The Four Companions

The Four Companions

Die vier Gesellen (Original Title)

Although times are bad financially, four young women decide to go into business for themselves together. Kate, Lotte, Franziska and Marianne open the advertising agency, "The Four Companions". All of them are graduates of a college of applied arts and their teacher, Stefan Kohlund, would have loved to marry Marianne right on the spot, if she had wanted it. In the meantime, Stefan has become the head of advertising for a large cigarette company in Dresden (cough, cough), while the four companions are waiting in vain for business. Ambitions Marianne personally tries to win the lucrative advertising contract offered by the cigarette company. While at the company, she finds out that the head of advertising is Stefan Kohlund and drops her plan. But when Marianne actually wins the contract, it is assumed that she manipulated Kohlung and rejected him once again. The firm is doing well; Marianne's friends have all found husbands; only she is alone.

1h 36min
October 1, 1938
Admin comments

Another masterpiece well ahead of its time. The film champions a feminist angle, quite uncommon for a film of that era. Looks like these terrible Nazis were raising the issue of women empowerment way earlier than the western “democracies”. It also touches several delicate issues, such as premarital pregnancy, without being moralizing or prude. This film comes close to the work of Helmut Käutner, who was a great maker of great films about little people, Vier Gesellen is a women's film - the men get a lot less screen time and seem to be nothing more than distracting factors. The camera work and direction are very good, and the way Ingrid Bergman is lit and shot, is excellent. She is very, very beautiful and shows immense amount of talent. The scenes with her and another very gifted actress, Ursula Herking, are the best in the film. There's also Hans Söhnker who is always solid.

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