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The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum (1975)

Die verlorene Ehre der Katharina Blum (original title)
A young woman's life is scrutinized by police and tabloid press after she spends the night with a suspected terrorist.

Writers:

Heinrich Böll (novel), Volker Schlöndorff (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Angela Winkler ... Katharina Blum
Mario Adorf ... Kommissar Beizmenne
Dieter Laser ... Werner Tötges
Jürgen Prochnow ... Ludwig Götten
Heinz Bennent ... Dr. Hubert Blorna
Hannelore Hoger Hannelore Hoger ... Trude Blorna
Rolf Becker ... Staatsanwalt Hach
Harald Kuhlmann Harald Kuhlmann ... Moeding
Herbert Fux ... Weninger
Regine Lutz Regine Lutz ... Else Woltersheim
Werner Eichhorn Werner Eichhorn ... Konrad Beiters
Karl Heinz Vosgerau Karl Heinz Vosgerau ... Alois Sträubleder
Angelika Hillebrecht Angelika Hillebrecht ... Frau Pletzer
Horatius Häberle Horatius Häberle ... Staatsanwalt Dr. Korten (as Horatius Haeberle)
Henry van Lyck ... 'Scheich' Karl
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Storyline

Katharina Blum is a young handsome German maid. She meets Ludwig, and they fall in love at once. They spend the night together. In the morning, the police bursts in her flat, looking for Ludwig : he is a terrorist. But he was no longer here. Katharina is arrested, humiliated, suspected to be a terrorist herself, dragged in the mud by the newspapers... A plea for democracy and individual rights. Written by Yepok

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

West Germany

Language:

German

Release Date:

10 October 1975 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #177. See more »

Goofs

Katharina's car has two different license plates. See more »

Quotes

Lüding, Verleger: The shots that killed Werner Tötges didn't hit him alone. They were aimed at Freedom of the Press, one of the most precious values of our young Democracy. And these shots - for us who stand here in grief and horror - they strike us. Just as they struck him. Who doesn't feel the wound? Who doesn't feel the sorrow above and beyond one's personal concerns? Who doesn't feel the breath of terror, the savage of anarchy, the violence which is undermining the foundations of our liberal-democratic order...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The legal disclaimer reads as follows: 'Personen und Handlung sind frei erfunden. Sollten sich bei der Schilderung gewisser journalistischer Praktiken Aehnlichkeiten mit den Praktiken der BILD-Zeitung ergeben haben, so sind diese Aehnlichkeiten weder beabsichtigt noch zufaellig, sondern unvermeidlich.' (Characters and plot are purely fictitious. Similarities with journalistic practices of the newspaper "BILD" are neither intended nor coincidental, but inevitable.) This is a direct quote from the introduction to the original novel by Heinrich Böll. See more »

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User Reviews

If you're not with us, you're against us
19 July 2003 | by spyitSee all my reviews

"The Lost Honor of..." not only tells an interesting story with powerful writing, acting and cinematography, but is also a must see for those disturbed by the power

authoritarian governments (communist, fascist, and everything in between) possess to exploit individual human rights. I wish we could view this film as a well made relic of the past, but unfortunately its subject matter is as relevent today as it was in 1970's West Germany. As in Katarina's world, terrorism is again the favored epithet of the day as the U.S.'s social and political climate moves away from a conversation between differing individual view points and towards an 'on message' insistence on absolute conformity.

Katarina is a young maid with little money, who sleeps with a man she barely knows, a man who is under surveillance as a suspected terrorist. Because she was seen with the supposed terrorist, her life is torn apart by police interrogators and a press that only reports "facts" which support its particular ideology, even if the details must be fabricated. Although those who know Katarina tell the press and police of a bright, sweet, and quiet girl, her reputation is run through the gutter by the men who translate her private life to the public world. Eventually, Katarina takes on the attributes of a stereotypical terrorist because the state has given her no choice but to become radicalized. Simply because Katarina will not give up her dignity and privacy, she becomes an enemy of the state.

For Katarina, her private life becomes glaringly public, and the public judges her based on both the fabricated evidence presented by her accusers (both press and government) as well as their own assumptions about how a woman should behave. In the society that surrounds Katarina, the state functions through conformity, and those who do not conform instantly become the enemy. As a woman, Katarina bears the brunt of this brutality, as her sexuality becomes both exploited and demonized. The young maid becomes a media fixation, a beautiful sexual terrorist.

Although much of this might sound familiar, the film relates these political and social paradoxes on an individual, personal level. As in Katarina's case, sensational news stories rarely investigate the cogs which make them front page headlines-they only reinforce easy reactions of judgemental outrage. "The Lost Honor of ..." shines a bright light on the lives that are trampled beneath the broad strokes of an unyielding and inhuman militarized state and the press and public which supports it.


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