While investigating a high-profile murder case, a savvy but unorthodox veteran police inspector has to cope with a bad conscience, bad health, an overzealous partner, a timid superior and interference from political interests. This is an existential whodunit, but a good one, and like any good whodunit, ends with a very surprising conclusion, which will be spoiled for you if you read much of anything at all about the movie.Written by
Various DVD releases of this film tend to be that of the heavily edited version. The running time is approximately 82 minutes, thus making the movie incomprehensible. See more »
Another year, your doctor says. That is, if he can operate on Thursday.
Your last year, Hans. Why waste it on me?
One day I'm going to convict you for your crimes.
You can't let go of it, can you? You let it chew up your guts until it has chewed up your guts.
The Barlach's always had poor stomachs.
Keep on churning, Old Man; keep on churning. Still hung up on right and wrong. One day you're going to realise, there is none.
Have you ever seen your victims? I could show you pictures. How ...
[...] See more »
When the film was released internationally it was cut by 15 minutes. For unknown reasons, only the shorter international version has ever been released on home video. Both versions have a full soundtrack in English. The following sequences are missing in the shorter cut:
01 - After Baerlach visits Mrs. Schoenler there is a brief scene in which we see him feeding bears at a zoo. He then goes to the town hall and sees Gastmann from afar. This prompts a brief flashback of Nadine's corpse floating in the river. Baerlach talks to Lutz and asks him for a new partner. He wants Tschanz. Lutz says Tschanz is on holiday but Baerlach insists. Baerlach lights a cigar and is taken over by a coughing fit, Lutz asks for a glass of water but the secretary brings a flower. Lutz finally agrees to assign Tschanz to him and notes that they will make a great team. Baerlach thanks him and leaves.
02 - During the funeral scene there's an additional shot. After Tschanz notices the name on the wreath is wrong we see a woman's hat falling off and one of the mourners pick it up and throw it onto the coffin. The sound of the woman gasping can still be heard on the soundtrack when the trombonist empties water from his instrument in the short version instead of the correct sound of water pouring out. That shot is followed by another shot missing from the shorter cut in which a uniformed policeman congratulates Lutz on his speech.
03 - The first scene with Anna and Tschanz is a little different. They are first seen lying naked on the floor in silence. She gets up, lights a cigarette, and says "Don't think about it, it was good. I wanted that". She then walks over to the bathroom. In the shorter cut, the line is dubbed over the close-up of Anna and Tschanz and then cuts directly into Anna in the bathroom.
04 - There is another brief moment missing from the shorter cut in this sequence. After Anna says "Call me" Tschanz says "I hate telephones. I'd rather stand in front of your house and wait for you". There is a short discussion and she tells him to go. The scene then proceeds like in the shorter cut with Tschanz asking "Who are they".
05 - Right after the scene in which Baerlach returns home and takes off the arm protector Tschanz is seen in a phone box. He calls Anna but she isn't at home.
06 - After the "Dr. Lutz, the minister is expecting you" line, Tschanz is seen lying in bed looking sick and calling Anna's house again but no one answers.
07 - After Tschanz runs out of the baggage loading area there are two brief shots of Gastmann's henchmen watching him hidden behind crates.
08 - The sequence in which Tschanz and Anna are walking next to the river is longer. In the shorter version the scene ends after Tschanz asks Anna about Baerlach's suspicions but in the longer cut they continue talking. Anna tells Tschanz she wants him to be kind and talk to her. They talk about their families and she tells him he needs to grow up and be kind. Tschanz goes into the playground and starts playing football with the kids. Anna smiles at him.
09 - The entire sequence in which Baerlach leaves and is arguing with Tschanz and is then picked up by Gastmann as well as the entire sequence on the bridge in which they discuss their "game" and in which Gastmann disposes of the dead driver takes place at night. The sequence was originally shot day-for-night but the effect was removed in the shorter version. The scene is exactly the same bar one short insert. When Gastmann's henchman throws the driver's body in the water there is a short flashback of Nadine's corpse floating as seen in the Istanbul intro.
10 - After Gastmannshouts at Baerlach ("You fool") we see Tschanz lying in bed thinking. Then we see Anna emerging from the shower and getting dressed. Then we see Tschanz entering her house. Anna walks into her living room and sees him. He tells her he loves her and forces himself on her. She struggles but eventually says "Alright, if you want me you can have me. But you can't HAVE me. Understand?". She then tells him Robert has more power over her than ever before. They talk briefly and Tschanz concludes she never loved anyone. She is then seen leaving by car. See more »
I saw the movie a long time ago, in a class in (German) highschool. I remember being mesmerized by the book for which I can not find a translation in English. It's one of the greatest whodunits of all movie history. Baerlach the old Police Kommissaire has one more year to live due to illness just when a policeman is found dead on a country road near his native Swiss town. Baerlach lets his over-eager deputy Tschanz handle the investigation, knowing full well it will lead Tschanz to an old nemesis of Baerlach's, a criminal that he could never get his hands on. The investigations seem to be unsuccessful, but Baerlach knows something that Tschanz doesn't, and has a plan.
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