6.7/10
140
6 user 5 critic

The Pedestrian (1973)

Der Fußgänger (original title)
When a German businessman causes a car accident with deadly consequences, the papers start digging into his past to find scandals. What they find causes him to reevaluate his own past during WW2 when he was in Greece.

Director:

Maximilian Schell
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Peggy Ashcroft ... Lady Gray
Gertrud Bald Gertrud Bald ... Henriette Markowitz
Elisabeth Bergner ... Frau Lilienthal
Lil Dagover ... Frau Eschenlohr
Käthe Haack ... Frau von Rautenfeld
Peter Hall ... Rudolf Hartmann
Ruth Hausmeister Ruth Hausmeister ... Inge Marie Giese
Dagmar Hirtz Dagmar Hirtz ... Elke Giese
Johanna Hofer Johanna Hofer ... Frau Bergedorf
Silvia Hürlimann Silvia Hürlimann ... Hilde
Christian Kohlund ... Erwin Gotz
Walter Kohut Walter Kohut ... Dr. Rolf Meineke
Alexander May Alexander May ... Alexander Markowitz
Herbert Mensching Herbert Mensching ... Reporter
Peter Moland Peter Moland ... Reporter
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Storyline

When a German businessman causes a car accident with deadly consequences, the papers start digging into his past to find scandals. What they find causes him to reevaluate his own past during WW2 when he was in Greece.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

death of son | See All (1) »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Language:

German | French | English

Release Date:

6 September 1973 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

The Pedestrian See more »

Filming Locations:

Jaffa, Israel See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Walter Kohut (Dr. Rolf Meineke) was the brother-in-law of the writer, director and star Maximilian Schell (Andreas Giese). See more »

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User Reviews

 
THE PEDESTRIAN (Maximilian Schell, 1973) ***
4 February 2014 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

Initially it was my intention to dedicate my month-long Oscar marathon to catching up solely with winners but the sudden passing of Austrian actor/writer/director Maximilian Schell on its very first day soon dispelled those plans! Schell, already an acting Oscar winner at the start of the 1960s, went behind the camera towards the end of that same decade and his directorial debut – FIRST LOVE (1970) which, sadly, is unavailable for viewing at this juncture – immediately earned him a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar nomination; the film under review is his sophomore effort and it was equally recognized by the Academy and, even though it lost out to François Truffaut's delightful film-making classic DAY FOR NIGHT (1973) on this occasion, it emerged victorious at the Golden Globes.

Bringing former Nazi officials to justice has been an ongoing worldwide quest ever since the 1947 Nuremberg trials; it is perhaps not coincidental that Maximilian Schell not only won his sole acting Oscar for a fictional, star-studded reenactment of that infamous event but that he tackled the subject again when he became a director. Curiously enough, while he does appear as an actor in THE PEDESTRIAN, his is only a star cameo as the dead son of a German industrialist targeted by his surviving Greek subjects 30 years after the retaliatory massacre of their village populace. However, Schell did appear as hunted ex-Nazis in such Hollywood indictments as THE ODESSA FILE (1974) and THE MAN IN THE GLASS BOOTH (1975; which garnered him another Best Actor nod and a viewing of which will follow presently) before essaying yet another proud Nazi officer in Sam Peckinpah's CROSS OF IRON (1977).

The central character of THE PEDESTRIAN – so called because his reckless steering costs him his driving license and the life of his son (Schell) – is played by Gustav Rudolf Sellner and, although it is the first time I have heard of him or seen his work (in fact, this was his screen debut in that capacity as he is also a director of TV movies), his sensitive portrayal is a quietly impressive one that was recognized at that year's German Film Awards; typically, he is shown leading a double life even on a personal level by keeping a much-younger mistress! Amusingly, at one point, Sellner's younger, rebellious, hippie son is also shown catching a TV screening of the classic Bolivian film BLOOD OF THE CONDOR (1969). Schell's treatment of the somber material (including potentially disturbing footage of road accident victims which the felonious drivers are forced to watch as part of their 'rehabilitation' process!) is predictably heavy-going if occasionally brilliant, relying on several flashbacks to the all- important WWII and car crash episodes. Even so, the unexpected highlight of the film turns out to be a couple of sequences set in an old people's home where Sellner's wife reminisces with her elderly friends that are (unaccountably but delightfully) played by such acting veterans as Peggy Ashcroft, Elizabeth Bergner, Lil Dagover and Françoise Rosay! ...


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