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What if Fox News produced Les Miz?  WIR MACHEN MUSIK (Third Reich, 1942)

As with all culture industries, the Third Reich’s movies had genres to reinforce values and control popular sentiment.  Those films were frequently categorized as Heimat (“home / homeland”) movies which emphasized the cozy feeling of families and home, Blut und Boden (“blood and soil”) films which promoted pride and romantic feelings about one’s lineage and homeland, and the scathingly anti-British “Perfidious Albion” movies.

Other mainstream genres were represented:  screwball comedies (Capra’s IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT was remade as GLÜCKSKINDER in which the ‘Wall of Jericho’ blanket between the twin beds was supplanted by a tableful of cacti) and of course musicals were produced too.  As with the screwball films, musicals at first were adapting Hollywood tropes to UFA’s product (such as the Ruby Keeler-inspired musical HALLO JANINE!).  However, as a German friend explained to me, musicals became more overblown as the war continued:  creating escapist entertainment to keep the citizens’ minds off the bombings. 

There was just one problem:  the style of entertainment that we think of as “musical comedy” that sprang forth in New York during the early 20th century manifested through the collaborative creativity and efforts of two cultures — Yiddish theatre and Gay urban culture.  By the time Germany made 1942’s WIR MACHEN MUSIK (“We’re Making Music”) the primary ingredients of Jews and Homosexuals were in short supply. 

It’s this sort of backstory:  “Let’s take away the Jewish songwriters and jokewriters. Let’s lock away the Gay choreographers and designers. Let’s place sex-phobic control-freaks in power, who only parrot the beliefs of the dominant hate-filled culture.  Then let’s put on a show!!

In other words, it’s like Fox News producing a Broadway revival of Les Misérables

Here’s a YouTube clip of WIR MACHEN MUSIK:

Doug / PoMo Joan

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2 Comments to “What if Fox News produced Les Miz?  WIR MACHEN MUSIK (Third Reich, 1942)”

  1. Marilyn says:

    Wow! That is one amazing bit of celluloid. Thanks for sharing that. It’s clear why they lost the war.

  2. Joe Gattis says:

    The expressions on the girls faces as they are playing their instruments are so strained. And the male dancers look as though they were waiting in line for the toilet.

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