The Happy Stereotype

Having watched of late 1943’s The Mysterious Doctor, I realize more than ever how much I miss the evil German aristocrat character in film. Once an indispensible presence, he is now confined, I imagine, to the ranks of some turkey like The Good German. He was rather a poetic character, despite his usually only having one good scene, in which he explains his evil plot and all the logic behind it (he comes from a long line of Germans, he finds himself in this country unwittingly, etc.) in a sort of pre-Dr. No display. There is the rather potent question of how Germans outside of Germany had to think of themselves at this point in time, when the only representation was someone like George Sanders in Man Hunt, a thinly-veiled englishman who can pass as a German on merit of his snarl.

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~ by levantor on December 8, 2008.

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