“This yarn about an American sailor who falls for a local lass while on a holiday in the Alps...is closer to Hollywood than Switzerland.”
- The New York Times
American soldiers stationed in Europe in the aftermath of WWII are on leave in Switzerland. Among them is marine Stanley Robin (Cornel Wilde) who loses his heart to a watch seller Suzanne (Josette Day). In the glamorous nightlife of Zermatt, however, seductive Yvonne (Simone Signoret) puts their young love to the test. But Stanley, a lovelorn soldier, moves heaven and earth to win back Suzanne by entering a ski race at the foot of the Matterhorn. There is little time left to consummate the delicate bonds of transnational love.
"SWISS TOUR...was popular entertainment with a star-studded cast: American actor Cornel Wilde, loaned to Praesens-Film AG by 20th Century Fox Hollywood for this production, was at the peak of his career. French actress Josette Day, the chic watch saleswoman who embarks on married life with the marine from overseas, had created a sensation as Belle in Jean Cocteau's LA BELLE ET LA BÊTE / BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (1946). And Simone Signoret, also from France, was a star on the rise...
[Producer] Lazar Wechsler's cinema of humanism and international understanding played a significant part in the moral rehabilitation of Switzerland abroad. The fact that Swiss banks had managed German assets and accepted gold plundered by the Nazis during the war had damaged the country's image. Switzerland's reputation was particularly badly battered in the United States. In this light, SWISS TOUR can be seen as part of a cultural image campaign run by Switzerland in the United States. By the end of 1949, 311,000 members of the American occupational forces stationed in Europe had spent time on leave in Switzerland. Praesens-Film AG had taken up this theme as
early as 1945 in a short documentary entitled G.I.S IN SWITZERLAND (Hermann Haller).The same year also saw the appearance of a book entitled "Our Leave in Switzerland " containing images by still photographers including Werner Bischof and Jakob Tuggener. Intended as a souvenir for G.I.s, the book was published by entrepreneur, Migros founder and Praesens shareholder Gottlieb Duttweiler.
SWISS TOUR was not only designed to further Swiss-American understanding; by showcasing natural attractions including the Matterhorn and the convenient vacation infrastructure, it also contributed to efforts to promote tourism. Consequently, the Swiss National Tourist Office looked forward to the theatrical release of SWISS TOUR in London with great anticipation: 'It will be excellent propaganda' (Journal de Genève, December 1, 1950).
This film was Swiss movie entertainment à la Hollywood designed to boost the country's image during the Cold War. So it is quite remarkable that Ring Lardner Jr., of all people, was the person responsible for the English dialogue in SWISS TOUR. Lardner was one of the Hollywood Ten scriptwriters, directors and actors who refused to appear before the House Committee on Un-American Activities to answer questions about Communist party membership. At the beginning of 1948 they were sentenced to prison, and subsequently blacklisted in Hollywood. But this Swiss co-production welcomed Lardner Jr. with open arms."
- Yvonne Zimmerman
SWISS TOUR - from Nitrate to DVD
"My former colleague Jeff Capp and I uncovered pristine 35mm nitrate film elements of SWISS TOUR in a commercial warehouse storage facility in the metropolitan New York City area. They proved to be the best-known surviving physical elements in the entire world; thus, archival work not only involves the discovery of 'lost' films, but also identifying the highest quality celluloid elements that are to be used as preservation master material. In 2006, my company repatriated these materials to the Cinémathèque suisse in Lausanne; the film was subsequently preserved in 35mm, and the World Premiere restoration was shown at the Locarno Film Festival in August 2007. Now, years later, Gartenberg Media Enterprises (GME) is proud to co-present, with Praesens-Film AG, the first-ever DVD publication of Leopold Lindtberg's SWISS TOUR (a.k.a., FOUR DAYS LEAVE, a.k.a. SUZANNE ET SON MARIN, 1949)."
- Jon Gartenberg
Extras in this DVD include contemporaneous newsreels and an original booklet essay by Yvonne Zimmermann, noted film scholar, on "Praesens-Film AG and Swiss Cinema on the International Market", together with an introduction by film archivist Jon Gartenberg, entitled "Rediscovering SWISS TOUR".
Director: Leopold Lindtberg
Featuring: Cornel Wilde, Josette Day, Simone Signoret
- 97 minutes
- Photo Gallery – Booklet – Credits in English
- Weekly News Reel – U.S. officers in Switzerland
- Weekly News Reel – 8th Army passing through
- Weekly News Reel – U.S. Officers in Switzerland
- Weekly News Reel – Praesens filming in Zermatt
- Happy Days again for soldier and sailors
- Film review in The New York Times
Total Running Time: 01:37:00
Language: Original Version (English, Italian, German, etc.) with optional English, German & French Subtitles
Booklet Text: Yvonne Zimmerman, Jon Gartenberg (22 pages, in German and in English)
Published By : Prasesens-Film-AG
Institutional Price: $250 (plus shipping)
To order call: 212.280.8654 or click here for information on ordering by fax, e-mail or post.