8 user 24 critic

Gods of the Plague (1970)

Götter der Pest (original title)
A man is released from prison and finds the society on the outside less than appealing. With several women as well as the police on his tail, he sets out to find an old friend.
2 wins. See more awards »




Cast overview:
Hanna Schygulla ... Johanna Reiher
Margarethe von Trotta ... Margarethe (as Margarete von Trotta)
Harry Baer ... Franz Walsch (as Harry Bär)
Günther Kaufmann ... Günther, 'Gorilla' (as Günther Kauffmann)
Carla Egerer ... Carla Aulaulu (as Carla Aulaulu)
Ingrid Caven ... Magdalena Fuller
Jan George Jan George ... Polizist
Lilo Pempeit Lilo Pempeit ... Mutter
Marian Seidowsky ... Marian Walsch (as Marian Seydowski)
Micha Cochina Micha Cochina ... Joe
Yaak Karsunke Yaak Karsunke ... Kommissar
Hannes Gromball ... Supermarkt-Chef


Franz Walsch, a small-time hood, is released from jail and searches for his old acquaintances. He finds his girlfriend Johanna and visits his mother with his brother Marian. Women are attracted to Franz, though he is a man of few words and remains emotionless throughout his encounters with them. Johanna becomes jealous when Franz goes off with his new lover Margarethe, and the pair connect with his old buddy Günther, known as the Gorilla. After Marian is murdered, a detective searching for the Gorilla and Franz pressures Johanna into divulging what she knows about them. Written by Will Gilbert

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama


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Did You Know?


The main character is named Franz Walsch. That's also the name director Rainer Werner Fassbinder often used for his editor credit (including this film). See more »


Günther: [dying words, after killing Carla] Life is very precious... even right now.
See more »


Referenced in Innocent (2005) See more »


Maskenball der Tiere
Performed by Karl Valentin
See more »

User Reviews

a former prison inmate can't settle down in society
13 June 2002 | by knbSee all my reviews

After being released from prison, young Franz has to find his place in society, and police keeps an eye on him. First he briefly tries to live with his former girl friend who still loves him a bit too passionately, however he also picks up other acquaintances. Society is hostile to him, or at least perceived by him as being so, hence it is tough to make money. But he definitely wants to keep a cool lifestyle so he must keep on law-breaking, in particular when he is with his old betraying friends.

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West Germany


German | French | English

Release Date:

24 July 1970 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Gods of the Plague See more »


Box Office


DEM180,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,623, 16 February 2003

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

Antiteater-X-Film See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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