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Bomben auf Monte Carlo

Bombs over Monte Carlo
Monte Carlo Madness / The Bombardment of Monte Carlo

Germany 1931
produced by
Erich Pommer for UFA
directed by Hanns Schwarz
starring Hans Albers, Anna Sten, Heinz Rühmann, Ida Wüst, Rachel Devirys, Kurt Gerron, Karl Etlinger, Peter Lorre, Otto Wallburg, Charles Kullmann, Bruno Ziener, Lydia Potechina, Gerdtrud Wolle, Fritz Behmer, Paul Henckels, Comedian Harmonists (= Robert Biberti, Erwin Bootz, Erich A.Collin, Roman Cycowski, Harry Frommermann, Ari Leschnikoff), the Kapelle Carlo Minari
screenplay by Hans Müller, Franz Schulz, based on the novel by Fritz Reck-Malleczewen and motives by Jenö Heltai, music by Werner R.Heymann

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Craddock (Hans Albers) is the Captain of the only battleship of the small (and imaginary) kingdom of Pontenero - but he and his crew have pretty much nothing to do, and since Pontenero is a rather poor kingdom, their wages only arrive irregularly.

Then though, Yola (Anna Sten), the Queen of Pontenero, wants to use the battleship as a cruiseship - which is when Craddock blows his cool and instead of picking up Her Majesty in Venice, he goes to Monte Carlo for a bit of fun for himself and his crew ... and since his men now need their wages more than ever, he just robs 100.000 Francs from the local embassy of Pontenero.

Thing is, Yola has come to Pontenero too, and she wants to teach Craddock a lesson - so she uses his charms on him in the disguise of an ordinary girl ... but instead of teaching him a lesson she falls in love with him. It is only when he makes some pejorative remarks about Her Majesty - not knowing that she and Yola are actually the same - that she makes him lose all his money at the gambling tables. Unfortunately he then uses his crew's wages and tries to win his money back ... and loses the wages as well.

Now Craddock sees only one way out: To threaten to use his battleship to blow up the casino if they don't pay back the 100.000 Francs until early next morning. That night, Yola finds his rogue charm irresistible and accompanies him to his boat ...

The next morning though, to avoid desaster, Yola has to finally reveal her true identity and temporarily strip him of his command to resolve the whole incident. It is only then that the two reconcile again ... but when she promises Craddock a quiet life on her side, Craddock makes a hasty escape and boards the next cruiser to Honolulu - with his Yola on his battleship in hot pursuit.

 

Pretty much, Bomben auf Monte Carlo is a showcase for its two leads, Hans Albers, who does his usual jack-of-all-trades romantic adventurer routine, and Russian import Anna Sten, and able love interest/adversary for Albers who's better than the usual leading lady of German cinema. All the supporting cast, including German stars Heinz Rühmann as Albers' sidekick and Peter Lorre as comic relief - an odd chise shortly after his breakthrough performance in M, but it works -, are pretty much interchangeable and of little importance to the film. In all, the film is like many German musical comedies of its time: Well done on a pure technical level but a bit too heavy handed and too long and wordy to really work for nowaday's audiences. Still, if it's decidedly old fashioned, dusty and a bit creaky entertainment you're looking for, you might as well liek this one.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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