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The Hamburg Syndrome (1979)
"Die Hamburger Krankheit" (original title)

 |  Sci-Fi  |  12 March 1980 (France)
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 171 users  
Reviews: 1 user | 8 critic

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Credited cast:
Helmut Griem ...
Carline Seiser ...
Tilo Prückner ...
Ulrich Wildgruber ...
Rainer Langhans ...
Leopold Hainisch ...
Professor Placek
Romy Haag ...
Evelyn Künneke ...
Peter von Zahn ...
Dr. Hamm
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Juliana Amici
Andreas Beuermann
Renate Bochow
Werner Cartano


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Release Date:

12 March 1980 (France)  »

Also Known As:

El virus de Hamburgo  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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User Reviews

Cross section of a nation
14 June 2013 | by (Newfoundland) – See all my reviews

Because there is no other comment so far I feel obliged to write a few words, the movie being the one that taught me my first lessons about film making. I was so favorite to be on the set of the 'exodus' scene – the producers were looking for some extras and the info that there is an audition for a movie reached us kids on cb radio. We were hired on the spot and spent two days on an unfinished part of the Autobahn in Lower Saxony playing the 'sausage sellers' for the Heribert character, portrayed by the famous Ulrich Wildgruber. He was the one we found most impressive and he filled the term 'stage presence' with a meaning. He was also looking out for us kids and made sure we got enough to drink and to eat on these very hot summer days. It was actually so hot that the guys in the ABC suits had their rubber boots filled with liters of sweat; the production company noticed this and doubled their pay. The ambulances you see in the movie are real ones; they caused a halt of the shooting when a serious car crash happened on a public road nearby. Lives were saved because the ambulances were at the scene of the crash within minutes and could take care of the 6 severely injured people. Helmut Griem didn't seem to be in a good mood; he complained about his digestion and was farting loudly between the takes, but just like all the other actors he showed that he was a true professional as soon as the arriflex was running. As so often in movies most of the scenes shot on these days fell victim to the cut, probably to keep the pace of the getaway theme. The movie offers no explanation for the disease nor does it have a straight end; I can imagine the writers were looking for metaphors representing the insecurity and hopelessness felt in Germany at that time, a country stacked with nuclear weapons and struggling for direction. The journey in the movie, from the north to the very south of the country, could be seen as a cross section of a nation with even the idyllic places in the mountains offering no refuge for the free spirit of the arts. All in all there is a mysterious quality to the movie, underlined by the spacey electronic music by Jean Michel Jarre. I recommend this movie because I think it gives a good impression of the time quality and shows the work of several great actors who are not with us any more.

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