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The Axe of Wandsbek (1951)
"Das Beil von Wandsbek" (original title)

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Reviews: 3 user | 2 critic

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Title: The Axe of Wandsbek (1951)

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Complete credited cast:
Erwin Geschonneck ...
Käthe Braun ...
Gefion Helmke ...
Dr. Käthe Neumeier
Willy A. Kleinau ...
Ursula Meissner ...
Annette Koldewy
Arthur Schröder ...
Dr. Koldewey (as Arthur Schroeder)
Claus Holm ...
SA-Sturmführer Trowe
Fritz Wisten ...
Siegfried Mengers
Maly Delschaft ...
Frau Lehmke
Helmuth Hinzelmann ...
Oberst Lintze
Blandine Ebinger ...
Frau Lintze
Gisela May ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Thea Achenwall
Erika Dannhoff
Elfie Dugall ...


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Release Date:

11 May 1951 (East Germany)  »

Also Known As:

The Axe of Wandsbek  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

The tenderness of the butcher
24 December 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

And alas, another masterpiece from the late GDR/DDR, edited in marvelous quality by the Institute for German Studies of the University of Massachussetts at Amherst! Thank you for this forgotten jewel! And look at the crew, there are actors inside that you could not seen anymore since the Silent Time and that you probably hear for the first time speaking - unless you had the chance to watch some of these movies in the former GDR/DDR.

I consider Dr. Falk Harnack's "Das Beil Von Wandsbek", together with "Obchod Na Korze/The Shop On Main Street" by Jan Kadar, and "Der Verlorene" by and with Peter Lorre as a Triptychon of the best World War II movies. Watch all the three, although the latter is still not available on international DVD (but you may order it from Germany and watch it on your computer or get one of the rare VHS editions edited by New Yorker Release some fifteen or so years ago).

Whoever has seen the scene where the newly "elected" headsman Teetjen (Erwin Geschonnek, who passed away not long ago, 100 years old, forgotten, in an assistant living home close to Leipzig) stands in his borrowed mask and mantel with his ax before the mirror and exercises, will never forget this picture even when he lies on his death-bed. This movie belongs without doubt to the greatest rediscoveries in film history. After having watched it, you will not be the same anymore. R.W. Fassbinder said that what makes a good movie is, that it continues playing in the heads of the watchers when they leave the cinema. Et Voici!

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