Up 822 this week

Coming Out (I) (1989)

Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.9/10 from 1,020 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 7 critic

Reportedly the first film to come out of East Germany to deal openly with gay issues. Philipp, a closeted teacher is dating a female collegue to keep up appearances. One night, by 'accident... See full summary »



(dramatisation), (scenario)
0Check in

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 21 titles
created 01 Aug 2011
a list of 36 titles
created 11 Feb 2012
a list of 40 titles
created 25 May 2012
a list of 41 titles
created 26 Oct 2012
a list of 38 titles
created 10 months ago

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Coming Out (1989)

Coming Out (1989) on IMDb 6.9/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Coming Out.
4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »


Cast overview, first billed only:
Matthias Freihof ...
Philipp Klarmann
Dagmar Manzel ...
Dirk Kummer ...
Michael Gwisdek ...
Werner Dissel ...
Älterer Homosexueller
Gudrun Ritter ...
Frau Moellemann, Serviererin
Walfriede Schmitt ...
Philipp's mother
Axel Wandtke ...
Pierre Sanoussi-Bliss ...
Araber (as Pierre Bliss)
René Schmidt ...
Junger Mann im Park
Thomas Gumpert ...
Ursula Staack ...
Robert Hummel ...
Horst Ziethen ...
Gertraud Kreissig ...


Reportedly the first film to come out of East Germany to deal openly with gay issues. Philipp, a closeted teacher is dating a female collegue to keep up appearances. One night, by 'accident' he stumbles into a gay bar, meets and promptly falls in love with a young man. Transformed by this love he is no longer afraid to face up to who he is. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

gay | love | teacher | gay bar | cover up | See more »


Drama | Romance


Unrated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

10 November 1989 (East Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Coming Out  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The first East German film on homosexuality, it was shot on location in several gay bars and cruising areas in East Berlin. See more »


Edited into Der nackte Osten - Erotik zwischen oben und unten (1994) See more »


Gold in deinen Augen
Performed by Frank Schöbel
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

From a totally different angle
30 December 2001 | by (Edmonton, Alberta) – See all my reviews

This movie is a wonderful story and an artifact both cultural and historical. It takes us across the Berlin Wall in the last year of the German Democratic Republic. In the background we hear avant garde electronic music, and when the characters go to the theatre, we see a modern fanciful production. It is a reminder of German modernism in the arts, something that one rarely sees on the screen.

The students in Phillip's (the protagonist's) high school class write their essays about a quote from Bertolt Brecht. This quote, about a common man in his own community, goes a long way to explaining the apparent lack of an ending. I confess that I found the ending a bit odd until I watched the movie a second time. The protagonist is not going to live a Hollywood 'happy ending'. He is going to live in the back streets that are gay East Berlin. He will not have the easy life he adopts at the beginning of the movie, and he is going to continue being a high school teacher. Phillip is not going to allow the East German state, his profession, his family or his girl friend to supress his own self. He is living on a tight wire, but he is an ordinary citizen of a socialist state.

The non-capitalist industrial society that serves as the backdrop for this coming of age story is no more. It is refreshing to see a movie without product placements and the crass commercialism. Coming Out is a flash back to a society where gays were repressed but lived out their lives in spite of society. If you think Bush's America is repressive, imagine living in a police state like East Germany with the Berlin wall. This fact gives Phillip's coming out such significance. His dilemma makes modern American gay life seem comparatively carefree. We take so much for granted.

The director is obviously accomplished. The budget is adequate so we are spared the technical problems of gay cinema on a shoe string. The acting and dialog are convincing . The German is exceptionally crisp and clear, allowing someone with a first year college course in German to catch subtleties that are not captioned. The cinematography is good and moves the plot forward.

This film was erotic without being pornographic. It was far more realistic than Maurice for example. It touched me in a way that coming out films rarely do. It reminded me of the first time I went to a gay bar in a small city, all quite self-conscious and anxious and awed. More importantly, it reminded me of what I wanted to find there.

19 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
I don't understand the ending davidgclare
happy ending? blue-lagoon
Soundtrack? punkkid917
Need to know,please Rosereds
Discuss Coming Out (1989) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: