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It Happened in Broad Daylight (1958)

Es geschah am hellichten Tag (original title)
Having doubts about the guilt of the obvious suspect in the murder of an eight year old girl, a police detective decides to investigate the case on his own.

Director:

Ladislao Vajda
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5 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Heinz Rühmann ... Oberleutnant Matthäi
Sigfrit Steiner ... Detektiv Feller
Siegfried Lowitz ... Leutnant Henzi
Michel Simon ... Jacquier
Heinrich Gretler Heinrich Gretler ... Polizeikommandant
Gert Fröbe ... Schrott
Berta Drews Berta Drews ... Frau Schrott
Ewald Balser ... Professor Manz
Roger Livesey ... Professor Manz (voice)
María Rosa Salgado ... Frau Heller
Anita von Ow Anita von Ow ... Annemarie Heller
Barbara Haller Barbara Haller ... Ursula Fehlmann
Emil Hegetschweiler Emil Hegetschweiler ... Gemeindepräsident
Rene Magron Rene Magron ... Polizeibeamter Weber
Max Werner Lenz Max Werner Lenz ... Gritli Moser's Teacher
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Storyline

Several young girls were killed. Policeman Matthaei travels to the region where it happened and searches a child that looks similar to the ones that were murdered. He finds one and stays with her and her mother, not telling them that he is waiting for the killer to start his bloody work one more time ... Written by Wolfgang Klimt <wolfii@leo.org>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Prepare Yourself For a Most Unusual and Disquieting Tale of Suspense!

Genres:

Crime | Thriller | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Language:

German | Italian

Release Date:

9 July 1958 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

It Happened in Broad Daylight See more »

Filming Locations:

CCC-Atelier, Berlin, Germany See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ewald Balser plays Professor Manz in the German language version, but Roger Livesey plays Professor Manz in the English language version. See more »

Alternate Versions

In July 2016, a complete cut of the film was released in Spain on DVD and Blu-ray. 7 scenes did not include the original Spanish Castilian dubbing and were subtitled. This edition included 2 versions of the initial and final credits in the texts in Spanish and in German. See more »

Connections

Version of The Pledge (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Beware of the chocolate hedgehog!
2 November 2009 | by Karl SelfSee all my reviews

Der Verdacht ("The Suspicion") by Friedrich Dürrenmatt is one of my favourite plays, and even books. Packed with suspense, it provides deep insights into the relations between crime, justice and revenge. The book makes a point of not ending like a normal crime story, with the inspector apprehending the criminal. In the book, the monster gets away and his hunter becomes corrupted and mired. The movie is clearly less bold, much more middle-of-the-road, and ends (almost) happily. It's well made, very well acted (featuring three heavyweights of German post-war cinema, Heinz Rühmann, Siegfried Lowitz and Gerd Fröbe), and overall watchable, but it's not anywhere near as bold or good as the book.

Both book and film deal with sexual child abuse, which in this form was a novelty at the time. Unfortunately it reinforces the stereotype of children being threatened by the "evil uncle" (i. e. a preying stranger), while by far the most sexual abuse to children is committed not by strangers but by people known to the children -- male relatives, teachers, priests, etc. Also the perpetrator is not a pedophile per se but driven to his acts by a dominating wife (cherchez la femme).

The movie is also an interesting document of the social mores at the time. Although he's innocent and does the right thing by reporting the crime, the vagabond (I suspect he's meant to be a Jenischer, i. e. someone who's living like a gypsy but isn't one ethnically) garners no sympathies whatsoever. Society is cold and uncaring, they only want a scapegoat. They're happy to see the vagabond die, they wanted to see him lynched in the first place. The way children are displayed, as living in a Freudian dream world, is also interesting.


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