Der Kongress Tanzt (1931)

Genres - Musical, Romance  |   Run Time - 92 min.  |   Countries - France, Germany  |  
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During the 1814 Congress in Vienna, the crowned heads of Europe gather together to decide the shape (and fate) of the continent (which would hold -- with some serious cracks -- for exactly 100 years) and devise a strategy for dealing with Napoleon. The ordinary Austrians chafe at the cost of hosting these dignitaries, while the dignitaries find some of the efforts at entertaining them well-intentioned but absurd; the Russian czar Alexander (Willy Fritsch), for instance, doesn't understand why anyone would think he came all the way to Vienna to watch a Russian ballet. Meanwhile, the Austrian prince chancellor Metternich (Conrad Veidt) hopes to keep the Czar away from the congressional table by diverting him with a bevy of beautiful women. But Alexander is one step ahead of Metternich; the Russian leader has engaged the services of an exact double, Oralski (also played by Fritsch), to fulfill his least important social obligations. Into this game of political deception comes glove-maker Christel Weinzinger (Lilian Harvey), whose efforts at greeting the dignitaries (and promoting her shop) leave her mistaken for an anarchist, until the Czar -- advised of her beauty -- intercedes on her behalf. She ends up being romanced by both the Russian ruler and his double, until Metternich's intrigues and Napoleon's distant machinations combine to bring the focus back to official events. Filmed in German, French, and English-language versions, Der Kongress Tanzt was a worldwide success, and one of Harvey's most popular films.

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Keywords

conspiracy, espionage, love, negotiation, romance