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The Deathmaker (1995)
"Der Totmacher" (original title)

 -  Crime | Drama  -  23 November 1995 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 1,475 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 11 critic

Fritz Haarmann, who has killed at least 27 boys, is questioned by a psychology professor in order to find out whether he is sane and can be held responsible for his crimes. During this ... See full summary »

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Title: The Deathmaker (1995)

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7 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Götz George ...
Jürgen Hentsch ...
Prof. Dr. Ernst Schultze
Pierre Franckh ...
Stenograph
Hans-Michael Rehberg ...
Kommissar Rätz
Matthias Fuchs ...
Dr. Machnik
Marek Harloff ...
Fürsorgezögling Kress
Christian Honhold ...
Wärter Schweimler
Rainer Feisthorn ...
Arzt
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Storyline

Fritz Haarmann, who has killed at least 27 boys, is questioned by a psychology professor in order to find out whether he is sane and can be held responsible for his crimes. During this interrogation Haarmann reveals his motives and his killing methods. Written by Robert Zeithammel

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

23 November 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Deathmaker  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Fritz Haarmann: The boys always asked me, "Fritz, what to you put in there?"
[opens the window, walks up close to the doctor]
Fritz Haarmann: And then I always said, "I'm feeding your FISHES!", that's the way I said it.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Auge in Auge - Eine deutsche Filmgeschichte (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Ich hatte einen Kameraden
Franz Baumann and Orchestra
Lyrics by Ludwig Uhland
Music by Friedrich Silcher
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User Reviews

 
The story of mass murderer Fritz Haarmann, brilliantly told.
14 September 2004 | by See all my reviews

The historical crime case is as frightening as true: In the early 1920s, Fritz Haarmann, who would later be known as "the butcher of Hannover", killed up to thirty boys and young men during intercourse, and he sold their meat and clothes after dismembering their bodies. Following his apprehension in Hannover in 1924, Haarmann was examined by a psychiatrist in Göttingen, and this is where "Der Totmacher" comes into play.

Mainly based on dialog taken from the original files of the Haarmann examination in Göttingen, "Der Totmacher" is a first-class film for demanding viewers. This movie is centered around the two main characters: a mass murderer and his psychiatrist. Even though a third person, the stenographer, is always there with them, and a few other people appear now and then, Haarmann and Dr Erwin Schulze go head-to-head throughout the film.

Exclusively situated in one room, "Der Totmacher" presents much dialog and no action, which is why it probably does not appeal to the masses, but those who enjoyed the immortal "Twelve Angry Men" or the court scenes in "To kill a mockingbird" and "JFK" should find watching the Haarmann story worth while.

This movie, which by the way was nominated for an Academy Award and won a couple of other awards, excels not only in dialog but also in acting. Jürgen Hentsch, as the psychiatrist, does a supreme job for which he is often uncredited; the lone reason being that Götz George's personification of Fritz Haarmann is world class. Period. Throughout the movie, Hentsch and George create a unique atmosphere and prove once and for all that talking about murder can impress the audience more than the visualization thereof. George, a son of a German actor himself, is arguably Germany's finest actor of all time, and those who have seen him as Haarmann might agree with this judgment.

I have decided to give this movie a 9, and I rarely hand out 10s. By my own perception, in the special category of a documentary drama, "Der Totmacher" is unrivaled to this day in its intense and shocking nature. A masterpiece.


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