Call of the woods

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German title Call of the woods
Original title Call of the woods
Country of production Austria
original language German ,
Publishing year 1965
length 84 minutes
Age rating FSK 6
Director Franz Antel
script Kurt Nachmann
production New Delta ( Carl Szokoll ),
Wiener Stadthalle
music Johannes Fehring
camera Siegfried Hold
cut Hermione Diethelm

Ruf der Wälder is an Austrian homeland film by Franz Antel from 1965. It is a modernized film adaptation of the novella Krambambuli by Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach . The German premiere took place on October 1, 1965 in the Stuttgart Universum .


The elderly poacher Gustl Wegrainer tells the story of the equally elderly dog ​​Bella who lives with him: He wandered around a big city as a puppy and is taken in by the Italian guest worker Marcello Scalzi. The locksmith päppelt the pointer , which he calls Bella Piccolina, lovingly, but falls soon into conflict with his colleagues. They want to get rid of the dog, Marcello reacts aggressively to the hostility, starts a fight and is finally released.

Engineer Prachner hires him because he is still looking for a fitter for the planned Tauern power plant in Kaprun . So Marcello goes to Kaprun in the mountains with Bella. Here he is met with the contempt of the residents. Above all, the worker Kubesch incited against Marcello and prophesied that he would steal the women from Kaprun. The bank employee Angelika Hirt falls in love with Marcello and they become a couple. The young forest worker Bernd Hellwig, who started his job in Kaprun at the same time as Marcello, is also in love with Angelika. When the workers of the power plant are trapped in a snowstorm on the mountain and Marcello has an accident on the daring solo descent, Bella leads the mountain rescuers to Marcello - Bernd in turn descends to Marcello and saves him.

Angelika's love for Marcello has only grown as a result. While Bernd accepts the relationship, Prachner has doubts about the long-term existence of the partnership, as he saw Marcello being aggressive in the big city. Kubesch wants to get rid of Marcello and fakes a break-in into the savings bank with his assistant Felix. Bella surprises both of them and is attacked by Felix. When Marcello sees this, he attacks Felix. He falls unfortunate and dies on the spot. Kubesch raises the alarm and Marcello is arrested for attempted break-in and manslaughter and sentenced to two years in prison.

Angelika moves to Vienna , where she takes an office job. She writes regularly to Marcello and one day receives a visit from Tina, who turns out to be Marcello's fiancée. In Kaprun, on the other hand, Bernd succeeds in gaining respect from forester Mathias through his work. Bernd can persuade Angelika to return to Kaprun, where she is given an enthusiastic welcome.

Marcello manages to escape. He made his way to Kaprun and found shelter in Gustl Wegrainer's hut. He wants to see Angelika again, who refuses to flee with him. She reveals to him that she knows about his fiancée. When Mathias and Bernd appear at the hut with Bella looking for Marcello, he takes flight. He is carrying a Gustl's rifle, but is suspected to be in Italy some time later . On a patrol, Mathias and Bernd finally come across him, reported by Bella. When Marcello threatens them both with the shotgun, Mathias shoots him.

Marcello is buried in Kaprun, Bella watches over his grave. Gustl concludes his story. With Bella he goes to see Bernd and Angelika, who have since become a couple, even if Angelika is still sad at the sight of Bellas.


Call of the Forests was Franz Antel's second and third film adaptation of Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach's novella Krambambuli after his homeland from 1955 . The film was shot in the alpine landscape around Kaprun .

In contrast to the novella, the film was “modernized” to adapt it to the 'sex and crime' style that was customary at the time, and the vagabond was turned into a guest worker. The fact that there were hardly any guest workers in Austria at the time makes it clear that the film should be marketed primarily in Germany.

Hans Jürgen Bäumler had after the great freestyle , where he played himself, in reputation of forests his first real film role held: "Certainly he was not elected because of his acting skills, but commercially to its current popularity use to." Even the lexicon of the international film found that Bäumler is not convincing as an actor.

The credits mention that the dog Bella was actually portrayed by the German pointing dog Ricky.

The Tauern power plant in Kaprun was included in the film plot , symbolizing the reconstruction of Austria after the end of World War II and playing a central role in several Austrian films of the time. The credits expressly thank the Tauernkraftwerke AG, the Gletscherbahn on the Kitzsteinhorn and the VÖEST in Linz for their support. The film was shot in and around Kaprun.


Above all, the criticism complained about the modernization of the film, in which the vagabond becomes a guest worker: "A really progressive processing of the original would have had to give up the defamation of marginalized groups". Instead of an individual, a whole group is defamed and portrayed as inferior. Marcello's death was "equivalent to a condemnation."

The lexicon of the international film saw in Ruf der Berge a "Heimatfilm according to the old pattern, Austrian melange, mixed from heartfelt love and heartache, colorful and loud against the mighty backdrop of the mountains".

The Evangelische Film-Beobachter comes to a similar assessment: “A home film that breaks down some old clichés in order to quickly replace them with new ones. What should it? Don't overhear the call of the woods, you won't miss anything! "

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Franz Antel: Twisted, in love, my life , Munich, Vienna 2001, p. 160
  2. a b c d Gertraud Steiner: Die Heimat-Macher. Cinema in Austria 1946–1966. Publishing house for social criticism, Vienna 1987, p. 235.
  3. ^ A b Klaus Brüne (Ed.): Lexicon of International Films. Volume 6. Rowohlt, Reinbek near Hamburg 1990, SS 3185.
  4. Protestant Film Observer, Review No. 390/1965