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The British monarchy on screen$
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Mandy Merck

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780719099564

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719099564.001.0001

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Walbrook’s royal waltzes

Walbrook’s royal waltzes

Chapter:
(p.86) 4 Walbrook’s royal waltzes
Source:
The British monarchy on screen
Author(s):

James Downs

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719099564.003.0005

Anton Walbrook played Prince Albert in both Victoria the Great (1937)–which coincided with George VI’s coronation and the centenary of Queen Victoria’s accession–and its sequel, Sixty Glorious Years (1938). Austrianborn Walbrook came to Britain specifically for this role, following a successful continental career as Adolf Wohlbrück. His Gennan films included musical comedies such as Walzerkrieg (1933) in which Hanna Waag played Queen Victoria very differently from Anna Neagle. This chapter will examine portrayals of British royalty in his films, linking them with Walbrook’s life and the wider historical context. It will be argued that these portrayals of Prince Albert and Queen Victoria were influenced by Anglo-Gennan politics, and comparisons will be made to films by Walbrook’s fonner colleagues, such as Ohm Kruger (1941) and Mary Queen of Scots, the Heart of a Queen (1940). The paper will draw attention to the waltz imagery that recurs in all three Victoria films, linking it to the actor’s Viennese roots and showing how Prince Albert’s journey from Saxe-Coburg to Windsor became intertwined with Wohlbrück’s transfonnation into Walbrook.

Keywords:   Anton Walbrook, Adolf Wohlbrück, Victoria the Great, Sixty Glorious Years, Walzerkrieg, Ohm Kruger, Mary Queen of Scots, the Heart of a Queen

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