15 user 4 critic

Emil and the Detectives (1964)

Approved | | Comedy, Family, Drama | 18 December 1964 (USA)
Emil goes to Berlin to see his grandmother with a large amount of money and is offered sweets by a strange man that make him sleep. He wakes up at his stop with no money. It is up to him and a group of children to save the day.


Peter Tewksbury


AJ Carothers, Erich Kästner (novel) (as Berthold Bürger)




Cast overview, first billed only:
Walter Slezak ... Baron
Bryan Russell ... Emil Tischbein (as Bryan Russel)
Roger Mobley Roger Mobley ... Gustav
Heinz Schubert ... Grundeis
Peter Ehrlich Peter Ehrlich ... Müller
Cindy Cassell Cindy Cassell ... Pony (as Cindy Cassel)
Elsa Wagner Elsa Wagner ... Nana
Eva Ingeborg Scholz ... Frau Tischbein (as Eva-Ingeborg Scholz)
Wolfgang Völz Wolfgang Völz ... Wachtmeister Stucke
Franz Nicklisch Franz Nicklisch ... Desk Sergeant
Brian Richardson Brian Richardson ... Professor
Robert Swann Robert Swann ... Hermann
David Petrychka David Petrychka ... Dienstag
Ann Noland ... Frieda
Ron Johnson Ron Johnson ... Rudolf


When Emil travels by bus to Berlin to visit his grandmother and his cousin, his money is stolen by a crook who specializes in digging tunnels. Emil must get the money back as it is for his grandmother. While following the thief, Emil runs into Gustav, an enterprising young boy who gathers up all his friends to help Emil find the money. Emil's cousin also gets involved and they get into more trouble than they bargained for when Emil's pickpocket turns out to be mixed up with a couple of notorious bank robbers. Written by April M. Cheek <Aravis2713@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

thief | boy | tunnel | pickpocket | bus | See All (21) »


The Zaniest Crime Comedy of the Year! See more »


Comedy | Family | Drama | Crime


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The 300 marks Emil is taking to his grandmother would equate to about $75 at the time, or about $622 in 2019. See more »


The seats are numbered on the bus Emil takes from Neustadt to Berlin. At 0:04:38 the number 13 is on the back of Emil's seat. At 0:04:54 the number 1 is on the toddler's seat in front of Emil. At 0:05:13 the numbers 1 and 2 are on the empty window seat immediately behind the driver and the aisle seat to its right where August Grundeis is initially seated. Apparently, the toddler's side of its interaction with Emil were shot in the front of the bus. See more »


Gustav: Some skrunky thing to do.
See more »


References Seduction by the Sea (1963) See more »

User Reviews

Mediocre at its best, sluggish at its worst
2 July 2019 | by Wizard-8See all my reviews

During his lifetime, Walt Disney helped to make some great family films (both animated and live action) that are well know to this day. But there were also some films that fell through the cracks and are pretty much unknown today. "Emil and the Detectives" is one such movie, and upon watching it, it's pretty clear why the movie has been forgotten - it's not very good at all. I have not read the classic children's book the movie is based on, but it has to be a lot better and engaging than this movie plays out. The movie is often too goofy for its own good, from the strident narration to the unsubtle performances, becoming annoying when a more gentle approach would have been better. Also, the movie often moves at a really slow pace, and really lacks energy when mystery or suspense would be appropriate. The only real interest the movie has is when it showcases the shot in Berlin backdrop. I suspect kids as well as adults won't be very forgiving towards the movie, so there's no sense in tracking this down unless you are a true Disney fan.

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Official Sites:

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Release Date:

18 December 1964 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Emilio y los detectives See more »

Filming Locations:

Alsfeld, Hesse, Germany See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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