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Oh... Rosalinda!!

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Oh... Rosalinda!!
Oh Rosalinda poster.jpg
theatrical release poster
Directed byMichael Powell
Emeric Pressburger
Written byMichael Powell
Emeric Pressburger
Produced byMichael Powell
Emeric Pressburger
StarringMichael Redgrave
Mel Ferrer
Anthony Quayle
Ludmilla Tchérina
Anton Walbrook
Dennis Price
Anneliese Rothenberger
CinematographyChristopher Challis
Edited byReginald Mills
Music byJohann Strauss (music)
Dennis Arundell (lyrics)
Distributed byAssociated British–Pathé
Release date
  • 18 November 1955 (1955-11-18)
Running time
101 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
Box office£95,833[2]

Oh... Rosalinda!! is a 1955 British musical comedy film by the British director-writer team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. The film stars Michael Redgrave, Mel Ferrer, Anthony Quayle, Ludmilla Tchérina and Anton Walbrook and features Anneliese Rothenberger and Dennis Price.

The film is based on the 1874 operetta Die Fledermaus (The Bat) by Johann Strauss, but updated to take place in post-war Vienna as occupied by the four Allied powers: the United States, the United Kingdom, France and the USSR. The music, played by the Vienna Symphony Orchestra under conductor Alois Melichar,[3] has new lyrics by Dennis Arundell, and professional singers dubbed for some of the actors. The choreography is by Alfred Rodrigues, and the production was designed by Hein Heckroth.

Oh... Rosalinda!! is a light-hearted Technicolor romp that makes full use of the new CinemaScope process, and is not just a film of a staged production but a filmic operetta.

As the film closes in the early hours at the party at the hotel Falke points the message to the representatives of the four powers, while thanking them for their presence: "even the dearest friend loses his attraction if he overstays.... so if you don't mind, go home, please go home"; at which the waltz "Brüderlein, Brüderlein und Schwesterlein"/"Brothers, brothers and sisters" ('Be my friend') starts up.[4]


In 1955 Vienna, during its post-war occupation, the black-market dealer Dr. Falke (Anton Walbrook) moves freely through the French, British, American and Russian sectors, dealing in champagne and caviar amongst the highest echelons of the allied powers. After a costume party, French Colonel Gabriel Eisenstein (Michael Redgrave) plays a practical joke on a drunken Falke, depositing him, asleep and dressed as a bat, in the lap of a patriotic Russian statue, to be discovered the following morning by irate Russian soldiers. Falke is nearly arrested until his friend General Orlofsky (Anthony Quayle) of the USSR intervenes. A vengeful Falke plans an elaborate practical joke on his friend, involving Orlofsky, a British major (Dennis Price) who is sent to escort the French colonel to jail for his misdemeanor, Eisenstein's beautiful wife Rosalinda (Ludmilla Tchérina), her maid (Anneliese Rothenberger) and a masked ball where no one is what they seem. Complicating matters is American Captain Alfred Westerman (Mel Ferrer), an old flame of Rosalinda's who is determined to take advantage of her husband's absence deliberately taking the room next to hers. When Frank arrives to arrest Eisenstein he takes Alfred for her husband. At the party, Adele, wearing one of her mistress's gowns is spotted by Eisenstein, who is unable to do anything about it, and catches the eye of both Orlofsky and Frank. When the masked Rosalinda arrives Eisenstein pursues her but she flees with his watch – which Falke slyly tells him will reappear again at his home. At midnight Eisenstein presents himself at the jail but realizes that the man wearing his robe was courting Rosalinda, so he rushes home to confront her. She retorts by showing his the watch he had at the ball and he begs forgiveness. All this is overhead by the rest of Orlovsky's party guests in the gardens below and Falke admits that he was behind the charade. As all sing and dance, Alfred allows his American guards to arrest him instead of Einsenstein.


Singing voices:[4]

Cast notes: Among the ladies, gentlemen and dancers of the cast were John Schlesinger, Peter Darrell, Joyce Blair and Jill Ireland.[5] On some websites Roy Kinnear is listed in the cast, no role specified,[6][7][8] but not on the BFI Screenonline page.


Oh... Rosalinda was filmed at Elstree Studios in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, and on location in London.[9]

Powell and Pressburger had suffered through four box office disappointments in a row before this film, which is one reason that Bing Crosby, Maurice Chevalier and Orson Welles were approached about playing the roles of Alfred, Eisenstein and Orlovsky – however Oh... Rosalinda!! was not commercially successful.[10] Arundell had already worked with Powell and Pressburger, providing a translation for the film The Tales of Hoffmann.[11] A reviewer of the 2019 Network British Film DVD restoration however notes Heckroth's “stagey expressionism”, “dazzling cinematography aplenty”, and suggests that it prefigures “political operetta deconstructions” of more recent years.[4]

Several of the singing cast would later appear on stage and record in the original piece; Rothenberger and Barabás together sang in excerpts from the operetta for Electrola around the time of the film, and Rothenberger made further full recordings under Hollreiser (1960), Danon (1964) and Boskovsky (1971), for the latter switching to Rosalinde.[12] Walter Berry made five recordings of Fledermaus - singing Frank (1959, 1964, 1971) and Falke (1960, video 1980).[12]

A record of musical excerpts derived from the soundtrack of the film was issued on Nixa LP NLP 18001.[13]

A restoration from the 35mm CinemaScope original camera negative was undertaken prior to a Blu-ray and DVD re-issue in 2019; this included automated and manual dirt and damage removal and correction of instability, warping and density fluctuation.[14]



  1. ^ Kevin Macdonald (1994). Emeric Pressburger: The Life and Death of a Screenwriter. Faber and Faber. p. 354. ISBN 978-0-571-16853-8.
  2. ^ Vincent Porter, 'The Robert Clark Account', Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, Vol 20 No 4, 2000
  3. ^ TCM Music
  4. ^ a b c Webber, Christopher. Opera on DVD and blu-ray : Oh … Rosalinda!!, after Johann Strauss. Opera, March 2020, Vol.71 No.3, p392-393.
  5. ^ BFI's Screenonline - full cast list.
  6. ^ Oh... Rosalinda!! at IMDb
  7. ^ TCM Full credits
  8. ^ Allmovie Cast
  9. ^ IMDB Filming locations
  10. ^ Angelini, Sergio Oh...Rosalinda!! (BFI Screen Online)
  11. ^ Milnes, Rodney. Obituary - Dennis Arundell. Opera, February 1989, Vol.40 No.2, p148-149.
  12. ^ a b - CAPON'S LISTS OF OPERA RECORDINGS (CLOR) 74 recordings of Die Fledermaus by Johann Strauß II accessed 3 March 2020.
  13. ^ Blyth, Alan. Opera on the Gramophone: 42 - Die Fledermaus. Opera, January 1978, Vol.29 No.1, p29.
  14. ^ Remastering notes on package insert for Network 7958181 'Oh... Rosalinda!!', 2019.

Further reading

External links

This page was last edited on 13 July 2022, at 18:19
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