Lilli Marlene Film Details
Overview: A French singer is captured by the Nazis, and made to broadcast for them.
Review: The title of this film got my attention. Who wouldn’t want to see a movie entitled “Lilli Marlene?” That’s the title of one of the most popular wartime songs of World War II. It’s variously spelled Lili and Marleen. And, it had different renditions. Although I knew a little of the history behind the song, I had no idea that there had been a movie made by the same title. So, I bought the DVD. The 1950 movie is a war flick and a drama that concerns the famous song and a girl by that name who says that she was the subject of the song. It’s a pretty weak piece of fiction that’s set mostly in North Africa. The plot is far-fetched, and the screenplay is terrible. This clearly looked to be a “B” or lower tier production. There’s not a person in the cast who was a well-known actor. A couple of the cast seem to be able to act. But most are not very good. And the lead male, Hugh McDermott, is a stone-faced wooden character whose voice barely changes from a monotone. If he weren’t playing a radio correspondent and cutting records with news reports, one would likely never find a change in his voice. It’s too much of a stretch to imagine the heroin of this film, Lisa Daniely as Lilli, falling for this guy. She is fairly good in her role — one of the few in this film who seem to be able to act. Just about everything else is wrong with this movie though. The camera work, editing, props, and production qualities are rather abysmal. The movie is a real dud. My three stars are solely because of the song. Daniely sings it twice in the film – once in German and once in English. For those who would like a little more information about the song, I offer the following. The original, “Lilli Marleen” was recorded by Lale Andersen in Germany in 1939, as composed by Norbert Schultze. He had written a melody for the World War I poem written by Hans Leip. But it wasn’t played on the air until 1941 – by a fluke. And it skyrocketed in popularity among the German soldiers. The British forces of the 8th Army in Africa also heard and liked the song heard on German broadcasts. A British rendition was written in 1943 by Jimmy Phillips and Tommy Connor. They changed the lyrics and it was recorded by Vera Lynn. Then that year, the native German and strongly anti-Nazi actress, Marlene Dietrich began singing the song. She sang a German and an English version across Europe until the end of the war. It became a signature song for her over her entertainment career.
Country: United Kingdom
Language: English, German
Duration: 74 min
Genre: Drama, War
Also known as: Lilli Marlene,Flor do Pecado,Lily Marlène