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The Good German (2006)

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While in post-war Berlin to cover the Potsdam Conference, an American military journalist is drawn into a murder investigation which involves his former mistress and his driver.



(screenplay), (novel)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
General Sikorsky
British Press Aide


Berlin, July, 1945. Journalist Jake Geismer arrives to cover the Potsdam conference, issued a captain's uniform for easier passage. He also wants to find Lena, an old flame who's now a prostitute desperate to get out of Berlin. He discovers that the driver he's assigned, a cheerful down-home sadist named Corporal Tully, is Lena's keeper. When the body of a murdered man washes up in Potsdam (within the Russian sector), Jake may be the only person who wants to solve the crime: U.S. personnel are busy finding Nazis to bring to trial, the Russians and the Americans are looking for German rocket scientists, and Lena has her own secrets. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Not Everyone Finds Peace After The War See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, violence and some sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





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Release Date:

19 January 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El buen alemán  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$32,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$76,817 (USA) (15 December 2006)


$1,304,837 (USA) (6 April 2007)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


So that the film could be in the 1.66:1 aspect ratio, which modern theaters are not equipped to handle, the prints are in 1.85:1, with black bars on the sides. See more »


Upon Geismer's first visit to her apartment, Lena lights the stove and begins heating a kettle. Shortly, she announces she is going to bed, leaving the kettle over the stove's flame (as well as a lit candle on the table). See more »


Patrick Tully: [threatening a Jewish double amputee] Don't you jew me over the price!
See more »

Crazy Credits

All the logos appear in black and white, while the Warner Brothers logo appears in the forties old style See more »


References The Third Man (1949) See more »


Somebody Else Is Taking My Place
Written by Bob Ellsworth, Dick Howard and Russ Morgan
Performed by William Marsh, Chris Ross, Johnny Britt and Gary Stockdale
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The Black And White German
4 March 2007 | by (Italy) – See all my reviews

I was so aware of the attempted style of the film that I could hardly concentrate on anything else. The look, oh, the look. Clooney and Blanchet - Bergman, Bogart, shadows and fog. Pity. It could have been a tense war time thriller - Who is he? Where is he? What is it about? I was always mesmerized by questions like that on films that "The Good German" seems to want to emulate. Sodebergh is one my most recent favorites and one of the main reasons is because he is unafraid of taking chances. The question is, what are the chances taken for? I get more "Bubble" - sort of - than "The Good German" Blanchet is great to watch, she's Hildegarde Kneff and/or a lip-full Gloria Grahame but other than admire her right there on the screen I wasn't permitted to feel anything. George Clooney is just as solid in black and white as he is in color and Tobey McGuire - well, the best I can say is that his contribution is brief. What I took with me as the most valuable aspect of this experiment is/was Thomas Newman's classically colorful score.

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Cate's German? aps17
Who is the good german in this move? tneagle
Why was Emile Brandt killed. As a rocket scientist he was valuable alive teddyballgame
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Plot holes - Emil Brandt filippobardazzi
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