35 user 77 critic

World on a Wire 

Welt am Draht (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Mystery, Sci-Fi | TV Mini-Series (1973– )
1:29 | Trailer
Somewhere in the future there is a computer project called Simulacron one of which is able to simulate a full featured reality, when suddenly project leader Henry Vollmer dies. His ... See full summary »




1 win. See more awards »





Complete series cast summary:
Klaus Löwitsch ...  Fred Stiller 2 episodes, 1973
Barbara Valentin ...  Gloria Fromm 2 episodes, 1973
Mascha Rabben ...  Eva Vollmer 2 episodes, 1973
Karl Heinz Vosgerau ...  Herbert Siskins 2 episodes, 1973
Wolfgang Schenck ...  Franz Hahn 2 episodes, 1973
Günter Lamprecht Günter Lamprecht ...  Fritz Walfang 2 episodes, 1973
Ulli Lommel ...  Rupp, Journalist 2 episodes, 1973
Adrian Hoven ...  Professor Henri Vollmer 2 episodes, 1973
Ivan Desny ...  Günther Lause 2 episodes, 1973
Joachim Hansen ...  Hans Edelkern 2 episodes, 1973
Kurt Raab ...  Mark Holm 2 episodes, 1973
Margit Carstensen ...  Maya Schmidt-Gentner 2 episodes, 1973
Ingrid Caven ...  Uschi, secretary 2 episodes, 1973
Gottfried John ...  Einstein 2 episodes, 1973
Rudolf Lenz Rudolf Lenz ...  Hartmann 2 episodes, 1973
Lilo Pempeit Lilo Pempeit ...  Data typist 2 episodes, 1973
Heinz Meier ...  Von Weinlaub, secretary of state 2 episodes, 1973
Peter Chatel ...  Hirse, secretary of state 2 episodes, 1973
Rainer Hauer Rainer Hauer ...  Inspector Stuhlfauth 2 episodes, 1973
Ernst Küsters Ernst Küsters ...  Bodyguard 2 episodes, 1973
El Hedi ben Salem ...  Bodyguard 2 episodes, 1973
Karl Scheydt ...  Inspector Lehner 2 episodes, 1973
Solange Pradel Solange Pradel ...  Singer 2 episodes, 1973
Bruce Low Bruce Low ...  Doctor 2 episodes, 1973
Elma Karlowa ...  Keeper of Cafeteria 2 episodes, 1973
Maryse Dellanoy Maryse Dellanoy ...  Waitress at cafe 2 episodes, 1973
Werner Schroeter ...  Party guest 2 episodes, 1973
Magdalena Montezuma ...  Party guest 2 episodes, 1973
Christine Kaufmann ...  Party guest 2 episodes, 1973
Rainer Langhans Rainer Langhans ...  Rainer, waiter at party 2 episodes, 1973
Corinna Brocher Corinna Brocher ...  Employee 2 episodes, 1973
Dora Karras-Frank Dora Karras-Frank ...  Victim of assault on Stiller 2 episodes, 1973
Katrin Schaake ...  Computer lab assistant 2 episodes, 1973
Peter Gauhe ...  Informer 2 episodes, 1973
Christiane Maybach ...  Lady at the bar 2 episodes, 1973
Walter Sedlmayr ...  Janitor 2 episodes, 1973
Eddie Constantine ...  Man in Rolls Royce 2 episodes, 1973
Rudolf Waldemar Brem ...  Hospital orderly 2 episodes, 1973
Peter Kern Peter Kern ...  Hospital orderly 2 episodes, 1973
Karsten Peters Karsten Peters ...  Guide at newspaper editors 2 episodes, 1973
Peter Moland Peter Moland ...  Employee 2 episodes, 1973
Doris Mattes Doris Mattes ...  Employee 2 episodes, 1973


Somewhere in the future there is a computer project called Simulacron one of which is able to simulate a full featured reality, when suddenly project leader Henry Vollmer dies. His successor Dr. Fred Stiller experiences odd phenomena. A good friend, Guenther Lause, disappears in the middle of a conversation and a week later nobody has ever heard of him. And those fits of dizzyness - Stiller cannot believe himself to be fool. There has to be an explanation for all this. Could Simulacron have something to do with it? Written by Oliver Heidelbach

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Mystery | Sci-Fi


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Writer/Director Rainer Werner Fassbinder's only work of science fiction. See more »


In the second part of the film, the scene at Fred's cabin: When the camera moves surrounds the cabin, at one point the shadow of the camera is clearly projected on the wooden wall. See more »


Gloria Fromm: How's the computer coming?
Fred Stiller: Okay and how's working for Siskins?
Gloria Fromm: No, I mean it. I'm very interested in the Simulacron. Is it it true you've created an artificial world?
Fred Stiller: "World" is an exaggeration. Currently we've some 10,000 identity units. That's all we need for now. The world in a nutshell, you see?
See more »


References Alphaville (1965) See more »


Olé Guapa
Music: Aari Maasland Malando
Performed by Alfred Hause and His Orchestra
(P) 1960 Polydor
Courtesy Universal Music Domestic Division
See more »

User Reviews

Frozen world on a wire
8 September 2013 | by bakchuSee all my reviews

This movie, made for TV in 1973 and consisting of two parts with a total length of more than three hours, certainly can seem a bit slow-going at times. However, there's so much internal tension in the slowly unfolding story that at the end, it doesn't feel too long or drawn-out at all. This is also thanks to the splendid performance by Klaus Löwitsch who convincingly plays the main character as a man who almost frantically tries to keep his guarded, restrained demeanour as his environment gets more and more puzzling and threatening. If we compare "World on a Wire" with the later adaptation "The Thirteenth Floor" which is based on the same book, the earlier film is a much more interesting experience - more layers, more depth, more interesting actors. Craig Bierko's interpretation of the main character in "The Thirteenth Floor" is not a tenth as interesting as Löwitsch's performance - I can't find the emotion in Bierko's "Douglas Hall" character, the self-doubt, the despair... it's all there in Löwitsch's "Fred Stiller". And "World on a Wire" isn't just a pioneering movie, it's also strangely timeless despite the prevalent seventies design. With the very clear, fine picture of the current DVD restoration it doesn't feel dated. It's a strange, half frozen world seemingly not entirely connected to reality - which of course fits the theme very well.

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West Germany


German | English

Release Date:

14 October 1973 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

World on a Wire See more »


Box Office


DEM950,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(2 parts)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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