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
Steven Soderbergh, wishing to shoot this film the old Hollywood way, banned the use of sophisticated zoom lenses used by today's cinematographers, returning to the fixed focal-length lenses used in the past. Furthermore, only incandescent lights were used which provided harsh, unnatural lighting. There were also no wireless body microphones, which would allow the faintest whispers to be heard, on set. Sound was recorded the old-fashioned way, with a hand-operated boom mike held above the actors head, which consequently forced the actors to speak in loud, crisp English. See more »
Jeeps from WW2 were all manual transmission with a long gearshift lever. Tulley is seen driving a Jeep more than once after he has his right arm broken. That would have been impossible to do. See more »
They want me to decide who the ardent Nazis were. Truth is, it was the whole country. Nobody's hands are clean.
See more »
All the logos appear in black and white, while the Warner Brothers logo appears in the forties old style See more »
I thought The Good German was a terrific, thought-provoking, movie, an unsentimental view of what it costs to survive war, for nations and individuals. The cast is excellent: George Clooney is the solid American we know from old movies: not glamorous, not necessarily heroic, but good; Tobey Maguire turns the boy soldier cliché upside down. Cate Blanchett is delicate and beautiful, but colder than ice.
Reporter Clooney comes to Berlin just as the war ends to work, and to find former lover Blanchett. Covering the Potsdam Conference, he uncovers a murder, and the fierce post-war battles between Russia and the U.S. to win Germany's scientists. The movie is filled with people willing to betray any good inclination for their causes, which range from enhanced military strength to a better life away from war-ravaged Germany. What's the price for Clooney's reporter, and is it worth the cost?
I don't see how any thinking person can't find resonance in today's headlines!
130 of 190 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?