Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Liebelei (1933)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Liebelei (1933, Germany)

In director Max Ophul's fifth feature film - a superb poetic, poignant and dramatic masterpiece of tearjerking, romantic (and tragic) love set in Vienna in the early 1900s, with beautiful visual compositions:

  • the courtship and growing love affair of Austro-Hungarian army lieutenant Fritz Lobheimer (Wolfgang Liebeneiner) with Christine Weyring (Magda Schneider, the mother of actress Romy Schneider), the innocent, shy 19 year-old working-class daughter of an opera musician
  • the scenes of Fritz and Christine silently strolling down a winding backstreet at night, and their lively, heavenly waltzing through an empty coffee bar to the music of a coin-operated Victrola
  • the long-shot (and then close-ups) of an idyllic horse-drawn sleigh ride through a wintry wonderland, when Christine admitted her love and pledged herself to eternal romance with Fritz: "I know nothing about you - you must tell me some time about your life...Eternally, I'll love you"
Fritz' Horse-Drawn Sleigh Ride With Christine
  • Fritz' concurrent indiscretions - his philandering and extra-marital affair with the adulterous Baroness von Eggersdorff (Olga Tschechowa), the wife of monocle-wearing, angry cigarette-smoking Baron von Eggersdorff (Gustaf Gründgens) - his love affair with Christine was contrasted with a scene of a waltz in the mansion (with full orchestration) with the Baroness - with less enthusiasm than with Christine
  • the fateful duel of honor at dawn with pistols (off-screen only with the sound of a gunshot) - demanded by the scorned, offended, outraged and jealous Baron against Fritz
  • the heartbreaking concluding scene of the heroine learning of the fateful news of Fritz' death in the duel: "...he has fought a duel...well, he has, he has...he's dead"; she was then told he fought the duel because of a woman in his past; her facial expressions ranged from doubt, desperation, shock, confusion, disbelief, fear and grief as she responded: "I can never see him again but he always told me that he loves me, and so he has, because of another woman, but that's impossible. No, no, I don't believe it. This is not true. What had I been to him then?"
  • the scene of Christine's immediate response - her tragic suicidal jump from her second floor window (off-screen) - followed by a view of the open window and the sight of her body in the street below, soon surrounded by concerned neighbors
  • and a replay of the wintry, snow-covered backdrop from their sleigh ride (with a pan from left to right, without the sleigh) accompanied by the off-screen words of Christine about eternal love as the film faded to black

Fritz's Love Affair with Christine

Extra-Marital Affair with the Baroness

Christine's Suicide After News of Fritz' Death in Duel

Replay of Sleigh Ride Backdrop


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