William Tell; Legend Of William Tell, The

1827. WILLIAM TELL (The Legend Of William Tell) (1934-Switzerland). With HANS MARR, CONRAD VEIDT. When was the last time you saw a Swiss movie? The time is the 14th century, when the freedom-loving Swiss people found themselves in perilous danger of becoming serfs. Successive governors, appointed by the evil Emperor of Austria, annexed their lands. Protests were made, but the response was persecution and, finally, the occupation of the country in the name of the Emperor by the Austrian army. Such is the setting of this stirring, starkly directed chronicle of the famed, proud Swiss patriot who, before the turmoil, enjoyed an idyllic life with his family. Now, he and his countrymen must somehow rise up and take action. The film becomes a story of cunning vs. cruelty as it details the conflict transpiring after the Swiss organize to lake back from Austria the city of Lucerne. The sequence whose content is the stuff of legend-upon the penalty of death if he fails, William Tell is ordered to shoot an apple off his son’s head with a bow and arrow-is especially well-done. Also, Conrad Veidt, the great German actor best remembered for his performances as characters who were the personification of evil, is perĂ‚fectly cast as Gessler, head of the Austrian army (a role he played in a film of the same title in 1923). Throughout the film, the Swiss utter such lines as, “Unless we are to become slaves, we must fight…we must bury our differences and fight,” and the aggressors respond with such sentiments as, “Now I’m going to show you who’s master here,” in these moments, the film takes on extra-special meaning as it foretells the rise of Nazism throughout Europe, the annexing of nation after nation by Hitler, and the only realistic response to be taken by free men and women to thwart this tyranny. English-language and also dubbed Into English, 62 minutes. Historical Drama