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Schtonk (1992)

The slightly fictionalized story of an art forger, a journalist desperate for a big story, and the biggest press scandal in German history: the Hitler Diaries.


Helmut Dietl


Helmut Dietl (screenplay), Ulrich Limmer (screenplay) | 4 more credits »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Götz George ... Hermann Willié
Uwe Ochsenknecht ... Fritz Knobel
Christiane Hörbiger ... Freya von Hepp
Rolf Hoppe ... Karl Lentz
Dagmar Manzel Dagmar Manzel ... Biggi
Veronica Ferres ... Martha
Ulrich Mühe ... Dr. Wieland
Martin Benrath ... Uwe Esser
Hermann Lause Hermann Lause ... Kurt Glück
Karl Schönböck ... Professor Strasser
Rosemarie Fendel ... Mrs. Lentz
Georg Marischka Georg Marischka ... Von Klantz
Thomas Holtzmann ... Notary Cornelius
Hark Bohm ... Catholic pastor
Willy Harlander Willy Harlander ... Bavarian customs officer


Fritz is a falsifier drawing a picture of Eva Braun, the girlfriend of Adolf Hitler. He meets Hermann and tells him about some Nazi- material he knows about. Herrmann, working for a great German magazine, pays for everything he can get, and so Fritz starts to write "Hitlers private daybook". The story covers a real event that happend in Germany in the middle of the eighties. Written by Wolfgang Klimt <wolfii@leo.org>

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Der Film zum Buch vom Führer




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Did You Know?


While in the end of the movie Hermann Willié on his yacht was followed by the police on the Elbe river, in the earlier alternative version of the movie the captain of a port police entered the yacht. This police officer was played by Gerd Heidemann himself, the real-life reporter of "Stern" magazine who investigated the Hitler diaries and upon whom the character Hermann Willié is based. However the version with this scene was not showed yet. Heidemann also played a waiter in an earlier scene, but this scene was deleted from the final film version. See more »


When Freya von Hepp hands Hermann Willié Göring's bathrobe and offers him to try it on, Willié's answer doesn't match his almost motionless lips. See more »


Fritz Knobel: [writing Hitler's diary] The superhuman effords of the last days create flatulences in the intestinal and Eva says, I have bad breath.
See more »


Version of Faking H. (2022) See more »


Er heißt Waldemar
Written by Michael Jary and Bruno Balz
Performed by Zarah Leander
Courtesy of Wiener Boheme Verlag und EMI Electrola
See more »

User Reviews

Still one of the best German comedies - never unintentionally cheesy, but not too brainy
2 November 2020 | by Fred_MopkopfSee all my reviews

Eventually, somebody had to do a film about the Hitler diaries forgery, and of course it always should have been the Germans. It was theirs to do it. But to be honest, I was afraid of it happening, as the German film industry has all too often proven to be a botcher of good premises. But anyway, the Brits did it fist with their series 'Selling Hitler' (which I haven't seen yet), and boy am I glad that the late Helmut Dietl made this wonderful film. It's German to the core, but without selling out to the usual German comedy audience. All the better that it managed to be a huge success in Germany. And one has to admit the courage Dietl had in doing it as a comedy. At the time, Germany's conflicting with its own past still was problematic. Anything to do with Hitler was only to be seen in rationalistic documentaries and TV magazines - which is not wrong at any rate, but anybody knows that looking at such things from a satiric angle has also its value. But for German media this was long out of the question. Before 'Schtonk', being humoresque about Hitler had never really made it into German mainstream.

Anyway, I won't go into 'Schtonk''s plot details, and unfortunately and obviously some of the humor will be lost on you if you don't speak German; but let me point you to a certain aspect of the film: The acting. Dietl really managed to direct his actors in a way that at the time was not commonplace in Germany. The most blatant example is Götz George's Hermann Willié. My fellow Germans are going to hate me, but I always found George a bit overrated. Yea, he WAS a terrific actor, but not in the way Germans thought (if you want to know more about my stance on German actors, feel free to read my other reviews on German films). George was good when he played himself, which he basically did in his iconic role as Commissioner Schimanski in the long running German 'Tatort' crime TV series. Schimanski's name was basically synonymous for Tatort cops during the 80's in Germany. But once he had to play someone completely else, he was lost. He either drifted in theatre overacting mode or couldn't shake his Schimanski mannerisms (which is why typecasting is not such a bad thing anyway). I think Germans always had a problem recognising that. They just just didn't get it. For example, George was highly praised for his role in 'Der Totmacher', but I was one of the few people who thought that his acting would have been great on the theatre stage but just did not do the film very good. In 'Schtonk' there is also a great deal of overacting across the board to be found, but Dietl uses it in an absolute fitting manner. He especially gets such a fantastic performance out of George that I will always remember it as his best. The mannerisms, the way he utilises George's clipped speaking - it's just perfect for the character. Let me point you to the scene where he confesses to the priest. Just hilarious. And not for a moment you are distracted by any Schimanski residues.

Now, all that praising of George should not take away from the other actors, nor from the film as a whole. It's just worth a watch, and to quote my own review title: Still one of the best German comedies - never unintentionally cheesy, but not too brainy.

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Release Date:

12 March 1992 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Schtonk! See more »


Box Office


DEM16,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby SR


Black and White (opening sequence)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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