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. Luise plays Kitty, a millionaire who places an advert in the newspaper looking for an investment opportunity. The put-upon clerk mixes her message with that of another girl, Magda, who is unemployed and looking for work. The combined message advertises that “A lady with millions, young and beautiful, is looking for an opportunity”. Harry and Bobby, near-bankrupt perfumers see their chance and comedy and confusion ensues.
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. 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).
For many years the film was available only as a bootleg DVD but in October 2020 it finally had its first ever official release by Hoanzl and the FilmArchiv Austria. This single disc edition is #338 in their extensive Ö-Film series. The release is housed in a card foldout case with a new essay on the film by film historian Florian Widegger, and a biography of director Max Neufeld. There are no extra features and the film isn’t subtitled, but it is wonderful to finally have this rare film musical available, officially.
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