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The Angel with the Trumpet (1950)

In the nineteenth century, a young Austrian woman marries into a wealthy family and witnesses the country change through the course of four decades.


Anthony Bushell


Ernst Lothar (novel), Karl Hartl (screen play) | 2 more credits »


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Credited cast:
Eileen Herlie ... Henrietta Stein
Basil Sydney ... Francis Alt
Norman Wooland ... Prince Rudolf
Maria Schell ... Anna Linden
Olga Edwardes Olga Edwardes ... Monica Alt
Andrew Cruickshank Andrew Cruickshank ... Otto Alt
John Justin ... Paul Alt
Oskar Werner ... Herman Alt
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Marc Anthony Marc Anthony ... Freddie
Dorothy Batley Dorothy Batley ... Pauline Drauffer
Titia Brookes Titia Brookes ... Henrietta Alt II
Anthony Bushell ... Baron Hugo Traun
John Corbett John Corbett ... Francis Altas a child
Campbell Cotts Campbell Cotts ... Gen. Paskiewicz
Brian Crown Brian Crown ... Paul Alt as a child


An Austrian girl is forced to marry for the sake of the family, rather than for love, which causes her great pain when the man she truly loves commits suicide, rather than see her married to another. Her life takes another turn for the worse when the Nazis rise to power and her Jewish ancestry creates problems. The woman takes steps to do right by herself after vowing to never allow someone else to determine her fate.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

austria | based on novel | See All (2) »


A Woman Meets Her Destiny! See more »




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Release Date:

20 March 1950 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Angel with a Trumpet See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)


Black and White (archive footage)| Black and White

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Remake of The Angel with the Trumpet (1948) See more »

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User Reviews

A Family's Affairs
19 August 2015 | by HarlowMGMSee all my reviews

Henrietta Stein is a young woman on the back side of twenty having a discreet affair with Rudolf, Crown Prince of Austria in the 1880's. Their relationship is little more than a friendship to Rudolf although Henrietta is in love. 31-year-old Rudolf in fact openly confesses his love for a seventeen year old to Henrietta. Realizing their is no future with Rudolf, Henrietta accepts the proposal of Alt, a prosperous piano manufacturer. Rudolf commits suicide on the night of the wedding although his actions appear to be unrelated to the marriage.

Henrietta has a comfortable, settled life as Mrs. Alt but by the turn of the new century has become bored and is neglected by her husband. A Baron friend of Rudolf's whisks her away to a week of public if chaste romance which results in a duel fought between the Baron and Alt. The film then follows the family through two World Wars and a changing Austria.

This ambitious British film seems to be two movies tacked together, the first half seems to be a fictionalized period biopic along the lines of The Great Waltz but with the dawn of World War I for the section half becomes a Cavalcadesque family saga. The cast is very good, particularly Eileen Herlie although she absurdly ages in a period of six years (still having her youthful beauty in 1914 but becoming an old lady by 1920). This film has likely been seen by more American audiences in the past decade than in it's original release back in 1950 due to it's availability online and on public domain DVD releases. The movie looks a bit more of an epic than it really is with the lavish Alt home and the decades sweeping story but sets are somewhat limited and one can't help noting the cast is rather small for a film covering such a long period. This mix of history with fiction (the movie suggests Rudolf's suicide was due to his frustrations with his father and their differences on running the country) and undeveloped plot suggestions (there's a very light hint that Henrietta is pregnant with Rudolf's child at the time of her marriage to Alt but that story is never confirmed or acknowledged in the film) doesn't always work but it holds one's interest until the last reel if not quite succeeding in making one care about the characters.

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