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Three Men in the Snow (1974)
"Drei Männer im Schnee" (original title)

 -  Comedy  -  13 March 1974 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 24 users  
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Klaus Schwarzkopf ...
Otto Tobler
Roberto Blanco ...
Thomas Fritsch ...
Boris Dorfmeister
Susanne Beck ...
Susanne Tobler
Grit Boettcher ...
Frau Casparius
Lina Carstens ...
Frau Tobler
Elisabeth Volkmann ...
Frau Mallebré
Herbert Fleischmann ...
Ingrid Steeger ...
Gundula von Wolzogen
Fritz Tillmann ...
Gisela Uhlen ...
Frau von Wolzogen
Klaus Grünberg ...
Franz Muxeneder ...
Rainer Basedow ...
Dieter Augustin ...


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13 March 1974 (USA)  »

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Three Men in the Snow  »

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Version of Three Men in the Snow (1955) See more »

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Unnecessary and dated version of Kästner's novel
6 November 2002 | by (Canterbury, England) – See all my reviews

This third movie version of Kästner's delightful novel is a bit of an embarrassment. Filming it as a contemporary piece in 1974 (rather than going back to the 1930s and making it as a period film) was an understandable but problematic decision by the film makers. The 1955 version did not have such a problem, the required adaptations were then rather minor.

But society had moved on since then in Germany and in particular the life style of the rich and the poor and the tensions between them had undergone a complete upheaval; and some of these tensions are very much at heart of Kästner's novel. Thus to place the story in 1974 some changes to story lines and characters were needed. For example, the pennyless and unemployed academic Dr. Hagedorn (the romantic lead) would not ring true in 1974 and was consequently replaced with car mechanic Boris Dorfmeister; this was one of the less contentious changes, although I would not have chosen a blue collar profession for him. More problematic than Boris was the creation of the character of Titus, a completely failed attempt to replace the Kesselhut character (a butler) with something really modern; it was doomed to fail because the character Titus replaces is meant to be old-fashioned and living in the past, and Titus is the complete opposite - removing that aspect from the story leaves the relationship between the three men of the title unbalanced.

In the final result, all the elements that were designed to be hip in 1974 (like the collection of pinball machines) stick out like sore thumbs now, and make this film look much more dated than the 1955 version.

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