6.6/10
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Der Eisbär (1998)

At the beginning of the movie, a man drives a vintage Mercedes saloon to a gangster boss ("Der Gesundheitsinspektor" - The Health Inspector, played by Heiner Lauterbach). The "Health ... See full synopsis »

Directors:

Til Schweiger, Granz Henman (co-director)

Writer:

Granz Henman
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Til Schweiger ... Leo
Karina Krawczyk Karina Krawczyk ... Nico
Benno Fürmann ... Fabian
Florian Lukas ... Reza
Vladimir Weigl Vladimir Weigl ... Thomas
Jürgen Tarrach Jürgen Tarrach ... Manni
Thierry van Werveke Thierry van Werveke ... Norbert
Robert Viktor Minich Robert Viktor Minich ... Boris
Ralph Herforth ... Zivilpolizist
Ralf Richter Ralf Richter ... Zivilpolizist
Leonard Lansink ... Barkeeper Paul's Eck
Leander Haußmann ... Stephan
August Schmölzer August Schmölzer ... Heinz
Willi Thomczyk Willi Thomczyk ... Alfred
Christof Wackernagel Christof Wackernagel ... Fritz
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Storyline

At the beginning of the movie, a man drives a vintage Mercedes saloon to a gangster boss ("Der Gesundheitsinspektor" - The Health Inspector, played by Heiner Lauterbach). The "Health Inspector" enters the car, and is irate about loads of hamburger wrappers all over the interior. Obviously, someone ate a lot of hamburgers inside his car. The Health Inspector asks the man who it was, but the man is unable to answer, since he is obvioulsy severely injured and in pain. The Health Inspector switches on the car radio, which sets off a pre-installed bomb and the car, including both occupants, is completely destroyed.

After this intitial scene, the actual plot commences, which took place the hours before the explosion and led to it.

Leo (Til Schweiger) works as a hitman under the code name "Eisbär" (polar bear). He has decades of experience in his job and is a total professional. He has the order to kill a night club owner (played by German singer/songwriter Peter Maffay) and disposes off the ...

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Plot Keywords:

animal in title | See All (1) »

Taglines:

Mild. Sanft im Geschmack.

Genres:

Action | Thriller

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Details

Country:

Germany

Language:

German

Release Date:

12 November 1998 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

A jegesmedve See more »

Filming Locations:

Belgium See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The car in which Leo and Nico finally escape has a license plate saying "E-NA 98", which is although a valid German plate also a reference to the production company and the year of release of the movie. See more »

Goofs

The license plate of the silver Alfa Romeo driven by the cops. See more »

Connections

References Pulp Fiction (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Tremendoulsy Overlooked And Underrated German Comedy
1 November 2010 | by imperialloverSee all my reviews

At first glance, one could think the movie just unashamedly copies the stereotypical Hollywood gangster movie. But nothing could be further from the truth. The film is a total persiflage on the genre, setting a typical and deliberately shallow plot into Germany's industrial heartland - the Ruhr area. There it is staged with loads of local colour and bizarre details not necessarily related to the actual plot, the latter obviously 'borrowed' from Takashi Miike movies.

Der Eisbär not only holds its own when it comes to gangster flicks, it's a standout. Rarely has a movie taken on the genre and rendered it what it really is in all its ridiculousness. The love for details is extraordinary and the situational humour spot on, but not as overdone as it often is the case in American productions.

Add to this supporting roles filled with the who is who of the German film and entertainment industry, most notable an -as usual- brilliant Juergen Tarrach as the bomb constructor, Ralph Herforth and Ralf Richter as undercover cops, comedian Tom Gerhardt as the manager of the fast food restaurant, and character actress and internationally acclaimed director Katharina Thalbach in a tiny appearance, sleeping off her intoxication in the "Pauls Eck" pub during the final stand-off.

Der Eisbär is a masterpiece. Totally misunderstood by many, it has acquired a cult following among the ones in the know.


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