The Blue of Heaven

Original Title: Das Blaue vom Himmel. (Eine Frau unter Tausend) Musical comedy 1932; 77 min.; Director: Victor Janson; Cast: Mártha Eggerth, Hermann Thimig, Fritz Kampers, Margarete Schlegel, Ernő Verebes, Jakob Tiedtke, Margarete Kupfer, Hans Richter; Aafa-Tobis-Klangfilm.

A ticket seller working at the Wallensteinplatz subway station and a perpetually tardy mail pilot cross paths and form a profound bond. Despite their scarce moments together, they develop a strong affection and decide to wed. Complications arise when the pilot loses his job and misunderstands the ticket seller’s intentions, but with the assistance of the station manager, they resolve their differences, affirm their love, and embark on a shared journey towards an unknown future.

Anni, a young girl, is overjoyed to secure a job as a ticket seller at the Wallensteinplatz subway station. Her colleagues, including the strict yet kind station manager known as U-Papa and the charming Hugo, who develops feelings for Anni, create a delightful atmosphere at the station. However, a young man rushes past Anni without paying for his ticket and, despite her attempts to catch him, he gestures to her from the departing train. This leaves Anni disheartened as she must cover the cost from her own pocket. The young man turns out to be Hans Meier, a mail pilot who always manages to arrive at the airfield just in time. Excitedly, he tells his friend Tobias about his newfound infatuation with the lovely ticket girl to whom he unfortunately owes money.

During the weekend, the subway staff enjoys an outdoor summer festival, with Anni becoming the center of attention as everyone flirts and dances with her. Suddenly, a thunderstorm interrupts the festivities, forcing everyone to seek shelter in a tavern. However, Anni mistakenly heads in the wrong direction and takes cover under a tree. As fate would have it, Hans Meier’s plane performs an emergency landing right in front of that tree. Recognizing each other under the beam of a flashlight, they warmly greet one another, and Hans takes the opportunity to repay his debt. He invites Anni to seek shelter under the protective wings of his plane. Despite the pouring rain, lightning, and thunder, they pay little attention to the elements and realize that they are deeply in love.

Their strong affection for each other is met with a complication. Hans, working as a night pilot, and Anni, holding a daytime job, can only spend a few precious minutes together in the morning and evening. Anni ponders how to overcome this obstacle. The situation becomes urgent when Hans receives a termination notice due to persistent delays, leading to a night when the plane departs without him. Fortunately, Anni meets Mr. Pieper, the CEO of a cigarette company, and proposes an idea that instantly captivates his enthusiasm: hiring Hans as an advertising pilot.

However, men can sometimes act foolishly in certain situations. It takes a while for Hans to realize that Anni’s connection with Director Pieper is purely business-related and mutually beneficial. Their relationship suffers from intense bouts of jealousy, which can only be resolved with the intervention of U-Papa. Anni believes she has ruined everything with Hans. Yet, her fears are dispelled when Hans circles the Wallensteinplatz in his cigarette plane, using smoke to write “I love you” in the sky instead of advertising. He flies close enough to bring Anni into the aircraft with him. In the meantime, Anni has switched positions with Cilly, bringing her closer to the charming Hugo. The two of them joyfully fly away into the blue skies, embarking on their own romantic adventure.

Georg Herzberg’s review in Film Kurier No. 300 (December 21, 1932)
This film offers a complete package, conveyed through the visually striking combination of white on blue as planes write messages in smoke across the sky. It tells the story of Hans Meier, the pilot, and Anni Müller, the subway ticket seller, who overcome obstacles and find themselves on the path to a happy ending.

Their journey was not easy. Anni had day shifts while Hans worked at night, allowing them only brief moments together. This less-than-ideal situation eventually led to a fateful day when they said goodbye for too long, resulting in Hans losing his job as a night mail pilot. Determined to find a new purpose, he turned to a daytime “writing activity.”

Billie Wilder and Max Kolpe masterfully crafted a funny operetta plot set predominantly on a subway platform skillfully created by Jack Rotmil in the studio. This unified setting provides a solid foundation for the film, avoiding the need to develop in a vacuum.

Being an operetta, Paul Abraham’s light and catchy music, which holds promise as popular hits, adds excitement to the subway platform where extraordinary events unfold. Have you ever encountered an enthusiastic official like Ernst Verebes, who joyfully opens doors and infects everyone with good humor? Or perhaps a grumpy yet endearing station master like Jakob Tiedtke, who wields his signal rod with the same pride as a conductor does his baton?

Martha Eggerth, a delightful and musically talented actress, brings charm to her role as the subway ticket seller. Paired with Hermann Thimig, they form the ideal romantic couple crucial for a film operetta. Director Viktor Janson occasionally directs Eggerth a bit rigidly, particularly in close-ups, which could benefit from some editing. The driving scenes across Berlin could also be trimmed.

The young Hans Richter, with his distinct Berlin accent, successfully portrays a mischievous character who philosophizes effectively about the plot’s events. Margarete Kupfer adds humor as the resolute mother.

Fritz Kampers deserves mention as Thimig’s fellow pilot, providing good-natured yet rough comments on his friend’s love story. He is a splendid character, but the question remains: How does one truly ride the subway for three years with just one ticket?

Walter Steinbeck, playing the role of the general director, serves as a deus ex machina. Mathilde Sussin and Margarete Schlegel also deserve recognition.

Janson’s direction highlights the visual effects, resulting in an entertaining summer festival of the subway workers.

Heinrich Gärtner’s clear photography and Fritz Seeger’s sound design contribute to the film’s quality. The lyrics were written by Fritz Rotter.

The film received a warm reception from the audience during all three showings. The atmosphere was exuberant, culminating in thunderous applause at the end.

In any case, the Aafa has another film in its program that caters to the current needs of the film market.