It was on 20 September, 1932, that the German film, ‘Madchen in Uniform’ opened in American theaters. The film was directed by Leontine Sagan, a Jewish theater director, and depicted romantic feelings in an all girls school. The film became a cult favorite in the underground lesbian culture of Berlin and attracted attention throughout Europe, inspiring young women to imitate the school uniforms depicted by the all female cast.
Back in Germany, after the Nazi Party took power in 1933, they first attempted to exploit the films popularity by adding a pro-Nazi ending. This was later deemed insufficient and the film was banned outright. Again, concluding that this was not enough, the Nazis began a systematic destruction of all the prints of the movie, but by this time it was in circulation worldwide. In 1977, the film was shown on German television and in 1978, American entertainment lawyer Arthur Krimm helped arrange for a limited re-release of an uncensored version.
One of the most recognized lines of dialogue from the film is:
“What you call sin, I call the great spirit of love, which takes a thousand forms.”