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Dilemma   [Original Title]

Ledige Mütter   [Other Title]
Country of Origin: Switzerland
Year of origin: 1940
Genre: Feature Film
Locations of shooting: n/a

Actor: Maria Becker
  Leopold Biberti
  Marina Rainer
  Fritz Schulz
  Margarete Fries
  Rita Liechti
Set design: Alexandre Lochakoff
Production company: Gotthard Film
Production manager: Dr. Stefan Markus
Screenplay: Dr. Stefan Markus
Music composer: Hans Haug
Costume design: Franz Rosenfeld
Director: Edmund Heuberger
Editing: Georges C. Stilly
Director of photography: Harry Ringger
Sound: Robert Blum

Keywords: Abtreibung, Frauenrechte, Schwangerschaft
When Zurich writer-producer Stefan Markus (1884-1957) returned to Switzerland after sixteen years making films in Paris (where he also co-scripted Dimitri Kirsanoff’s Rapt), he found himself up against serious competition. So he promptly set up Gotthard-Film to produce his own films, with a team that included Thurgovian filmmaker Edmund Heuberger. He opted for safe but commercially sure subjects, such as abortion, dressed up in sensationalism and hypocritical moralising, a conventional bourgeois melodrama mode much in vogue from Berlin to Paris over two decades. In the film Edith Ferrat, 17, daughter of a renowned gynaecologist, succumbs to the wiles of debauched seducer Sternen. She becomes pregnant but refuses to marry him because of hereditary insanity in his family. She then begs her father to end her pregnancy. Doctor Ferrat is then faced with an enormous dilemma: he is a virulent anti-abortionist but if he refuses, she will turn to back-street quacks. He decides to do the procedure himself, in secret. The operation is successful, but Edith dies of an embolism when he is away. Ferrat gives himself up to the police and the trial causes a scandal. The public flocked to Dilemma (L’éternelle victime), convinced, like the filmmakers, that the film was dealing with a burning issue. It became the ninth most popular Swiss film between 1942 and 1951. It was also a hit in Bulgaria and Hungary, and, after the war, Germany, Austria, France and Belgium. The Catholic press gave it the oxygen of free publicity, and magistrates in Lucerne banned the film for two years; it was also forbidden in Calvinist Geneva.

Version 1
Language: n/a
Sound: Sound film
Aspect: 1:1,33
Duration: 116 min

Length 1050 m Request Copy Button
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Copy Type Positive
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