspiration for this poignant drama, A Romance in Minor Key. In late 19th century France, the wife of a bookkeeper is is blackmailed by her husband's boss after he discovers she is also the mistress of a famous composer. This beautifully made film has a sensitive delicacy that is unusual for Third Reich cinema. The cast – directed by the brilliant Helmut Käutner – is outstanding. Although Goebbles didn't like this film very much, Käutner went on and made to other brilliant melodramas before the end of the war. Ferdinand Marion, best known for Jud Suss, is, as usual, brilliant.

1h 38min
December 30, 1943
Admin comments

This is one of the most elegant and accomplished films made in the poetic romanticism genre. It is to be regretted that one of Germany's finest directors, Helmut Kautner, is virtually unknown to non-European audiences. He has not succeeded in Hollywood due to inability to adjust to the low taste and primitivism of the semi-literate shtetl Jewish studio owners.

His best films were the ones he directed between 1939 and 1945 under a totalitarian regime. Goebbels had some taste. At least two are the masterpieces of the genre. Another point I would like to make is that the way Helmut Kaütner depicts Madeleine’s husband, he clearly dislikes and despises morality of the bourgeoisie and bourgeoisie as class in general.

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