Several known criminals already have been murdered by a professional killer, leaving no trace but the "ace" game card. The police suspects a new mob is trying to take over the district. The... See full summary »




Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Dirty Tricks (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

A Harvard University student finds a strange letter that seems to be signed by George Washington. When trying to contact an expert (Prof. Chandler) to authenticate it, he is murdered but ... See full summary »

Director: Alvin Rakoff
Stars: Elliott Gould, Kate Jackson, Rich Little
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  
Director: Damiano Damiani
Stars: Tahnee Welch, Remo Girone, Eva Grimaldi
Inside Out (1986)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An agoraphobic must give up his sheltered life and venture outside after a series of personal and financial problems.

Director: Robert Taicher
Stars: Elliott Gould, Howard Hesseman, Jennifer Tilly
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Comedy about how New Yorkers are coping with pervasive urban violence, obscene phone calls, rusty water pipes, electrical blackouts, paranoia and ethnic-racial conflict during a typical summer of the 1970s.

Director: Alan Arkin
Stars: Elliott Gould, Marcia Rodd, Vincent Gardenia
Drama | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A timid bank teller anticipates a bank robbery and steals the money himself before the crook arrives. When the sadistic crook realizes he's been fooled, he tracks down the teller and engages him in a cat-and-mouse chase for the cash.

Director: Daryl Duke
Stars: Elliott Gould, Christopher Plummer, Susannah York
E/R (1984–1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Dr. Sheinfeld, freshly divorced, becomes a physician on call at the emergency room of a Chicago hospital, where he soon locks horns with the vivacious Dr. Eve Sheridan and attracts the ... See full summary »

Stars: Elliott Gould, Conchata Ferrell, Lynne Moody
Poker Night I (2014)
Action | Crime | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

When you become a detective in Warsaw Indiana - you go to Poker Night, where you play against some of the best cops in the business. They tell you stories about their time on the job - ... See full summary »

Director: Greg Francis
Stars: Beau Mirchoff, Ron Perlman, Giancarlo Esposito
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

New York police officer Ralph Sarchie investigates a series of crimes. He joins forces with an unconventional priest, schooled in the rites of exorcism, to combat the possessions that are terrorizing their city.

Director: Scott Derrickson
Stars: Eric Bana, Edgar Ramírez, Olivia Munn
Tramps (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Friendship develops between an aging, former railroad worker living in an abandoned theater and Willie, the wayward, alcoholic architect he shelters (Elliot Gould).

Director: Peter Patzak
Stars: Elliott Gould, Heinz Moog, Andrea Jonasson


Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Maffay ...
Jan Bogdan
Daniela Santini
Bernard Freyd ...
Mario Santini
Massimo Ghini ...
Toni Blach
Karl Merkatz ...
Josef Blach
Elke Krings ...
Theresa Blach
Serge Gart
Joachim Dietmar Mues ...
Salz (as Joachim D. Mues)
Marquard Bohm ...
András Gönczöl ...
Werner Pochath ...
Monica Bleibtreu ...
Cilly (as Monika Bleibtreu)
Uwe Hacker ...
Klaus Bueb ...
Klaus Stiglmeier ...
1. Zuhälter


Several known criminals already have been murdered by a professional killer, leaving no trace but the "ace" game card. The police suspects a new mob is trying to take over the district. The investigating police officer Jan is victimized by a bomb himself, when he's at his girlfriend Daniela's father's Italian restaurant. Although paralyzed and suspended from work, the tuff cop continues to investigate and takes revenge on the gangsters who did this to him. Written by Tom Zoerner <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Thriller | Crime | Drama


See all certifications »




| |

Release Date:

15 October 1987 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Lethal Obsession  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Burning Bridges
Performed by Tony Carey
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Double-whammy with extra ham and cheese; a guilty pleasure of its time.
22 February 2016 | by (Germany) – See all my reviews

To make a simple story short: the city of Hamburg is plagued by organized crime. There seems to be a looming turf war between rivaling mob fractions and tough-as-nails cop Jan Bogdan (Peter Maffay), together with his partner and best friend Tony (Massimo Ghini), who is having an affair with his girlfriend Daniela (Tahnee Welch), is investigating. Of course this soon makes him a target and Bogdan loses both his ability to walk and his police license in a bomb-attack. Sitting in a wheelchair, Bogdan is still tough-as-nails and seeks revenge on his own – seemingly aided by the mysterious assassin Dr. Proper (Michael York), whereby the word "seemingly" plays a huge role in the world of crime.

I'd go as far as to call "Der Joker" a paradox of its own making: First, let's talk about the good things: the supporting cast is altogether great. Albeit all just having minor roles, actors like Armin Müller-Stahl, Michael York (a highlight in this film), Elliot Gould, Monika Bleibtreu or Karl Merkatz (beloved by Austrian viewers as "Mundl") all rattle their stuff down as professionally as is required. The soundtrack, yes, it is cheesier than a Swiss fondue (produced by ex-Rainbow keyboard-player Tony Carey and Maffay himself), but at the same time catches the 'vibe' of the 80's, stuck solidly in Soft-Rock-ballads and tons of hairspray.

Maffay is of course the center-figure of the whole film. The Romanian born musician is best known for composing schmaltzy Pop-songs and his social-engagement regarding children during the 80s and 90s. Maffay may be many things, but an actor he is not. The opposite is true. It's almost painful to see him try to mimic and pose through the film, almost like watching a toddler trying to crawl across a busy highway. If you want to sum up Maffays facial expression in one word, the first word that comes to mind is "congested" and seeing him try to press out his dialog raises no other sentiment than that of "Schadenfreude". Yet, Maffay stoically struts through his stuff, as if trying to emulate Sylvester Stallone in his early roles (which naturally fails as well), presumably while his more professional co-stars were trying to suppress hysterical gigging. Raquel Welch-daughter Tahnee doesn't fare much better: she may have inherited the looks of her mother, but literally none of her acting-skills.

Patzak, a veteran of Austro-German TV, is doing a job as competent as you'd expect from the director. He'll forever be known as director of the Austrian cult-series "Kottan ermittelt", an anarchistic parody of German TV-crime-series. However, Patzak himself never seems quite sure, whether he wanted to produce an action-filled US-flick a la Stallone's "Nighthawks", an equally action-filled variation of the Schimanski "Tatort" TV-films or a tribute to the Italian Poliziotteschi–genre. There are strong elements of all three genres, which may not be the most imaginative, but makes "Der Joker" great fun nevertheless – if you're into those movies, that is. Needless to say that "Der Joker", despite all his flaws (or perhaps because of them?), has his cult-following and is on his own ground rather recommendable. Whether you're looking for a down-to-earth crime-thriller or a performance that goes back from bad to simply hilarious. 6/10

0 of 0 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Der Joker (1987) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: