|Promotional Advertisement for URLAUB AUF EHRENWORT |
in Japanese Film Magazine, NIHON EIGA, June 1941
While UNTERNEHMEN MICHAEL (1938) was released after Japanese censorship had butchered it, another Karl Ritter's film, URLAUB AUF EHRENWORT (1938) was banned in its entirety. According to Akira Iwasaki, the official reason given was that film depicted the officer's insubordination to the orders. However, by the time its ban was announced, this film had already been screened to directors, producers, writers and critics in film industries, and some magazines published their reviews and discussions on their pages even. These insiders praised URLAUB AUF EHRENWORT unanimously, some calling it a masterpiece. Around the same time, Marlene Dietrich's DESTRY RIDES AGAIN (1939) was being shown in theaters. Many critics despised DESTRY, calling it an empty-headed, escapist, silly entertainment. Superficially, the contrast seems obvious: Hollywood films (the potential enemy state) were deemed as 'degenerate' entertainment, while the Germans (our ally) provided 'high art' firmly deeply rooted in centuries of their culture. However, there seems to be more than that.