Follow TV Tropes


Context Film / MadchenInUniform

Go To

1[[quoteright:350:]]²²->''”What you call a sin, I call love which has a thousand forms, Principal.”''²-->--'''Fräulein von Bernburg'''²²''Mädchen in Uniform'' is a classic of German cinema from 1931, directed by Leontine Sagan. It's based on the play ''Gestern und Heute'' (Yesterday and Today) by Christa Winsloe and it also became one of the first movies to explore the subjects of lesbian romance and TeacherStudentRomance. It had an all-female cast and was ground-breaking not only for its portrayal of said lesbian and pedagogical eros, but also for its co-operative and profit-sharing financial arrangements (despite the fact that the profits had been mostly retained by producers).²²Manuela von Meinhardis, a new student at a Prussian boarding school, is sent to a dorm run by Fräulein von Bernburg, a teacher on whom all the girls in the school have a crush. Manuela goes a little further than most, actually ''falling in love'' with von Bernburg, which seriously jeopardizes their lives at the school.²²A remake was made in 1958, starring Lilli Palmer and Romy Schneider.²²----²!!This film contains examples of:²* AgeGapRomance: If one interprets Manuela's feelings are requited. She's 14 and her love is at least ten years her senior.²* AmbiguouslyGay: Fräulein von Bernburg's feelings for Manuela are left ambiguous.²** Student Mia von Wollin keeps photos of German actress Henny Porten on her locker and reacts with wry amusement at another girl's love letter to her.²** Ilse von Westhagen tells Manuela that the headmistress commented on Manuela's "pretty" legs.²* AmbiguouslyBi: Most of the girls in the school. While some show interest in men, keeping photos of German actors and models in their lockers, they all fawn over Fräulein von Bernburg.²* AndThatsTerrible: The narration is sometimes heavy-handed and breaks the ShowDontTell rule when trying to bring a point across. Prime example is the closing line from Frl. von Bernburg:²--> "The girls have prevented a tragedy...which we both would have regretted all of our lives."²* BittersweetEnding: The film ends on an ambiguous but bittersweet note. Manuela undergoes a HumiliationConga and is banned from speaking to Fräulein von Bernburg. Fräulein von Bernburg herself is being kicked out of the school when she speaks to Manuela against the headmistresses wishes, though she states she would leave voluntarily nevertheless. The only thing stopping it from being a DownerEnding is that Manuela didn't succeed in killing herself.²* ChromosomeCasting: The cast is 100% female. The only male presence on screen is a hearthrob actor whom one of the girls keeps photos of pinned to the inside of her locker.²* DescriptionCut: When the headmistress praises starvation and Prussian order as the ultimate force to improve her students, the scene cuts away to three schoolgirls discussing their favorite food.²* DrivenToSuicide: Manuela tries to jump from the main staircase of her boarding school after she is banned from talking to her teacher.²* EvenTheGirlsWantHer: Due to the limited selection at an OneGenderSchool, many of the girls are head-over-heels for their teacher, Fräulein von Bernburg. ²* FiredTeacher: Fräulein von Bernburg at the end.²* GayngstInducedSuicide: Subverted in the film, with Manuela's classmates preventing her suicide. The original stage play, ''Gestern und heute'' by Christa Winsloe, ends less happily, thus fitting the trope.²* GlassesPull: The headmistress pulls her glasses off in a dramatic fashion when she hears from Frl. von Kesten that her students complain about the lack of food at the school.²* GreetingGestureConfusion: Between Manuela's aunt and Frl. von Kesten in the opening scene.²* IKissYourHand: Done by Manuela towards Fräulein von Bernburg and done when she performs in the school play.²* InformedAttribute: When Frl. von Bernburg catches two girls sharing a confidential letter, she goes soft on them and destroys the note without looking at it. Afterwards the blond classmate explains to Manuela what an tremendously decent act that was of her.²* InstitutionalApparel: The striped school uniforms look much like prisoner outfits.²* InterruptedSuicide: Manuela's classmates find her in time before she can throw herself from the top of the staircase.²* InVinoVeritas: When fourteen year old Manuela gets drunk, she ends up confessing that her teacher gave her a petticoat in front of her classmates, and unfortunately in front of the headmistress. After sobering up she is punished and banned from speaking to Fräulein von Bernburg again.²* MissingMom: Manuela's missing mother plays a pivotal part in her attraction to her female teacher, in whom she sees a surrogate mother as well as a lover.²* OffIntoTheDistanceEnding: The headmistress in the end, walking away in StunnedSilence over the mess she caused.²* OneGenderSchool: Set in an all-female Prussian boarding school.²* PrecociousCrush: Fourteen year old Manuela falls for her female teacher.²* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: Frl. von Bernburg, who is very supportive towards her students and is not afraid to speak up against the headmistress.²* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: The headmistress gives one to Manuela towards the end of the story.²* RevisedEnding: An alternate ending which subtly pandered to pro-UsefulNotes/{{Nazi|Germany}} ideals enabled continued screening in German cinemas for some time in 1933 and after, but eventually even this version of the film was banned as 'decadent' by the Nazi regime.²* SadistTeacher: The headmistress, who doesn't hesitate to starve her students in order to teach them proper Prussian discipline. Her strict approach bites her in the rear at the end.²* SchoolPlay: Manuela plays the male character in one of these.²* SituationalSexuality: The enclosed environment of a Prussian all-girls boarding school is asking for this to happen.²* TeacherStudentRomance: One of the TropeMakers, with Manuela and von Bernburg. Other girls also have a crush on von Bernburg.²* TheVonTropeFamily: All of the schoolgirls have a "von" in their surname, indicating an upper-class heritage.²----


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: