When bank messenger Brand realises that 50,000 pounds sterling have gone missing in Amsterdam, it is a catastrophe for him. And not only for he, but his daughter is dismissed, too. Both face the threat of homelessness. Brand is thinking of ending his life. But then the over-indebted International Credit Institution decides to recapitalise at his expense by giving the alleged defrauder the post of director. It is almost too late by the time the social climber sees through the bogus company and the capitalist logic of its “real-estate bubble” – the basis on which he must now act: much to the horror of his daughter and his proletarian brother-in-law … Komedie om Geld is a brilliant crisis comedy with biting satire, impertinent songs, echoes of Die 3-Groschen-Oper (1931), and pecuniary buffoonery by Ophüls himself (Lachende Erben, 1933), which translates the criticisms of capitalism by emigrant author Walter Schlee into appropriate images. This is taken care of by Eugen Schüfftan, who, by employing exalted camera perspectives and modernistic Bauhaus sets, as well as a nightmare involving the “Schüfftan process”, re-applies the avant-garde aesthetics of the German low-budget productions of the early 1930s.
by Max Ophüls
with Herman Bouber, Rini Otte, Matthieu van Eysden