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The Einstein of Sex (1999)
"Der Einstein des Sex" (original title)

Unrated  |   |  Biography, Drama, History  |  16 March 2000 (Germany)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 385 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 11 critic

The life story of Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld, a German Jew, who as a physician established the field of sexology, and fought militantly against German anti-sodomy laws in the late 19th century. ... See full summary »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Friedel von Wangenheim ...
Dr. M. Hirschfeld
Adolf Brand
Wolfgang Völz ...
Professor Steinach
Meret Becker ...
Monika Hansen ...
Gerd Lukas Storzer ...
Baron von Teschenberg
Olaf Drauschke ...
Karl Giese
Gerry Wolff ...
Magnus Hirschfelds Onkel
Christa Pasemann ...
Tante Gesche
Peter Ehrlich ...
Andreas Niederau-Kaiser ...
Angelika Mann ...
Sven Gerhardt ...
Preussischer Offizier
Kai Schumann ...
Magnus Hirschfeld (young)


The life story of Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld, a German Jew, who as a physician established the field of sexology, and fought militantly against German anti-sodomy laws in the late 19th century. The script reveals main characters in Hirschfeld's life including impossible love interest Baron von Teschenberg, and Hirschfeld's aids- young Karl Giese and guardian angel, the transvestite Dorchen, as they establish the First Institute of Sexual Sciences in Berlin in 1920, and follows their struggles to keep it open, up to the rise of the Third Reich in the mid 1930s. Written by Gonz30

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Discover the Theory of Sexuality...Relatively Speaking.


Unrated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

16 March 2000 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

The Einstein of Sex  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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User Reviews

Stiff, pedantic, and very poorly executed
23 March 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Earlier reviewers loved this movie, and if you like what their reviews said about it you'll hate mine.

This movie reminded me of the short educational films they used to show us in primary school in the 1950s, in which the topic was dramatized barely well enough that children could understand it, but not well enough that any adult would want to watch it.

The one I remember most clearly said, in effect, that you'll get tuberculosis if you kiss your grandmother on the lips. I remember that one probably because my grandmother (the only person who loved me) dropped dead (of a stroke, not TB) two weeks after my eighth birthday, and the pain and loss were so great that I'd gladly have joined her.

This movie has the same simplistic, pedantic, preachy tone as those films, and even lower production values. The acting was better in the granny-may-have-TB film. Rosa von Praunheim seems to care about the message only, not about any other aspect of movie-making (like entertainment).

Halfway through the movie, the actor playing Hirschfeld abruptly changes, from hunky Kai Schumann (listed far down in the credits, and not even mentioned on Amazon and other sales or rental sites, even though he dominates the first half of the movie and it's him on the cover) to doughy Friedel von Wangenheim, with this voice-over during the scene change: "My craving for sweets had certain effects on my appearance." That may be either an attempt at humor or a plea to ignore the startling actor switch.

I suspect that Schumann (who has gone on to a fairly successful acting career) cut and ran mid-filming when something better came along. Why else doesn't he share top billing with von Wangenheim? Each played Hirschfeld for half of the movie, and Schumann makes a far stronger impression.

Anyway, if for some reason you want to know about Magnus Hirschfeld and can't be bothered to read, then you may appreciate this move. I had known about it for years before I finally got so desperate for something new to watch that I broke down and rented it. The stupid title and the extraordinarily unappealing black-and-orange cover put me off, and I can't say I'm sorry. I'd be just fine if I'd never seen it.

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