To New Shores & La Habanera 06/01/21

Kino Classics

The Douglas Sirk Collection. Douglas Sirk proves his mettle as a consummate romantic storyteller in these part-musical melodramas from the peak of his career in Germany. They cemented stardom for Zarah Leander, a beauty who could have been an international success had the timing and politics been different. Both pictures send their heroines on far-flung adventures. In To New Shores Leander’s seductive music hall chanteuse is a victim of love, banished to a prison in Australia; in La Habanera she’s the wife of an all-powerful Caribbean landowner, who purposely downplays a plague because it will affect his business. Sirk’s order of the day is to put Leander into intolerable situations, just as he did Barbara Stanwyck, Jane Wyman and Lana Turner in his later Technicolor pictures at Universal. On Blu-ray from Kino Classics.