Hemmings recut his film (reputedly the most expensive ever made in Germany to date), restoring some footage originally deleted by the producer, who radically reduced its 147 minute running time after preliminary screenings. These alterations may well have helped, but no amount of tinkering could turn it into the comedy-drama that it was clearly intended to be. Its main problem is its tone: its story of a young Prussian (Bowie) returning to a turbulent Berlin after World War I, and finding himself torn between a team of homosexual Nazis and a flotilla of wealthy widows, never finds its level, but swings wildly between coarse knockabout farce and aspirations to tragic dignity. Bowie's vacant performance reflects these uncertainties precisely, and the cluster of star names around him are reduced to delivering awkward party pieces.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Ennio De Concini, Joshua Sinclair|