A Soldier’s Love Is True Indeed

Original Title: Ja, treu ist die Soldatenliebe. (Achtung! Die Husaren kommen!) Military farce 1932; 89 min.; Director: Georg Jacoby; Cast: Fritz Schulz, Ursula Grabley, Camilla Spira, Petra Unkel, Hugo Fischer-Köppe, Jacob Tiedtke, Ida Wüst, Hans Adalbert Schlettow, Paul Heidemann, Paul Otto, Erik Ode; Renaissance-Orplid-Tobis-Klangfilm.

A circus clown is conscripted into the military, mistaking the child of the sergeant-major for the result of his youthful indiscretion. This eventually turns out to be a mystification by a rival for the circus director’s daughter. Engagement, leave, wedding.

Olivia, the wife of circus director Petermann, performs every evening as a sharpshooter to great applause from the audience. Everything has been running smoothly for a long time.

However, when the clown Bimbo, whose real name is Schmidtlein, falls in love with their daughter Liane, a mishap occurs. The circus rider Colani disrupts their act out of jealousy, causing it to be canceled and the audience demanding their money back. Colani can only save the show by performing the High School on his horse “Aida” to the sounds of the Finnish Cavalry March.

Shortly after, he uses his knowledge of a previous affair of the clown’s, where the clown had pretended to be Colani. He gives Bimbo a picture of the former girlfriend. Unexpectedly, Bimbo receives his military conscription notice to Motzenburg. There, he recognizes the girl as the wife of the Hussar Sergeant Kramereit. He finds himself in an uncomfortable situation because he doesn’t know who she is. Since he hasn’t confided in his comrades, he assumes that her four-year-old son is his.

One day, the circus performs in Motzenburg and sets up its tents across from the barracks. Liane visits him, but they end up arguing. In his desperation, Schmidtlein seeks advice from his comrade Krause, who is acquainted with Lieutenant von Sprittwitz. Through a coincidence, Krause discovers Colani’s actions and ensures that he is punished in a Hussar-like manner, preventing the equestrian from performing the next day.

However, Schmidtlein doesn’t want to let the circus down and takes on Colani’s role on the horse “Aida.” Just as he is dressed as the god of war Mars and mounted on the horse, the commanding general takes a parade to the sounds of the Finnish Cavalry March. This is a signal for “Aida,” and she trots with her rider into the barracks’ courtyard. To everyone’s surprise, the general interprets Bimbo’s peculiar appearance as a personal honor.

Finally, Liane learns the whole truth and forgives her Bimbo.

Anonymous review in Film Kurier No. 182 (August 4, 1932)
True indeed is our producers’ love for colorful entertainment. It is founded on the good box office results that theater owners have achieved with this genre, both in the past and particularly in the last season. The military barracks yard is still a fertile ground for invested capital and head-scratching. However, this ground could have been better cultivated. The writers Walter Wassermann and Walter Schlee have come up with very little besides a few flashy situations. The conflicts in the film are quite far-fetched. Director Georg Jacoby strives for sensational highlights and stages the lifeless parts of the screenplay according to a formula. Couldn’t more have been extracted from the traveling circus milieu? It works in the barracks yard.

Hugo Fischer-Koeppe, as Sergeant of the Hussars, twirls his mustache in the tried-and-true manner and earns his laughs in every scene. The main punchline is excellently executed. The audience goes wild with pleasure when the unfortunate Bimbo, dressed as the god of war Mars, charges through the lines of the assembled squadron on a dancing circus horse, all in front of the general’s eyes. Bimbo, primarily a clown and temporarily dressed as a hussar, is played by Fritz Schulz. He fights valiantly and successfully against the slapstick. He humanizes scenes that would otherwise have been the most glaring farce. This Bimbo is a dear, kind fellow who has a lot of bad luck but ultimately finds happiness. In this case, happiness comes in the form of Ursula Grabley, whose talent Jacoby didn’t know how to utilize. Little Petra Unkel achieves another great success and contributes significantly to the overall impression. Camilla Spira portrays her equally resolute and beautiful mother. Jacob Tiedtke and Ida Wüst entertain as circus owners. Adalbert Schlettow, Paul Heidemann, Paul Otto, and Eric Ode in supporting roles. Franz Doelle’s music is unobtrusive, and the lyrics by Rosen and Lion are rather weak. Technically, the film is average. Camera by Eduard Hoesch. Set design by Max Heilbronner. Sound by Birkhofer. There is a good atmosphere in both theaters, and the actors receive applause.