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Kings of the Road (1976)

Im Lauf der Zeit (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | January 1977 (USA)
A traveling projection-equipment mechanic works in Western Germany along the East-German border, visiting worn-out theatres. He meets with a depressed young man whose marriage has just broken up, and the two decide to travel together.




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3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Pauline, cashier
Robert's Father
Marquard Bohm ...
Man Who Lost His Wife
Hans Dieter Trayer ...
Paul, garage owner (as Dieter Traier)
Franziska Stömmer ...
Cinema owner
Patric Kreuzer ...
Little boy
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Spectator at Pauline's Theater


Near the Eastern borders with the West Germany, Bruno, a solitary permanent citizen of the road and film projection equipment repairman, witnesses the sad sight of a VW beetle car storming straight into the River Elbe. However, after a while, the depressed driver, Robert, will instinctively accept an offer for a lift in Bruno's repair van, and just like that, an impromptu relationship will begin in the background of the gloomy German countryside, visiting dilapidated movie theatres for maintenance, one small town after another. No one really knows how long is the road that stretches out ahead of them, after all, the only thing that matters is one's commitment to a precious ideal. Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The End of Cinema... the Beginning of Life! See more »




Not Rated | See all certifications »





Release Date:

January 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kings of the Road  »


Box Office


DEM 680,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


According to Wim Wenders many visual motives in the movie are inspired by the photographies of Walker Evans. Wenders also showed DOP Robby Müller photos by Evans before the filming began. See more »


The VW beetle driven into the Elbe river is not visible anymore when Robert reaches the waterside. Later after Bruno hands over an espresso to Robert, the beetle is shown as finally sinking. See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits provide the aspect ratio and other technical specifications of the film to come. See more »


References Bottoms Up (1974) See more »


Nine Feet Over the Tarmac
Music by Axel Linstädt
Lyrics by Bernd Linstädt
Performed by Improved Sound Limited
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User Reviews

1:666; everything must change
15 November 2003 | by See all my reviews

A German road movie...if you can call it that, since it plays on a high artistic and intellectual level. Very natural and humane, and above all, beautiful. It's a reflection of life, with substance, a good script and a great sense humor. It might primary be a story about friendship and lost childhood, but it's also about time. Everything must change, nothing can be as it is forever.

The cinematographer and/or camera man have obviously done a more or less perfect work with every scene in the film. Every frame is built on the golden section. I loved it. The black and white photo are also astonishing beautiful in some scenes.

An enjoyable trip through Germany, delightful for the mind as well as for the eyes. Not for the mainstream movie-goer though.


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