Under the conditions of Austrofascism, Austrian cinema manages not to touch upon questions of ideology. Géza von Bolváry, a Budapest native who made films all over Europe, puts on brilliant revues that distract from oppressive thoughts. Willi Forst, the father of the “Wiener film”, makes films during the war that seek to reconcile the extremes of modern life. Walter Reisch raises questions that are relevant to Austria, which survived the war and the subsequent inflation. Carmine Gallone shows backstreet Vienna with its unsightly outskirts and poor neighborhoods but singing despite everything.
Films about Vienna will be filmed all over the world. One day the German Ernst Lubitsch will joke that he would prefer the Paris of Paramount to the French one. And following Stroheim, for “The Smiling Lieutenant” (1931), Lubitsch will build Viennese streets in a studio that has welcomed a whole generation of European immigrants. Anatol Litvak, also not a Viennese, builds Vienna at a studio in Joinville. Max Ophüls, who has not made a single film in Vienna, but seems to know everything about it, will show the capital of the empire as the last refuge for all the beauty of the pre-war world.
The interbellum era will become a kind of farewell to the old world, where "...charm, elegance, tenderness, and gallantry still meant something" (Steiner G. Film Book Austria. Vienna: Federal Press Service. 1977. P. 35). It will take two decades of the truce to accept the fact that the pre-war world cannot be brought back. After the Second World War, not even the slightest illusion will remain. "Wiener films" will continue to be made for some time in the second half of the 1940s and even in the early 1950s. They will try to renew historical plots about the beautiful 19thcentury, still opulent sets and magnificent costumes with color. But Agfacolor will become a make-up for a dead idea. And finally, they will have to accept the thought formulated back in 1930 by Ortega y Gasset: "We feel that we actual men have suddenly been left alone on the earth; that the dead did not die in appearance only but effectively; that they can no longer help us." (Ortega i Gasset Kh. Degumanizatsiia iskusstva [The dehumanization of art]. M.: AST, 2005. S. 211).