Diederich Heßling is scared of everything and everyone. But as he grows up, he comes to realize that he has to offer his services to the powers-that-be if he wants to wield power himself. ...
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A young shoemaker is arrested for stealing a small amount of money, and is released after being jailed for 15 years. He wants to have a pass to get a job and start anew, but without a job ... See full summary »
The mechanic Behnke wants to join the Nazi party to secure a good living. However, after his Jewish neighbors have been taken away, he changes his views. Trying to remain "a non-political ... See full summary »
Karl Heinz Deickert
The movie explains Germany from 1913 until 1955 by example of two contrary characters: The idealistic journalist Hans (H.-J. Felmy) loses his work during the Third Reich, whereas ... See full summary »
Johanna von Koczian,
In the summer of 1914, thirteen-year-old Oda von Siering (Paula Beer) leaves Berlin to join her family and an assortment of German and Russian aristocrats on an estate in Estonia. The von ... See full summary »
Diederich Heßling is scared of everything and everyone. But as he grows up, he comes to realize that he has to offer his services to the powers-that-be if he wants to wield power himself. His life motto now runs: bow to those at the top and tread on those below. In this way, he always succeeds: as a student in a duel-fighting student fraternity and as a businessman in a paper factory. He cajoles the obese district administrative president Von Wulkow and wins his favor. He slanders his financial rivals and hatches a plot with the social democrats in the town council. On his honeymoon with his rich wife Guste, he finally finds a chance to do his beloved Kaiser a favor. And when a memorial to the Kaiser is unveiled in the town where Diederich lives and works, he delivers the address. He stands behind the lectern in the pouring rain, saluting his Kaiser. The crowd is dispersed. Everything is laid in ruins... Written by
This is a must see movie. Werner Peters and all the other cast members deliver superb performances. It has got an ensemble of top german character actors playing together on the same high level as we are used to get from the best of Preston Sturges' movies.
The photography of Robert Baberske is a sheer delight, both lighting and framing are masterly done.
If you have enjoyed Fritz Lang's "M" than you certainly will enjoy this one. The appeal of the story and characters may a bit more specific german, but the moral and "message" is timeless and is true to all western societies.
Comedic film jewels like this are not made anymore - this makes it even less understandable that there is no DVD version around yet. (I know for certain that a top notch flawless negative for a digital transfer exists !!!)
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