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Summer Guests (1976)

Sommergäste (original title)
A group of people from the wealthy middle class in endless quasi intellectual quarrels and discussions trying to find some meaning in their comfortable and indolent life. Adaptation of the play by Maxim Gorky.

Director:

Peter Stein

Writers:

Maxim Gorky (play), Botho Strauß
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Wolf Redl Wolf Redl ... Sergej Basov
Edith Clever ... Varvara Basova - Sergej's wife
Ilse Ritter Ilse Ritter ... Kalerija Basova - Sergej's sister
Michael König Michael König ... Vlas Chernov - Varvara's brother
Jutta Lampe Jutta Lampe ... Marija Lvovna
Bruno Ganz ... Jakov Shalimov
Otto Sander ... Pjotr Suslov
Elke Petri Elke Petri ... Julija Suslova
Werner Rehm Werner Rehm ... Kirill Dudakov
Sabine Andreas Sabine Andreas ... Olga Dudakova
Rüdiger Hacker Rüdiger Hacker ... Pavel Rjumin
Günter Lampe Günter Lampe ... Doppelpunkt
Gerd Wameling Gerd Wameling ... Zamyslov
Otto Mächtlinger Otto Mächtlinger ... Pustobajka - Wächter
Eberhard Feik Eberhard Feik ... Kropilkin, Wächter
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Storyline

A group of people from the wealthy middle class in endless quasi intellectual quarrels and discussions trying to find some meaning in their comfortable and indolent life. Adaptation of the play by Maxim Gorky.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

West Germany

Language:

German

Release Date:

29 January 1976 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Letnicy See more »

Filming Locations:

Berlin, Germany See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

 
Remarkable play, fascinating cinema
7 January 2003 | by JuguAbrahamSee all my reviews

This is an unusual film. This is a German film of a Russian play by Maxim Gorky a play better known by the name "Summerfolk" written in 1903.

The unusual bit is that few West German filmmakers would venture to adapt Leftist literature in 1975 and this film was one such rare venture.

Even the IMDB does not list the writing credit as that of Gorky. It mentions the name Botho Strauss who adapted the play for the screen. If you are familiar with German cinema of the Seventies, this film brings together a delightful ensemble of the finest actors of the decade led by Bruno Ganz and Jutta Lampe.

I saw this film in New Delhi in the late Seventies and one aspect of this film stands out to this day in my mind--the camerawork of Michael Ballhaus. Ballhaus had not yet worked for Coppolla then. I was stunned by the depth of focus and clarity of the film that almost appeared as three dimensional on a flat screen.

The film is a gem for those who can appreciate good plays, literature and cinema. The performances are fascinating. The film was made when German cinema was at its peak with Fassbinder, Syberberg, Wenders, Hauff, Herzog, Schlondorff and von Trotta were all making formidable cinema. This nugget was lost in the wave of great German films. Chances are that few saw the film because Leftist themes were not popular, and even if you were a Gorky fan die hard theatre enthusiasts prefer theatre to cinema and are suspicious of adaptations.

I would recommend this film any day to lovers of theater and those who appreciate fine cinema.


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