Interesting and unexpectedly differentiated view of police work
"Banditen der Autobahn" (meaning "Highway Bandits" in English) is a West German crime drama shot in 1955 in black and white. The no-nonsense title refers to a group of four individuals who routinely and frequently conduct armed robberies on an unspecified German Autobahn.
The hero of the movie, however, is a uniformed policeman (played by Hans Christian Blech, a German character actor even many international viewers should be familiar with) involved in catching the criminals who accidentally runs into an old war buddy that happens to be one of the highway bandits.
This film is rather sophisticated in its realistic and unflattering depiction of police work and policemen, who are not shown as by-the-book knights in shining armor but as mere human beings. The same goes for the bad guys who are neither vilified nor romanticized. All actors involved are competent and convincing.
The movie also features a nicely staged barroom brawl including a cat fight and a very decent car chase, both of which quite good by the standards of the day and easy to watch today.
I, for one, like this movie. Chances are slim that international viewers will ever catch it on TV, but it's available on DVD here in Germany - in German, of course.
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