The Angel with the Trumpet
Directed byAnthony Bushell
Written byFranz Tassie
Karl Hartl
Produced byKarl Hartl
StarringEileen Herlie
CinematographyRobert Krasker
Edited byReginald Beck (sup.)
Music byWilly Schmidt-Gentner
Color processBlack and white
Distributed byBritish Lion Films
Release date
  • 20 March 1950 (1950-03-20)
Running time
99 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
Box office£86,265[1]

The Angel with the Trumpet is a 1950 British drama film directed by Anthony Bushell and starring Eileen Herlie, Basil Sydney, and Norman Wooland.[2] It was based on a novel by Ernst Lothar. The film follows the rise and fall of an Austrian aristocrat, and her eventual death following the Anschluss. The film was a remake of a 1948 Austrian film Der Engel mit der Posaune.


Henrietta Stein, daughter of a Jewish academic, is the mistress of the Habsburg crown prince, who cannot marry her. She chooses instead a loveless marriage with Francis Alt, the head of the Alt Viennese piano manufacturing firm.[3] Only their mutual friend Baron Hugo Traun knows of their feelings. On the day of her marriage, the prince kills himself in despair.

Francis and Henrietta raise their three children in the family home, uninterrupted until twelve years later, the baron visits her in Vienna, and they have an affair. Henrietta plans to leave her husband. The affair is interrupted when her brother-in-law is dying and her son finds her in the arms of the baron. Returning home, she admits her affair to her husband who has returned unexpectedly. The next morning, her husband has a duel with the baron and kills him.

Four years later, World War I breaks out. Her husband and sons enlist. Her husband is left paralyzed and can no longer speak. Her son Paul takes over as the head of the factory. Her daughter Monica leaves for America with her boyfriend Gino to escape the conditions in Vienna. Her son Herman speculates in illegal arms trading and loses $2000. Faced with jail, he asks her for the money but she does not have it. She gives him her diamonds and throws him out of the house. The only good news comes when Paul announces his engagement. She gives all of the news to her husband, who gives her a note apologizing for marrying her and they reconcile.

Years later, Herman joins the Nazis as Nazi popularity rises in Austria. The Anschluss comes and the Nazis come to arrest her for not flying the Nazi flag on her house. Before they take her away, she jumps out of a third-storey window to her death. Herman arrives minutes later, to tell her he had arranged for her Jewish ancestry to be erased for her own safety, but she is already dead.

World War II comes. The Alt family home is destroyed by bombing. The Alt piano factory is in ruins, but Paul, his wife, their children and one remaining worker, re-establish the factory with their first new piano.

Partial cast


To reduce costs, this British film re-used much of the earlier Austrian film, especially for distance shots and for scenes with minor characters who were dubbed.

Maria Schell and Oskar Werner launched their international careers in this film.[4] It was the first film Bushell directed.[5]


  1. ^ Vincent Porter, 'The Robert Clark Account', Historical Journal of Film, Radio, and Television, Vol 20 No 4, 2000 p. 489
  2. ^
  3. ^ "The Angel with the Trumpet". Film Reference. Retrieved 14 April 2015.
  4. ^ Daviau, Gertraud Steiner. "Der Engel mit der Posaune". Film Reference. Retrieved 13 April 2015.
  5. ^ Reid, John Howard (2006). America's Best, Britain's Finest: A Survey of Mixed Movies. pp. 7–8. ISBN 9781411678774. Retrieved 14 April 2015.