Undercover cop Charly Held sneaks into the organization of Jan Herzog, the head of organised crime in Frankfurt. Slowly, he gains the Herzog's trust and is pulled deeper and deeper into the...
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Rainer Werner Fassbinder
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Undercover cop Charly Held sneaks into the organization of Jan Herzog, the head of organised crime in Frankfurt. Slowly, he gains the Herzog's trust and is pulled deeper and deeper into the business. Overwhelmed by his new jet-set lifestyle he thinks of changing the sides. Will he, or will he not?Written by
Harald Mayr <firstname.lastname@example.org>
People on the street can be seen using bags from the "Bellheim" warehouse. The owner of this fictitious warehouse was the main character in director Dieter Wedel's previous project, Der große Bellheim (1993). See more »
Realistic staging, outstanding actors. After the failure of a police trap, where his best friend Otto was murdered, the job of the "Schattenmann", detective superintendent Charlie Held, is to hunt down the mighty "Godfather of Frankfurt", Jan Herzog, undercover. Thus, Held is rather motivated, but he soon begins to enjoy the pleasant life of a business man and protege, friend and successor in spe of Herzog and at the side of the attractive Barbara, particularly when he comes to know that it wasn't Herzog who ordered to kill Otto, whereas his real life as a simple police man with wife (terrific: Julia Stemberger), daughter and terrace house soon becomes dreary and visibly annoying. Although Held alias von Hellberg is impersonated ambivalently, whereas his friend King (likeable and convincing: Heinz Hoenig), who is also working undercover as the bodyguard and and driver of von Hellberg, stays morally correct and is actually more sympathetic than Held, you feel with Held and can imagine, why he overlooks more and more the corruption in politics and milieu, even murder, and becomes part of the whole thing. One reason for this is, that Herzog, who is perfectly impersonated by Mario Adorf, isn't presented throughout as the big evil, but also as a good father and reliable friend, who has thoroughly his moral standards, but is unscrupulous when carrying through his operations. The fatal end seems to be avoidable, a concatenation of betrayal, revenge and accidents, caused by over-zealous officials, irreverent and stupid killers, who overshoot the mark, and the vengeance of Held that goes one step too far at the end. Although the movie is divided into five parts with circa two hours each, there are no lengths in it, it is alternately thrilling, moving, sad and funny and all in all an enjoyment that you can watch more than once. In my opinion the best project of Dieter Wedel and surely in the Top Ten of German movies in the Nineties.
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