Music directorHans-Otto Borgmann Duration CountryNazi Germany
WriterHermann Sudermann, Wolfgang Schleif, Veit Harlan Release date2 November 1939 CastPhilip Dorn (Endrik Settegast), Kristina Söderbaum (Elske, seine Frau), Eduard von Winterstein (Erwin Bohrmann, Elskes Vater), Albert Florath (Lehrer Schleif), Wolfgang Kieling (Franz, ihr Sohn), Paul Westermeier (Ausrufer) Related Veit Harlan moviesVeit Harlan directed The Trip to Tilsit and The Great Sacrifice, Veit Harlan directed The Trip to Tilsit and Immensee, Veit Harlan directed The Trip to Tilsit and The Immortal Heart, Veit Harlan directed The Trip to Tilsit and The Great King, Veit Harlan directed The Trip to Tilsit and The Golden City
The Journey to Tilsit (German: Die Reise nach Tilsit) is a 1939 German drama film directed by Veit Harlan and starring Kristina Söderbaum, Philip Dorn and Anna Dammann.
Elske faithfully loves her husband Endrik as he is seduced by a foreign schemer, Madlyn. Madlyn persuades him to murder Elske and run off with her. He lures Elske into the boat as a prelude to drowning her, but is unable to carry it out. When they reach the shore, she flees to the city, and he follows to plead for forgiveness. They return, and a storm blows up while they are in the boat. Endrik gets ashore, but believes Elske to have drowned. He reacts with anger to Madlyn, but learns that Elske did survive.
Kristina Söderbaum as Elske Settegast
Philip Dorn as Endrik Settegast
Anna Dammann as Madlyn Sapierska
Albert Florath as Lehrer
Ernst Legal as Herr Wittkuhn
Manny Ziener as Frau Papendieck
Charlotte Schultz as Frau Wittkuhn
Eduard von Winterstein as Erwin Bohrmann
Clemens Hasse as Junger Mann aus der Straßenbahn
Jakob Tiedtke as Gastwirt
Paul Westermeier as Ausrufer
Wolfgang Kieling as Klein Franz
Joachim Pfaff as Klein Jons
Heinz Dugall as Klein Wittkuhn
Babsi Schultz-Reckewell as Mariechen
Lotte Spira as Frau im Café
Eduard Wenck as Dorfbewohner
Alfred Karen as Besitzer des Pelzgeschäfts
Heinz Müller as Dicker Mann auf dem Jahrmarkt
Ferdinand Robert as Gast im Cafe in Tilsit
Betty Waid as Alte Frau aus dem Dorf
Max Wilmsen as Begleiter, der Frau im Cafe
Bruno Ziener as Ober im Cafe
Elske, as is typical for Kristina Söderbaum's roles, is a model of patient, virtuous and old-fashioned wifehood and of pure and healthy Aryan stock, stemming from her country living, whereas her rival is Polish, promiscuous, and city-dwelling, an obvious product of "asphalt culture". Her victory reflected a need to avoid temptation to adultery, when many families were separated.
The film is a sound remake of the silent film Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans, which was based on Hermann Sudermann's short story "The Excursion to Tilsit", from the collection with the same title. Harlan maintained it was a true film, whereas Sunrise was only a poem, and it did avoid the symbols and soft focus of that film for more realism. It was shot in Memel, where the action takes place. It included almost all the changes that Sunrise made to the original story, including the change to the ending.
Magda Goebbels ostentatiously left the premiere, owing to the accidental resemblance between it and her own situation, where Joseph Goebbels carried on with the Czech actress Lída Baarová. (It was similarly resolved, with the actress being sent back to Czechoslovakia, and Hitler himself informing Goebbels that there would be no divorce.)