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Welt am Draht
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World on a Wire (1973) (TV) More at IMDbPro »Welt am Draht (original title)

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Release Date:
14 October 1973 (West Germany) See more »
Somewhere in the future there is a computer project called Simulacron one of which is able to simulate a full featured reality... See more » | Add synopsis »
1 win See more »
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User Reviews:
Artificial reality movie with a different focus See more (21 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
Klaus Löwitsch ... Fred Stiller
Barbara Valentin ... Gloria Fromm
Mascha Rabben ... Eva Vollmer
Karl Heinz Vosgerau ... Herbert Siskins (as Karl-Heinz Vosgerau)
Wolfgang Schenck ... Franz Hahn
Günter Lamprecht ... Fritz Walfang

Ulli Lommel ... Rupp, Journalist
Adrian Hoven ... Professor Henry Vollmer (as Adrian Hooven)
Ivan Desny ... Günther Lause

Joachim Hansen ... Hans Edelkern
Kurt Raab ... Mark Holm
Margit Carstensen ... Maya Schmidt-Gentner
Ingrid Caven ... Uschi, secretary

Gottfried John ... Einstein
Rudolf Lenz ... Hartmann
Lilo Pempeit ... Data typist (as Lieselotte Eder)
Heinz Meier ... Von Weinlaub, secretary of state
Peter Chatel ... Hirse, secretary of state
Rainer Hauer ... Inspector Lehner
Ernst Küsters ... Bodyguard
El Hedi ben Salem ... Bodyguard (as Elhedi Ben Salem)
Karl Scheydt ... Inspector Stuhlfahrt
Solange Pradel ... Singer
Bruce Low ... Doctor
Elma Karlowa ... Keeper of Cafeteria
Maryse Dellanoy ... Waitress at cafe (as Maryse Dellannoy)
Werner Schroeter ... Party guest
Magdalena Montezuma ... Party guest

Christine Kaufmann ... Party guest
Rainer Langhans ... Rainer, waiter at party (as Rainer Langhanns)
Corinna Brocher ... Employee
Dora Karras-Frank ... Victim of assault on Stiller
Katrin Schaake ... Computer lab assistant
Peter Gauhe ... Informer
Christiane Maybach ... Lady at the bar
Walter Sedlmayr ... Janitor

Eddie Constantine ... Man in Rolls Royce

Rudolf Waldemar Brem ... Hospital orderly
Peter Kern ... Hospital orderly
Karsten Peters ... Guide at newspaper editors
Peter Moland ... Employee
Doris Mattes ... Employee
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Wolfgang Hess ... Bodyguard / Man in Rolls Royce (voice) (uncredited)
Arnold Marquis ... Günther Lause (voice) (uncredited)

Directed by
Rainer Werner Fassbinder 
Writing credits
Daniel F. Galouye (novel "Simulacron-3")

Fritz Müller-Scherz (teleplay) and
Rainer Werner Fassbinder (teleplay)

Produced by
Peter Märthesheimer .... producer
Alexander Wesemann .... producer
Original Music by
Gottfried Hüngsberg 
Cinematography by
Michael Ballhaus 
Ulrich Prinz 
Film Editing by
Ursula Elles 
Marie Anne Gerhardt 
Production Design by
Horst Giese 
Walter Koch 
Kurt Raab 
Costume Design by
Gabriele Pillon 
Makeup Department
Norbert Gerwin .... makeup artist
Rosemarie Schönartz .... makeup artist
Production Management
Fred Ilgner .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Renate Leiffer .... assistant director
Fritz Müller-Scherz .... assistant director
Sound Department
Hans Pampuch .... sound
Ernst Thomas .... sound
Camera and Electrical Department
Winfried Staschau .... video technician
Other crew
Hans D. Adenacker .... location manager
Marcel Mossotti .... location manager
Wolfgang von der Ruhr .... location manager (as Wolfgang v. d. Ruhr)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Welt am Draht" - West Germany (original title)
See more »
205 min (2 parts) | USA:212 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Premiered on West German television as a two-part mini-series in 1973. The film was not seen again until sometime after 2000, when a single digital version began showing up on the Internet and was passed around by Fassbinder fans through file sharing communities.See more »
Crew or equipment visible: When Stiller drops Eva off at her home and then goes in after her after a change of heart he goes into the living room looking for her, then he runs into the swimming pool area. As the camera pans to follow him around the pool you see the reflection of a camera man in the glass at the middle right of the screen.See more »
Movie Connections:
Version of The Thirteenth Floor (1999)See more »
TroubleSee more »


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6 out of 10 people found the following review useful.
Artificial reality movie with a different focus, 28 June 2009
Author: Perception_de_Ambiguity from The Divided States of Earth

The SF premise isn't unique (although it pretty much was back then), but the focus is a completely different one than in other artificial reality films. Especially during the first part it is an elaborate crime picture, that uses the SF premise to tell an unusual crime story in which the forced detective tries to solve a mystery with the obstacle of vanishing characters and unhelpful witnesses who don't have to lie to be unhelpful. Instead of an unreliable narrator we have an unreliable world.

In part two we follow the main character's struggle for sanity and it turns more into a psychological examination of a character in an extreme situation. He knows his very existence is nothing more than electrical impulses, how does he deal with this knowledge? He knows that there is a world that is more real than his, but he is trapped in an artificial world, a world where nobody can understand him. The problem of thinking of knowing something essential about the world that nobody else knows or wants to believe is a very real one that many of us can identify with. For me the film transports this hopelessness very well, with its dreary, artificial atmosphere which also supports the factual artificiality of the film's world.

Other than 'The Matrix' or 'The Thirteenth Floor' it's little concerned with evoking a sense of awe for its artificial reality plot, instead it very much focuses on the psychological aspects. Philosophy is only in so far interesting in that certain philosophical concepts are essential in how they shape and alter the character's perception of the world.

Arguably it is longer than it has to be (which isn't a problem if you are as captivated by it as I was) and part 2 runs pretty low on steam.

Was the above review useful to you?
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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for World on a Wire (1973)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
One has to watch the whole movie to understand ... udippel
Strange scene where woman is crushed by bricks... Trophyboy
The little boy in rags MelancholyPonyAndTheCircusBoy
Multiple meanings of the title stevenrjohnson
background music? roedyg
Has anyone seen another version of this? anikor
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