25 May 2022

Quick (1932)

In the comedy Quick (1932), the Ufa teamed two of their brightest stars, Lilian Harvey and Hans Albers. But their chemistry was less sensational than the sparks that fly between Harvey and Willy Fritsch. Supposedly there were competitive issues that put Harvey on her guard and challenged Albers' ego. Still, the tension between the two works to the advantage of this stage farce filled with mistaken identities and lover's quarrels. The young director Robert Siodmak was in charge. Together with André Daven, Siodmak also co-directed a French-language version, Quick (1932) in which Harvey co-starred with Jules Berry as Quick.

Lilian Harvey and Hans Albers in Quick (1932)
German postcard by Agfa. Photo: Ufa. Hans Albers and Lilian Harvey in Quick (Robert Siodmak, 1932).

Hans Albers and Lilian Harvey in Quick (1932)
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 141/1. Photo: Ufa. Hans Albers and Lilian Harvey in Quick (Robert Siodmak, 1932).

Lilian Harvey and Hans Albers in Quick (1932)
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 141/2. Photo: Ufa. Hans Albers and Lilian Harvey in Quick (Robert Siodmak, 1932).

Hans Albers and Paul Hörbiger in Quick (1932)
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 141/3. Photo: Ufa. Hans Albers and Paul Hörbiger in Quick (Robert Siodmak, 1932).

Witty dialogues and charming stars


Lilian Harvey plays 21-year-old divorcee Eva Prätorius who is taking some time in a posh spa, the Sonneneck sanatorium, which is under the medical management of the respected Prof. Bertram. Every evening she keeps sneaking out to the Apollo Theatre, the town's vaudeville theatre. She wants to see a performer, the musical clown Quick (Hans Albers in heavy white make-up), do his act.

Eva goes backstage to meet Quick. But she doesn't recognise him when he happens to stand in front of her - without make-up, as she has never seen him before. He also begins to take a shine for the young, capricious woman who adores him every evening from her box. He tries to woo her, masquerading as the theatre's manager.

Quick tries to get her to fall in love with who he is in real life but Eva only likes him as a person who can introduce her to Quick. Unable to resolve her feelings for both the clown and the theatre manager, Eva is angered when she finally learns that they are one and the same. But not for long, of course...

Quick (Robert Siodmak, 1932) was clearly based on a stage play, by Félix Gandéra, and not a particularly good showcase for any of the main talents except for Hans Albers. However, the mistaken identity and following runaround are never tiresome as and Quick is better than most Ufa films in this genre.

Mayesgwtw39 (IMDb) notes that Quick contains "some witty dialogue [by Hans Müller], but the stars are relying mostly on their screen personas to supply the charm. They do so quite effectively from the leads to the supporting cast. The whole thing makes for a lively and somewhat stylish farce." The sets were designed by art director Erich Kettelhut. Max Pfeiffer was production manager and film editor Viktor Gertler also served as Robert Siodmak's assistant director.

Hans Albers, Paul Hörbiger, Paul Westermeier and Genia Nikolaiewa in Quick (1931)
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 141/5, 1931-1932. Photo: Ufa. Hans Albers, Paul Hörbiger, Paul Westermeier and Genia Nikolaieva in Quick (Robert Siodmak, 1931).

Lilian Harvey and Hans Albers in Quick (1932)
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 141/6. Photo: Ufa. Lilian Harvey and Hans Albers in Quick (Robert Siodmak, 1932). Collection: Geoffrey Donaldson Institute.

Hans Albers in Quick (1932)
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 6833/2, 1931-1932. Photo: Ufa. Hans Albers in Quick (Robert Siodmak, 1932).

Lilian Harvey and Hans Albers in Quick (1932)
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 715/1. Photo: Ufa. Hans Albers and Lilian Harvey in Quick (Robert Siodmak, 1932). Song text of 'Gnädige Frau, komm und spiel mit mir' (Madam, come and play with me). Copyright: Ufaton-Verlag, 1932.

Sources: Mayesgwtw39 (IMDb), Wikipedia (German and English), and IMDb.

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