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Situation Hopeless -- But Not Serious (1965)

Not Rated | | Comedy, War | 14 January 1966 (France)
During World War II, two Americans are forced to bail out and parachute into a small German town. Herr Frick, being equal parts patriotic and lonely, keeps them as prisoners of war in his ... See full summary »

Writers:

Silvia Reinhardt (screenplay), Jan Lustig (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Alec Guinness ... Wilhelm Frick
Mike Connors ... Sgt. Lucky Finder (as Michael Connors)
Robert Redford ... Captain Hank Wilson
Anita Höfer ... Edeltraud
Mady Rahl ... Lissie
Paul Dahlke ... Herr Neusel
Frank Wolff ... Quartermaster Master Sergeant
Elisabeth von Molo Elisabeth von Molo ... Wanda
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Storyline

During World War II, two Americans are forced to bail out and parachute into a small German town. Herr Frick, being equal parts patriotic and lonely, keeps them as prisoners of war in his bomb shelter. While his prisoners go stir crazy, Herr Frick must decide if he's willing to lose their companionship by letting them know the war has ended. Written by Sean Starke <starke@worldcom.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

What Kind of Prisoner of War Camp is THIS? See more »

Genres:

Comedy | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA | West Germany

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 January 1966 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Lage hoffnungslos - aber nicht ernst See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The title is a variation of an old Viennese saying; "The situation is desperate, but not serious." A direct influence on the title comes from Billy Wilder's One, Two, Three (1961). In it, James Cagney coaches Horst Buchholz to tell Buchholz's American father-in-law that the situation is "serious, but not hopeless." A flustered Buchholz tells his father-in-law, "The situation is hopeless, but not serious." See more »

Connections

Remake of Playhouse 90: The Hiding Place (1960) See more »

Soundtracks

Situation Hopeless But Not Serious
(uncredited)
Music by Leon Carr
Lyrics by Earl Schuman
Sung by Mady Rahl
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Craves their company
14 October 2014 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

A recent biography of Alec Guinness says that he did not think too much of this film. He felt it was a rehash of characters he played before like in The Lavendar Hill Mob or The Man In The White Suit. Why he took it is a mystery unless this was the best he was being offered at the time. One thing he did note to his wife Merulla was that he felt that Robert Redford was going to be a big star.

Situation Hopeless...But Not Serious is one weird film. It has some interesting and funny moments in it, but it's just way too weird.

Guinness is some quiet and nebbish like German who in the waning days of World War II when two American fliers Captain Robert Redford and Sergeant Michael Connors take refuge in his basement, he locks them up there and they become his own private prisoners. Not that he treats them bad, he just craves company since he has no friends. On V.E. Day had he let them go, no harm no foul. But Guinness keeps them on through 1946.

I could probably draw a lot of conclusions as to why Guinness's character was so wanting their company, but the Code was still somewhat in place. And as Guinness was a repressed gay Catholic man his whole life, this film must have hit close to home.

For the strangest Alec Guinness film out there, check out this one.


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