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307 24 Exile In 1952, Harlan once more announced an adaptation of Knut Hamsun’s novel Growth of the Soil—as he had done in 1944—before then settling on a comedy. The comedy’s working title, Du siehst dich an und kennst dich nicht (You look at yourself and don’t know yourself), sounded as unfunny as the title of the comedy he had directed eleven years earlier, Pedro soll hängen (Pedro must hang), so shortly before the film’s release the title was changed to Die blaue Stunde (The blue hour). Having shot his first postwar film in black and white and the second one in color, Harlan made this one in black and white and color. Production began in October 1952. Harlan spent two weeks on the island of Capri, and then interiors were done in Göttingen studios. Because of the ongoing hostility against him, Harlan thought about turning over direction to Geza von Bolvary, who had directed him in two films, Abschiedswalzer and Stradivari, but was persuaded to continue. Vaguely based on a short story written by Walter Harlan, Die blaue Stunde is about a professor’s marriage that suffers from his snoring. Paul decides to get medical treatment but does not want his wife, Angelika, to know about the operation, so he feigns a trip to Capri and asks a cousin, also named Paul, to go there to send her some postcards that Paul I has written in advance. Kristina Söderbaum and Hans Nielsen were cast as the married couple—another childless couple. It seems that Harlan still could not envision his forty-year-old wife and the mother of two of his children as a mother, preferring to treat her as a child-woman. The Munich-based Komet-Film company was able to sign an international cast. German-born Kurt Kreuger, a U.S. citizen since 1944, returned to play the scheming cousin. He had appeared in such Hollywood warrelated films as Arise, My Love (1940), Man Hunt (1941), A Yank in the RAF (1941), Edge of Darkness (1943), Hangmen Also Die! (1943), The Moon Is Down (1943), Sahara (1943), The Strange Death of Adolf Hitler veit harlan 308 (1943), None Shall Escape (1944), The Hitler Gang (1944), and Hotel Berlin (1945), usually as a Nazi villain, so he was relieved to be cast in a charming, debonair role. French actress Paulette Andrieux, who had just appeared alongside Brigitte Bardot in Manina, la fille sans voile (Manina, the girl in the bikini, 1952), was cast as the cousin’s naughty, unfaithful wife, and rising comedy star Harald Juhnke, who had already worked with Harlan’s daughters, Maria and Susanne, in the comedy Drei Mädchen spinnen (Three girls are nuts, 1950), as her love interest. For the third time, Werner Krien functioned as director of photography. Franz Grothe composed the first of his four scores for Harlan films. Not having had a regular crew since the Third Reich had collapsed, the director now found a technical crew to join him on several projects, including film editor Walter Boos—who would rise to infamy with his sexploitation pictures in the 1970s—sound engineer Heinz Martin, and unit manager Woldemar Wasa-Runge. It did not show on the screen whether Harlan was surrounded by good acquaintances or complete strangers, but it certainly did make work easier for him to have a consistent crew. After Die blaue Stunde was completed on January 10, 1953, no protests were audible, despite the fact that with Unsterbliche Geliebte and Hanna Amon Harlan had reestablished himself as a considerable box-office draw. If Caspar Harlan turned out the least traumatized of his three sons, it may well be because during his childhood—he was six by now—the riots at theaters showing Harlan’s films had stopped. Die blaue Stunde opened on February 27 to largely indifferent reviews. As could be expected, the industry-friendly Film-Echo spoke in its favor: “Harlan as author and director of a cheerful marital comedy and Kristina Söderbaum as a capricious young wife, who is performing a Boogie-woogie on the floor. . . . [T]he surprise works well. Of course, it also deals with distrust, jealousy, and love. . . . The plot is amusing, and thanks to the witty dialogue and delightful inventions laughter in the auditorium never stops. However, dream sequences and ethereal music reveal that Harlan has made the film. . . . This new Harlan picture will cause a small sensation for audiences, win...


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