The Stationmaster

The Stationmaster

Der Postmeister (Original Title)

When two Russian captains of cavalry come to a German post station, one of them recalls what happened a long time ago. Ten years ago a comrade of theirs made a rest stop at the post station and fell in love with the station master's daughter. He promised everything to her and finally convinced her to come with him to St. Petersburg. When both arrived there, she had to realize that her captain never had the intention to marry her.

1h 32min
April 24, 1940
Admin comments

Heinrich George in the title role surpasses even himself. Hilde Krahl is absolutely magnificent in this; her 'breakthrough' role as Dunja, who possesses what Byron called 'the fatal gift of Beauty', and is told by one of her lovers Minsky, played by the excellent Siegfried Breuer: 'you pay a price for everything in life'. Heinrich George, as is well documented, died in a Soviet prison camp in 1946 and was buried in an unmarked grave. He certainly paid the price.

I think that the aspect which needs being mentioned is the daring aspect of the movie. It applies not only to the dance of the half-naked gypsy (which would surely not have come out in the Hollywood of the time), but the depiction of carnal desire. In one scene with erotic overtones, Minsky is depicted as thoroughly crazy with lust and touches Dunja's breasts passionately - something quite rare for the films of the time when love was more romantic than erotic, more noble than carnal. Her final reflection in a mirror, the ever-present symbol of vanity and selfishness, can also be interpreted from a self-centered erotic perspective, though it appears to symbolize her confrontation between inner dilemmas and a desperate decision.

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