Many sources, including Luise herself, referred to the ‘overnight sensation’ that Luise made in her first film for MGM, Escapade (1935). This narrative of the newly discovered film star conveniently erased Luise’s film career up to that point. She had appeared in three films in Europe before Hollywood came calling.
The first of these, and Luise’s actual film debut, was the musical-comedy Sehnsucht 202, filmed in Germany in 1932. A production from the prolific Cine-Allianz Tonfilmproduktions it is a light-hearted musical-comedy-romance in which Luise stars as Kitty, one of two girls who reply to a lonely-hearts column. Their replies get confused with that of a flirtatious secretary and the gentlemen on the receiving end have somewhat different intentions. The title refers to a perfume and the gentlemen in question are brothers and owners of a perfume store.
The film features three songs with music by Richard Fall and lyrics by Karl Farkas and Irma von Cube and is notable for a screenplay co-written by Emeric Pressburger. For many years the film was unavailable until it surfaced as a bootleg on DVD from RareFilmsandMore.com.
A moderate success, both in Europe and the US, the film was remade twice: in France as Une jeune fille et une million (1932) with Christiane Delyne as Kitty, and again in Turkey as Milyon avcilari (1934).
Magda Schneider as Magda
Luise Rainer as Kitty
Fritz Schulz as Bobby
Rolf von Goth as Harry
Attila Hörbiger as Paul
Mizzi Griebl as Magda’s mother
Hans Thimig as an Official
Herbert Hübner as Otto Hesse
Paul Kemp as Splitter / Silber
Directed by Max Neufeld
Written by Karl Farkas, Emeric Pressburger and Irma von Cube
Music by Richard Fall
Filmed by Otto Kanturek and Anton Pucher