Das Fähnlein Der Sieben Aufrechten (2001)

Genres - Drama  |   Run Time - 90 min.  |   Countries - Switzerland  |  
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Das Fähnlein Der Sieben Aufrechten is Switzerland's attempt at a Hollywood blockbuster. The film stars the well-known comedian Erich Vock, pop star Kisha, and snowboard champion Fabien Rohrer. It is based on Die Leute von Seldwyla, a collection of short stories on Swiss narrow-mindedness by Swiss literary monolith Gottfried Keller (an ultrapatriotic, Nazi-financed version of the book was filmed in the 1930s as Hermine und Die Sieben Aufrechten). Herr Frymann is a small-town businessman with a big scheme to snap up and develop a swath of local real estate. But he needs cash, and the one person with lots of it is the wealthy Zurich merchant Ruckstuhl, who happens to have a crush on Frymann's daughter, Hermine. Against her wishes, Frymann betroths his daughter to Ruckstuhl in exchange for money. It seems the perfect plan until Karl, Hermine's childhood sweetheart, appears to challenge the marriage. While noble in its ambitions, the film is overblown, with an inexperienced cast mugging and hamming its way through lavish period sets. Director Simon Aeby can never seem to decide if this film is a musical, a comedy, or an honest drama; one can only wonder what this might have been if he had.