The early life and career of Vito Corleone in 1920s New York is portrayed while his son, Michael, expands and tightens his grip on his crime syndicate stretching from Lake Tahoe, Nevada to pre-revolution 1958 Cuba.
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 <email@example.com>
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 »
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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