CineSavant Column

Saturday June 5, 2021



The newest DVD Classics Corner on the Air web podcast is A Salute to the Blu-ray Debut of Annie Get Your Gun with Dick Dinman once again interviewing George Feltenstein. That pair of experts lay out a concise explanation of the many problems this show had getting to the screen; we’ll also learn a bit more about the way it was remastered for HD. CineSavant’s review from April 20 is here.



And here’s a fun announcement — CineSavant has been enjoying Kino Classics’ recent German restorations from the Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau Foundation, what with The Woman One Longs For and two Douglas Sirk melodramas. They’ve just announced something very exciting for science fiction fans: The 1932 Ufa production F.P.1. Antwortet Nicht aka ‘Floating Platform One Does Not Answer.’ The F.P. in the title apparently stands for ‘flugplattform,’ or ‘flight platform.’ Perhaps others have had better luck but this feature has always eluded me. The floating platform is a high-tech artificial island in the middle Atlantic, a refueling airport for transatlantic flights. Like the next year’s Gold it’s science fiction with a topical edge — no sooner is the F.P. in place than it attracts foreign agents bent on sabotage.

The movie was reportedly a blockbuster hit in Germany. It stars Hans Albers and Sybille Schmitz (pictured center, above), the memorable vampire victim in Dreyer’s Vampyr and whose controversial life was the basis for Fassbinder’s Veronika Voss. Memorable in the cast is Peter Lorre just before he left Germany for England.

Both the original novel and the film script are by Curt (Kurt) Siodmak, who at this time was having more commercial success than his more famous brother Robert … but would soon exit to France, and then America as well.

The confusion sets in with the fact that F.P.1 was also produced in two more foreign language versions, all filmed at the same time: the French-language I.F.1 ne répond plus with Charles Boyer and Pierre Brasseur, and the English-language F.P.1 Does Not Answer starring Conrad Veidt and Jill Esmond. I’ve seen a very poor, incomplete copy of the English version, and assume that the original German is better, especially with Peter Lorre involved. The good news about this disc release, is that it will contain both the German and English versions.

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson