6.5/10
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Berlin - Ecke Schönhauser (1957)

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

Director:

Gerhard Klein

Writers:

Gerhard Hartwig (dramatisation), Gerhard Klein (scenario) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was criticized by many party officials for its negative portrayal of youth and life in East-Germany. Film critics, however, praised its authenticity. After much debate, the film was released in August 1957 - three months later it had already attracted over 1,5 million viewers. See more »

Connections

References The Killers (1946) See more »

User Reviews

 
Socialism Wears a Human Face
31 October 2008 | by mlwehleSee 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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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

East Germany

Language:

German

Release Date:

30 August 1957 (East Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Berlin-Schönhauser Corner See more »

Filming Locations:

Berlin, Germany See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Deutsche Film (DEFA) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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