Mädchen in Uniform (1931)
Directed by Leontine Sagan
Germany : 89 minutes : Drama
Considered by many to be the first radical lesbian-feminist
film, in which a student at a repressive authoritarian Prussian
boarding school finds comfort only in the companionship of a
sympathetic teacher. It was remade in 1958 in English. See the
original German version.
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One of my very favorite movies! Beautifully filmed & acted. It's the story of Manuela
Meinhardis, a 14 year old girl brought to an all girls boarding school by her staunchly
disciplinarion aunt when Manuela's mother dies. Manuela discovers she is to be staying in Fraülein
von Bernberg's dorm & that many, if not most, of the girls under the Fraülein's care have crushes on
her. She is swept away by the Fraülein's acts of kindness (& hints of more) & convinces herself
that she & the Fraülein have a relationship beyond the usual Student/Teacher confines with nearly
disastrous results. The beauty of both actresses in the lead parts is staggering (in my opinion) &
the scenes between them are electric. There is much more sensuality & intensity in this film than
in any I've seen. I give this my HIGHEST rating. No overt Lesbianism, but absolutely delicious
hints of a "love that dare not speak its name". And no depressing ending to boot! The audio
quality is a bit rough & it is melodramatic (having been filmed in 1931), but I found it
mesmerizing, regardless. I really can't say enough good things about this movie, as you can
probably tell! Way before its time!