Berlinale: Programme


Film file

Retrospective

Yolanda and the Thief

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A con man eavesdrops on young, beautiful, and wealthy heiress Yolanda as she prays for a guardian angel to help her manage her financial affairs. The following morning, he introduces himself to her “Mr. Brown”, guardian angel at your service. He manages to swindle Yolanda out of millions in bonds, but when he tries to pass the money to his accomplice, a certain Mr. Candle gets in the way … Set in a fictional South American country, this MGM musical uses a literal wealth of gold and baroque murals to consciously announce its “celestial” artifice. A 15-minute long nightmarish dance sequence in front of a “hellishly” illuminated stage backdrop, and the colourful carnival atmosphere of the final scene feature lively choreography in which the love story of Yolanda and the Thief is revealed and more than just colours are unleashed. While in Sweethearts (1938) the floor was covered in a severe checkerboard pattern, here it’s a riot of wavy, black-and-white lines, which gives it depth and, combined with the whirligig dancers, lends to the whole a positively psychedelic effect.

USA 1945, 108 min

by

Vincente Minnelli

with

Fred Astaire
Lucille Bremer
Frank Morgan