The Viking who became a Bigamist is a generally enjoyable feature film that undoubtedly entertains, thanks also to the – often deliberately exaggerated – contrast between Italian and German culture. Yet, precisely because of an excessively weak screenplay, it is often predictable and banal.
In As of tomorrow, sometimes clumsy direction and often predictable script twists make us feel nostalgic not only for Mario Monicelli’s famous Big Deal on Madonna Street, but also for the comedies directed by Franz Antel himself in Austria in the 1940s and 1950s.
Despite having made more than a hundred films during his career, for a long time Franz Antel was considered a simple entertainment director. However, it was soon realised that Antel’s true peculiarity was precisely his great ability to relate to every possible film genre, each time making light but also well thought-out feature films in which nothing was left to chance.
A film, Die gelbe Nachtigall, which represents a turning point in Franz Antel’s career. If, in fact, on the one hand, the director, with this film, for the first time directly confronted himself with a new medium, television, on the other hand, a sort of return to the past is evident. A sort of return to the glorious Wiener Films that were so important at the beginning and for most of his career.
The scene in which actors Hans Moser and Paul Hörbiger, dressed as bellhops, are struggling with the transport of some heavy luggage, including a big wooden box, is, to this day, considered one of the most famous sketches in the history of Austrian cinema. This is one of the highlight scenes of the comedy Hallo Dienstmann, directed by Franz Antel in 1951.