6.6/10
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3 user 5 critic

Berlin - Ecke Schönhauser (1957)

The story of a group of rebellious teens in East Berlin.

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(dramatisation), (scenario) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Harry Engel ... Karl-Heinz Erdmann
Siegfried Weiß ... Fritz Erdmann
Ingeborg Beeske ... Frau Erdmann
Ekkehard Schall ... Dieter
Ilse Pagé ... Angela
Helga Göring ... Angelas Mutter
Erika Dunkelmann ... Kohles Mutter
Maximilian Larsen ... Kohles Stiefvater
Ernst-Georg Schwill ... Kohle
Manfred Borges ... Bruder von Dieter
Raimund Schelcher ... VP-Kommissar
Hartmut Reck ... FDJler
Adi Tischmeier ... FDJ-Sekretärin
Albert Zahn ... Arbeiter
Dorothea Thiesing ... Dieters Zimmerwirtin
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Storyline

The corner Schönhauser Allee in East Berlin is the main meeting-point for a group of adolescents. Dieter is a construction worker who falls in love with Angela. She, in turn, spends time with the clique whenever her mother is occupied with her new lover. "Kohle" stays away from home to avoid his dad's alcohol problem, and Karl-Heinz is on his way to becoming a small-time criminal. Due to their interest in western music and culture they are regarded as no-goods and rowdies. Things get interesting when an incident forces Dieter and "Kohle" to escape to West Germany. Written by c.winter

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Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

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Release Date:

30 August 1957 (East Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Berlin-Schönhauser Corner  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ilse Pagè was granted her first role in this film (as Angela) despite being from West-Berlin. Due to her lack of acting-experience, she even received extra coaching - which was in turn heavily criticized by SED officials. Since then, she has become a well-known German actress. See more »

Connections

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

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User Reviews

 
Socialism Wears a Human Face
31 October 2008 | by See all my reviews

Berlin - Ecke Schönhauser depicts the youth of 1950s East Berlin as an aimless bunch, lacking goals, with no motivation to better themselves or to look beyond the thrill of the next dance or meaningless act of delinquency. Here the youth of the DDR have much in common with their American counterparts in films like Rebel Without a Cause. Unlike the spoiled LA kids choking on Eisenhower-era consumption, however, Berlin teenagers Dieter, Kohle, Karl-Heinz, Angelika and their friends live in poverty amid the ruins of WW II. Parents are missing, killed in the war. As the city rebuilds, piles of rubble disgorge live bombs. While the East struggles to repair the damage of the last war West Germany rearms, this time with nuclear weapons. The kids are all right, but they survive in a pretty grim environment. To the youths, adults belong to an alien race who cling to hypocritical bourgeois values. There are exceptions – a sympathetic police officer takes an interest in the plight of the young people, promising apprenticeships to the out-of-work kids.

But Karl-Heinz has other plans: pre-Berlin Wall travel between the city's Capitalist and Communist zones is easy, and Karl-Heinz exchanges East Marks for West and sells stolen IDs, eager to make enough money to enable flight to the West. One of his crimes goes suddenly wrong, and Karl-Heinz is on the run. Kohle and Dieter try to call in a debt, tragedy ensues, and the two flee West, leaving behind Angelika, pregnant with Dieter's child.

Kohle and Dieter find West Germans suspicious, interested in espionage and not exactly welcoming. To gain asylum the young men must claim they suffered political persecution, a charge the film shows is patently false. The two friends decide to part ways, Kohle excited about heading to a new life farther west while Dieter is drawn back to the DDR life he knows.

As the film closes some important lessons have been learned: The BRD is a locus for crime of all sorts, and it draws criminals out of the East, a statement made explicit in the film's closing lines. Socialism faces challenges; it is not perfect, but it wears the human face of loving well-intentioned men and women.


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