Waltzes from Vienna is Hitchcock’s first (and only) musical film. It is an entertaining film but as is well known Hitchcock did not particularly care for directing this film and that does show when you watch it. 

WHAT HAPPENED?

Set in a semi-fictional past we follow the life of Johann Strauss Jr. (Esmond Knight) the son of well-respected composer and namesake Johann Strauss. Strauss Jr. is fairly happy at the beginning he is engaged to a wonderfully pretty girl (Jessie Matthews) and composes music regularly in an effort to follow his father into the world of music. However his father has no wish for his son to do this believing him to be talentless. The film really begins when Strauss Jr. meets the Countess who commissions him to write some music; Strauss Jr. then creates The Blue Danube, a masterpiece which is still played today (if you watch the film you’ll recognise it – I certainly did). Writing this music does however cause friction between Strauss Jr. and his sweetheart as he forced to choose between his love for music or a career in a bakery (it’s not as ridiculous as it seems, quite).

THE GOOD
The film is generally entertaining throughout, the splattering of comedy work well particularly at the start when the building is on fire.

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The music is also well thought out; there is one seen where Strauss Jr. is composing as he works in the bakery which is quite wonderful and uses the technique of hearing what he is imagining.

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Strauss Jr’s girlfriend, Jessie Matthews is astoundingly pretty and was a major attraction to this film for me even though her character was a little lacklustre.

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THE BAD

No real tension was created in this film with very little opportunity to do so considering the content.

The film also had no real Hitchcockian moments as most of his other films have it was very much standard shots of the actors with nothing memorable in terms of camera techniques.

CAMEO O’CLOCK

No cameo.

FINAL THOUGHTS

For what the film is Waltzes in Vienna is good, however it’s hard to class it as a Hitchcock film as there is nothing particular that stands out (if someone had asked me who directed the film I wouldn’t have said it was early Hitchcock). Therefore I award it 2 Hitch’s.

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