Max, a small time pick-pocket, has nothing to do with the "big" crimes. But then he must find the murderer of Fred, his wife's brother.



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Complete credited cast:
Max Schilling
Elfie Pertramer ...
Pauline Schilling
Hans Clarin ...
Ruth Stephan ...
Hans Hessling ...
Lotte Ledl ...
Benno Sterzenbach ...
Charly Gibbons
Harald Maresch ...
Frithjof Vierock ...
Egon Schilling
Ulrich Beiger ...
Hans Jürgen Diedrich ...
(as Hans J. Diedrich)
Brigitte (as Helgi Anders)
Gernot Duda
Arno Assmann ...
Polizeiinspektor Friedrich


Max Schilling is truly a gentleman pocket thief. He could never steal from the poor and has his heart at the right place. He could be considered as an ordinary day family head if there would not be his profession. His brother-in-law Fred is a good- for-nothing who believes himself to be very smart. When Fred participates in a big robbery the trouble begins. Max has to use all his knowledge and his tricks to solve the problem, but it might already be too late... Written by Oliver Heidelbach

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Crime


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Release Date:

1 March 1962 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Der Taschendieb  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Composer Martin Böttcher also was responsible for the track "Hawaii Tattoo" featured in the movie in an performance by the group "The Waikikis". Böttcher released the track with the alias "Michael Thomas" (and so it still stands on the single), as he felt it didn't harmonize with the other music he at that time composed. Nevertheless, "Hawaii Tattoo" became the very first German music-track to be listed in the American Bill Board Charts and also stayed for several month in German hitparades. See more »


References Le ciel et la boue (1961) See more »

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User Reviews

Quite dated - but not too bad...
22 October 2004 | by (cologne, germany) – See all my reviews

I saw this movie today for the first time, it's a typical Heinz Rühmann vehicle, set during the Wirtschaftswunder era in Germany. Rühmann plays Max who makes a living picking pockets and keeping an honorable surface towards his kids (of course, he's the loving dad) and the neighbors. He keeps out of big time crime, but has an in-law who is a no-good - and who inevitably falls into the lures of the crimelord, who is of course named Joe (Haha!). Sticking to his principles of not telling the police anything, he manages to make up with the big shots and turn good for a happy ending.

The movie was actually a little dated, especially with the dialogue (the ever-prominent youth slang issue when watching 35-year-old flicks), but on the other hand it surprised me with some swearing, cool music (The Shadows perhaps?), and even a short scene of female nudity from behind.

It was definitely a better Rühmann film and worth watching. As always, he plays the perfect, caring daddy; watch out for an out-of-character appearance by a very young Hans Clarin.

7.5 / 10

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