Oh…Rosalinda (1955)

September 11th, 2023
Author: Meredith Taylor

Drs: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger | UK Drama 101’

Anton Walbrook and Dennis Price had both done distinguished work for Powell & Pressburger, but they sure took a bath on this one; although connoisseurs of the bizarre will relish seeing a musical with John Schlesinger and Arthur Mullard as Russian chorus boys (not to mention a delectable young Jill Ireland and the sinuous Ludmilla Tcherina in the title role).

The Archers’ first film in CinemaScope was this operatic version of ‘The Third Man’ which probably reflected the input of Pressburger more than it did Powell, although fanciful details like Walbrook’s opening breach of the third wall in the fashion of the Master of the Ceremonies in ‘Le Ronde’, the black & white newsreel and the scene where Price returns from a bender seeing double show the Powell touch.

A troubled production flawed by serious undercasting that resulted in Mel Ferrer, Anthony Quayle and Michael Redgrave playing roles originally intended for Bing Crosby, Orson Welles and Maurice Chevalier it promptly crashed and burned both critically and commercially and failed to even get a release in the States; but when over thirty years later Powell was finally persuaded by Martin Scorsese to watch it agin he actually rather enjoyed it. @RicharfChatten

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