Enemy of Women

Pinter’s Party Time and Herzog’s Invincible for the ball given by the Reich Minister of Propaganda and Public Enlightenment.

The exact shade of blindness in a blooming æsthete whose flop is compensated by Adolf at the Herkules Auditorium, “We Must Break the Chains of Versailles”. Little Juliet gets a packed house at the premiere, and here’s the joke, “listen, boys, tomorrow put your money on Lohengrin, on the nose, he’ll pay a hundred to one.”

“Did the horse tell you?”

“No, I told the horse! I’m the new racing commissioner!”

Which is to say, if for reasons that must remain obscure critics in general and Bosley Crowther of the New York Times in particular (“a flabby and limply lurid tale”) did not recognize it for the masterpiece it is, there is Lubitsch’s To Be or Not to Be for it to fall back on.

“Paris! And this time we’ll do it.”

Anti-Catholic propaganda, a screen test at Ufa-Film (“must be handled very discreetly”). Loss of pensions “from the former government.”

A discovery. “I find Fräulein Brandt quite ready for a leading part, for stardom, in fact. For instance, I can very easily imagine her as Gloria in Queen for a Night.”

His name tops Himmler’s list for the Night of the Long Knives.

“A message from Dr. Goebbels.” When he says you’ll never work in this town again, it’s an order.

Exile in Vienna, where “we can still joke about it.” Says a brownshirt in mufti, “revolting!” The plebiscite. “The fairy Silvana”. Dialogue on a snowy night, “did you hear me, Maria? I said Switzerland was a great country for honeymoons.”

“I read that. I read it in Baedeker.”

“Baedeker or no Baedeker, that’s the kind of thing I’d like to prove for myself.”

“Baedeker says, honeymoon couples abound in the famous Swiss resorts.”

“Well, first thing tomorrow we buy a Baedeker. Maybe, maybe we’ll abound there ourselves.”

A mission of mercy to Berlin. “Your father had a record as political criminal, and you, you were dishonorably discharged from the German film industry by order of the Minister of Propaganda,” Dr. Paul Joseph Goebbels, “the greatest scoundrel of our time” and “filthy liar!”

One of the most beautiful reverse shots in the cinema, a view from the corridor of a railway car into the compartment with Maria Brandt’s face in profile gazing at the husband she must betray for his life, the camera now impossibly on the other side of her to show the exact same look.

TV Guide, “strange, offbeat... positively awful... idiotic... dull programmer.”