IMDb > Man of Straw (1951)

Man of Straw (1951) More at IMDbPro »Der Untertan (original title)

Photos (See all 4 | slideshow)


User Rating:
7.5/10   590 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Down 7% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
View company contact information for Man of Straw on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
31 August 1951 (East Germany) See more »
Diederich Heßling is scared of everything and everyone. But as he grows up, he comes to realize that... See more » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
The GDR has survived - in Amherst, Massachusetts See more (8 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)
Werner Peters ... Diederich Heßling
Paul Esser ... Regierungspräsident von Wulckow
Renate Fischer ... Guste Daimchen
Ernst Legal ... Pastor Zillich
Raimund Schelcher ... Dr. Wolfgang Buck
Eduard von Winterstein ... Buck sen.
Friedrich Maurer ... Fabrikant Göpel
Sabine Thalbach ... Agnes Göpel
Hannsgeorg Laubenthal ... Mahlmann
Friedrich Gnaß ... Napoleon Fischer
Wolfgang Kühne ... Dr. Mennicke
Fritz Staudte ... Amtsgerichtsrat Kühlemann
Wolfgang Heise ... Leutnant von Brietzen
Axel Triebel ... Major Kunze
Arthur Schröder ... Landgerichtsdirektor
Paul Mederow ... Dr. Heuteufel
Friedrich Richter ... Fabrikbesitzer Lauer
Heinz Keuneke ... Gottlieb Hornung
Richard Landeck ... Warenhausbesitzer Neumann
Ernst Wehlau ... Sötbier
Kurt-Otto Fritsch ... Junger Arbeiter
Blandine Ebinger ... Frau von Wulkow
Carola Braunbock ... Emmi Heßling
Emmy Burg ... Magda Heßling
Gertrud Bergmann ... Mutter Heßling
Erich Nadler ... Vater Heßling
Antje Ruge ... Jungfrau von Orleans
Friedel Nowack ... Frau Göpel
Viola Recklies ... Junge Arbeiterin
Oskar Höcker ... Landgerichtsrat Fritzsche
Georg August Koch ... Geheimer Medizinalrat
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Günther Ballier ... Mann (uncredited)
Fredy Barten ... Mann (uncredited)
Maria Besendahl ... Frau (uncredited)
Egon Brosig ... Mann (uncredited)
Elka Haedrich ... Frau (uncredited)
Hannjo Hasse ... Mann (uncredited)
Georg Helge ... Mann (uncredited)
Johannes Maus ... Mann (uncredited)
Hans Olaf Moser ... (uncredited)
Edgar Pauly ... (uncredited)
Peter Peterz ... Wiebel (uncredited)
Günther Polensen ... Mann (uncredited)
Martin Rickelt ... (uncredited)
Harry Riebauer ... (uncredited)
Hans Rose ... Mann (uncredited)
Käthe Scharf ... Frau (uncredited)
Hilma Schluter ... Frau (uncredited)
Horst Schönemann ... Mann (uncredited)
Steffie Spira ... (uncredited)
Friedrich Teitge ... Mann (uncredited)
Albert Venohr ... Mann (uncredited)
Egon Vogel ... (uncredited)
Charles Hans Vogt ... Mann (uncredited)
Bella Waldritter ... Frau (uncredited)
Gerd Wolfrum ... Mann (uncredited)

Directed by
Wolfgang Staudte 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Heinrich Mann  novel "Der Untertan"
Fritz Staudte 
Wolfgang Staudte 

Original Music by
Horst Hans Sieber 
Cinematography by
Robert Baberske 
Film Editing by
Johanna Rosinski 
Production Design by
Karl Schneider 
Erich Zander 
Costume Design by
Walter Schulze-Mittendorff 
Makeup Department
Willy Roloff .... makeup artist
Alois Strasser .... makeup artist
Production Management
Fritz Brix .... unit manager
William Neugebauer .... unit manager
Willi Teichmann .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Hanna Bark .... assistant director
Werner Reinhold .... assistant director
Sound Department
Erich Schmidt .... sound
Camera and Electrical Department
Günter Marczinkowsky .... assistant camera
Eduard Neufeld .... still photographer
Other crew
Hans Robert Bortfeld .... script editor

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Der Untertan" - East Germany (original title)
"The Kaiser's Lackey" - International (English title)
"The Subject" - International (English title)
"The Underdog" - USA (informal English title)
See more »
109 min | West Germany:97 min (cut version)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Finland:K-16 | Germany:12 (video rating) | Sweden:15 | West Germany:16 (f) (original rating) | West Germany:12 (f) (re-rating) | West Germany:(Banned) (1951-1956)


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
1 out of 3 people found the following review useful.
The GDR has survived - in Amherst, Massachusetts, 27 October 2009
Author: hasosch from United States

"Der Untertan" (1951), directed by star-director Wolfgang Staudte, is based on a novel by Heinrich Mann (1871-1950) as "Der Blaue Engel" (1930), directed by Josef Von Sternberg, is. While in "Der Blaue Engel", the protagonist is a person who cannot adapt to the world around him, and when he tries, shamefully stumbles and at the end pays his attempts with his life, the main figure in "Der Untertan" is so-to-say the complimentary character: Although born in an aristocratic, high-class family, surrounded by the world-literature and regular house-concerts and thus widely detached from bourgeoisie, he finds out that he may make carrier by breaking out of this status-group isolation in trying to meddle with politics. He also finds out that for him, the best way is to put hand over hand along the rope that leads upwards while kicking the ones who are coming below him. The result is, however, that he blunders not only in public but often also in his private life. The film has an interesting, yet totalitarian and typical GDR-end which kind of disturbs the otherwise excellently crafted master-piece for which Werner Peters in the role of Dr. Hessling and the director of the film got the Great GDR-State Price.

This movie and an extremely impressive list of some hundreds of titles more, meanwhile practically the collected works of the DEFA, the state film company of the former GDR or DDR, we owe to the Department of German Studies of the University of Massachusets at Amherst that has obviously taken over the legacy to maintain and foster the gigantic film work of the "other" Germany which has ceased to exist in 1990.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (8 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Man of Straw (1951)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
filming location? Musikdrama
DVD Review of the Kaiser's Lackey cinta5
See more »


If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
Thank You for Smoking Potiche Dodsworth Daens A Face in the Crowd
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
IMDb Comedy section IMDb East Germany section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.