This ravishing melodrama finds Sirk already in full command of his powers as a master visual stylist. Swedish superstar Zarah Leander makes her debut film for UFA, the state-controlled studio where she would go on to become the most famous (and ultimately controversial) actress of the Nazi era. She plays a London music-hall singer who is sent to an Australian prison after she takes the rap for a check forged by her aristocratic lover. It’s all rendered sublime through Sirk’s dazzling use of lighting, trademark mirror shots, and Brechtian songs, which harken back to his roots in the German avant-garde theater.
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