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The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum (1975)
"Die verlorene Ehre der Katharina Blum" (original title)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  10 October 1975 (West Germany)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 2,618 users  
Reviews: 19 user | 24 critic

A young woman's life is scrutinized by police and tabloid press after she spends the night with a suspected terrorist.

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum (1975)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Mario Adorf ...
Kommissar Beizmenne
...
Werner Tötges
...
Ludwig Götten
Heinz Bennent ...
Dr. Hubert Blorna
Hannelore Hoger ...
Trude Blorna
Rolf Becker ...
Staatsanwalt Hach
Harald Kuhlmann ...
Moeding
Herbert Fux ...
Weninger
Regine Lutz ...
Else Woltersheim
Werner Eichhorn ...
Konrad Beiters
Karl Heinz Vosgerau ...
Alois Sträubleder
Angelika Hillebrecht ...
Frau Pletzer
Horatius Häberle ...
Staatsanwalt Dr. Korten (as Horatius Haeberle)
Henry van Lyck ...
'Scheich' Karl
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Storyline

Katharina Blum is a young handsome German maid. She meets Ludwig, and they fall in love at once. They spend the night together. In the morning, the police bursts in her flat, looking for Ludwig : he is a terrorist. But he was no longer here. Katharina is arrested, humiliated, suspected to be a terrorist herself, dragged in the mud by the newspapers... A plea for democracy and individual rights. Written by Yepok

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 October 1975 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum  »

Box Office

Gross:

SEK 1,513,433 (Sweden)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

Katharina's car has two different license plates. See more »

Quotes

Lüding, Verleger: The shots that killed Werner Tötges didn't hit him alone. They were aimed at Freedom of the Press, one of the most precious values of our young Democracy. And these shots - for us who stand here in grief and horror - they strike us. Just as they struck him. Who doesn't feel the wound? Who doesn't feel the sorrow above and beyond one's personal concerns? Who doesn't feel the breath of terror, the savage of anarchy, the violence which is undermining the foundations of our liberal-democratic order...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The legal disclaimer reads as follows: 'Personen und Handlung sind frei erfunden. Sollten sich bei der Schilderung gewisser journalistischer Praktiken Aehnlichkeiten mit den Praktiken der BILD-Zeitung ergeben haben, so sind diese Aehnlichkeiten weder beabsichtigt noch zufaellig, sondern unvermeidlich.' (Characters and plot are purely fictitious. Similarities with journalistic practices of the newspaper "BILD" are neither intended nor coincidental, but inevitable.) This is a direct quote from the introduction to the original novel by Heinrich Böll. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Romy (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A bit longer, and there's a masterpiece.
20 January 2014 | by (Turkey) – See all my reviews

The work of V. Schlöndorff and M. von Trotta deserves high praises, especially because of their ability to overcome the certain difficulties confronted whilst adapting a work of literature into a cinematic piece, or: from one branch of art (in)to another. To give a small example, Heinrich Böll's book adopts a first-person-plural-view/narration whereas the film refrains from this approach; the essence of a documentary such an approach provides, however, can be grasped instantaneously in the film, too.

Being successful on most aspects, The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum suffers from its shortness. 106 mins. have been cleverly used by the directors, mostly by delivering the spectators what ought to be delivered essentially, but they fail in providing the links and some necessary depths to the characters and/or relations. An additional 15 minutes could have helped the directors to grave both their and the film's name deeper and in larger fonts.

I, for one, found the most fascinating part of the film to be shot in 1975: a year in which Ulrike M. Meinhof, Andreas Baader, Gudrun Ensslin, and Jan-Carl Raspe still lives; Holger Meins recently died of hunger(!); the West Germany is yet to experience what they term as The German Autumn by the 2nd generation RAF; the 1st gen. RAF members (leading members above) have not been tried yet by the time the book was published (maybe even by the time the film screened); the West Germany Police getting increasingly armed and offensive, and so on. Among all these, we witness the "system" founding and feeding itself -- as a matter of fact, nothing but its own self. The police, the officials, still prevalent pro-Nazism, and still-in-power former Nazis, the media, the social status, abuse, and oppression of the women... With the system ruling, firmly administering, and when necessary, fabricating all these tools, factors, manipulating the people, the viewer gains an insight into the closed loop that the person is trapped in. Seemingly, there is not a(n easy) way out; the ones leading to a hazy light turn out to be dead-ends. And here, the viewer begins to understand what the title really means, and how subtly it is the (condensed) narrative (of) itself.

These elements, pertaining to a "tightly-screwed" state system, all exist in the film but require a keen eye to catch them, let alone pondering on, given the length of the film. Despite its shortness, I believe that the adequate use of dialogues (even though sometimes they sound like irrelevant) and inconstant voices of characters, minute attention to decorations every here and there, Angela Winkler close-ups and her mimics, ... will convince the spectators that the directors pulled a good job, having come up with a worthy work.


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