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It Happened in Broad Daylight (1958)

Es geschah am hellichten Tag (original title)
Having doubts about the guilt of the obvious suspect in the murder of an eight year old girl, a police detective decides to investigate the case on his own.

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5 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Sigfrit Steiner ...
Detektiv Feller
Siegfried Lowitz ...
Leutnant Henzi
...
Jacquier
Heinrich Gretler ...
Polizeikommandant
...
Berta Drews ...
Frau Schrott
...
Professor Manz
...
Professor Manz (voice)
...
Frau Heller
Anita von Ow ...
Annemarie Heller
Barbara Haller ...
Ursula Fehlmann
Emil Hegetschweiler ...
Gemeindepräsident
Rene Magron ...
Polizeibeamter Weber
Max Werner Lenz
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Storyline

Several young girls were killed. Policeman Matthaei travels to the region where it happened and searches a child that looks similar to the ones that were murdered. He finds one and stays with her and her mother, not telling them that he is waiting for the killer to start his bloody work one more time ... Written by Wolfgang Klimt <wolfii@leo.org>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Prepare Yourself For a Most Unusual and Disquieting Tale of Suspense!

Genres:

Crime | Thriller | Drama

Certificate:

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Details

Language:

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Release Date:

9 July 1958 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

It Happened in Broad Daylight  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Friedrich Dürrenmatt wrote the screenplay (together with Hans Jacoby and Ladislao Vajda) while at the same time developing the novel form of the story under the title "Das Versprechen" (The Pledge). He finished the novel after the film was completed and gave it a different, much darker ending. See more »

Connections

Featured in Die tödliche Maria (1993) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Beware of the chocolate hedgehog!
2 November 2009 | by (Yurp) – See all my reviews

Der Verdacht ("The Suspicion") by Friedrich Dürrenmatt is one of my favourite plays, and even books. Packed with suspense, it provides deep insights into the relations between crime, justice and revenge. The book makes a point of not ending like a normal crime story, with the inspector apprehending the criminal. In the book, the monster gets away and his hunter becomes corrupted and mired. The movie is clearly less bold, much more middle-of-the-road, and ends (almost) happily. It's well made, very well acted (featuring three heavyweights of German post-war cinema, Heinz Rühmann, Siegfried Lowitz and Gerd Fröbe), and overall watchable, but it's not anywhere near as bold or good as the book.

Both book and film deal with sexual child abuse, which in this form was a novelty at the time. Unfortunately it reinforces the stereotype of children being threatened by the "evil uncle" (i. e. a preying stranger), while by far the most sexual abuse to children is committed not by strangers but by people known to the children -- male relatives, teachers, priests, etc. Also the perpetrator is not a pedophile per se but driven to his acts by a dominating wife (cherchez la femme).

The movie is also an interesting document of the social mores at the time. Although he's innocent and does the right thing by reporting the crime, the vagabond (I suspect he's meant to be a Jenischer, i. e. someone who's living like a gypsy but isn't one ethnically) garners no sympathies whatsoever. Society is cold and uncaring, they only want a scapegoat. They're happy to see the vagabond die, they wanted to see him lynched in the first place. The way children are displayed, as living in a Freudian dream world, is also interesting.


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