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The Big Chance (1957)
"Die große Chance" (original title)

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Heidelberg teenagers make jazz music.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Walter Giller ...
Walter Gerber
Gardy Granass ...
Ruth Degener
Michael Cramer ...
Manfred Hallersperg
Wera Frydtberg ...
Erika Hallersperg
Robert Freitag ...
Kaplan Sommer
Loni Heuser ...
Frau Hallersperg
Käthe Haack ...
Anna Gerber
Ernst Waldow ...
Tankstellenbesitzer Magenau
Friedrich Domin ...
Der Bischof
Peter Lühr ...
Studienrat Gerber
Bruno Fritz ...
Direktor Otto Hallersperg
Johanna Hofer ...
Grossmutter Degener
Erna Sellmer ...
Fräulein Luise
Gisela Schlüter ...
Susi Viereck
Renate Danz ...


Walter Gerber is an engineering draughtsman, and works at a filling station too. In his spare time he plays jazz trumpet with his friends, to the disapproval of the older generation. The American jazz clarinettist Bert Nicholas spots him and offers him work in America at an enormous salary. Will he be tempted, or will he follow convention and pursue his career and stay amateur? There are extended concert performances by artistes of the day; Freddy Quinn is the most long lived. Written by Hazel Freeman <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Release Date:

26 September 1957 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Den store chance  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

The Moody Jazz
10 February 2005 | by (Rijswijk, ZH, Netherlands) – See all my reviews

After extensive introductions to Walter working at the gas station, Ruth at her parents high society party and all of their friends and family in between, we finally get to the all important Hubschen jazz club. Oh diesen Shreklichen kinder! Why do they have to go out when their parents have a private bowling range in the house? There are also a couple of kids in stripy shirts led by the gas pumpers little brother who lied about going to the pictures to their local priest so they could watch the performance. Father Gerber swiftly catches them but he is not so bad after all, being familiar with Porgy and Bess. The ones who really object to that horrible jazz club (event though the music is laughably unoffensive by today's standards) are the parents, both rich and poor.

Uh oh. It's Schlager's biggest star Freddy Quinn in a supporting part singing in the deserted cavern café, accompanied only by a tape recorder. I think I see where this is heading. There is some romantic fluff involving another girl who works at Mr. Mushiks flower shop. Then all the teenyboppers go out on a ferry to play the same old song over and over. This number comes along some many times that by the end you actually find yourself sympathizing with the parents. The Big Chance from the title involves them entering a talent show where we have to sit through dueling piano's and a 'hillarous' old broad who objects to finishing last. Unfortunately, this was only the first round. So it's back to the café to perform an act of celebration that is far superior to the one they did in the contest (with bongos and a mini mouth organ!).

Now Father Merrin is conducting his boys choir solemnly singing with Walter's kid brother as the star soprano. For some reason the band visit the pope (??) or some other high placed clergyman for approval and in turn old jazz legend Bert Nicholas come to listen to them and give them his blessing (guess which song they play for him?). All of these acts come together for the grand finale with Freddy Quinn as the secret weapon. Who will win the record contract? Nobody cares. But the moral of this story is: when you do a movie about jazz, make sure you get the rights to more than one song.

2 out of 10

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