This post will be a continuation of my exploration into the kinds of foreign movies that Seoul residents might have watched in 1943, when Imperial Japan was in the middle of a desperate war. To mark exactly 80 years since April and May 1943, I scanned the Keijo Nippo newspapers for any movie ads for foreign films that were showing at movie theaters in Seoul for those months. I identified the movies based on the Japanese titles as well as clues left in the ads themselves, such as the plot lines and the names of the directors and actors. As you can see, there were three German films, one French film, and one Italian film showing in April 1943, and just one German film and one French film showing in May 1943.
Foreign movies shown in April 1943:
- L’antenato (Italy, 1936)
- Capriccio (Germany, 1938)
- Ein Lied für dich (Germany, 1933)
- Fahrendes Volk (Germany, 1938)
- Le Bal (France, 1931)
Foreign movies shown in May 1943:
Let’s take a look at the foreign movies which were screened in April 1943:
L’antenato (The Ancestor) was a 1936 Italian comedy starring Antonio Gandusio and Paola Barbara, who are depicted in these movie ads. This movie was showing at least on April 5th and perhaps other days in April. The following ads are from the April 3, April 4, and April 11 editions of Keijo Nippo.
Capriccio was a 1938 German historical comedy starring Lilian Harvey, who is featured in this movie ad which was published on April 17. The movie was showing for three days from April 17 to April 19. The full movie with English subtitles is available on Youtube here.
Ein Lied für dich (A Song for You) was a 1933 German romantic musical starring Jenny Jugo, who is featured in this movie ad published on April 17. This movie was showing for three days from April 17 to April 19.
Fahrendes Volk (People Who Travel) was a 1938 German drama film starring Françoise Rosay, who is featured in this movie ad published on April 30. This movie was showing for three days from April 30 to May 2. The full movie is available on Youtube here.
Let’s now take a look at the two foreign movies which were screened in May 1943:
Heimat (Homeland) was a 1938 German historical drama starring Zarah Leander, who is featured in this movie ad published on May 13. This movie opened on May 13th. The full movie is available on the Internet Archive here. Incidentally, this movie was also shown in March 1943.
Un soir de rafle (Dragnet Night) was a 1931 French romantic drama starring Annabella, who is featured in this movie ad published on May 13. It was screened for three days from May 13 to May 15. The full movie is available on Internet Archive here.
Source 1: https://www.archive.org/details/kjnp-1943-04-03
Source 2: https://www.archive.org/details/kjnp-1943-04-04
Source 3: https://www.archive.org/details/kjnp-1943-04-11
Source 4: https://www.archive.org/details/kjnp-1943-04-17
Source 5: https://www.archive.org/details/kjnp-1943-04-30
Source 6: https://www.archive.org/details/kjnp-1943-05-13