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The Good German (2006)

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While in post-war Berlin to cover the Potsdam Conference, an American military journalist is drawn into a murder investigation which involves his former mistress and his driver.

Director:

Steven Soderbergh

Writers:

Paul Attanasio (screenplay), Joseph Kanon (novel)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
George Clooney ... Jake Geismer
Cate Blanchett ... Lena Brandt
Tobey Maguire ... Tully
Beau Bridges ... Colonel Muller
Tony Curran ... Danny
Leland Orser ... Bernie
Jack Thompson ... Congressman Breimer
Robin Weigert ... Hannelore
Ravil Isyanov ... General Sikorsky
Christian Oliver ... Emil Brandt
Dave Power ... Lieutenant Schaeffer
Don Pugsley ... Gunther
Dominic Comperatore ... Levi
John Roeder ... General
J. Paul Boehmer ... British Press Aide
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Storyline

Berlin, July, 1945. Journalist Jake Geismer arrives to cover the Potsdam conference, issued a captain's uniform for easier passage. He also wants to find Lena, an old flame who's now a prostitute desperate to get out of Berlin. He discovers that the driver he's assigned, a cheerful down-home sadist named Corporal Tully, is Lena's keeper. When the body of a murdered man washes up in Potsdam (within the Russian sector), Jake may be the only person who wants to solve the crime: U.S. personnel are busy finding Nazis to bring to trial, the Russians and the Americans are looking for German rocket scientists, and Lena has her own secrets. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Every heart has its secrets, some more dangerous than others. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, violence and some sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German | Russian

Release Date:

19 January 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El buen alemán See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$32,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$76,817, 17 December 2006, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,308,696, 12 April 2007

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$5,914,908, 12 April 2007
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | SDDS | Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Steven Soderbergh, wishing to shoot this film the old Hollywood way, banned the use of sophisticated zoom lenses used by today's cinematographers, returning to the fixed focal-length lenses used in the past. Furthermore, only incandescent lights were used which provided harsh, unnatural lighting. There were also no wireless body microphones, which would allow the faintest whispers to be heard, on set. Sound was recorded the old-fashioned way, with a hand-operated boom mike held above the actors head, which consequently forced the actors to speak in loud, crisp English. See more »

Goofs

Camera shadow on the prosecutors' uniform at 57:59 into the film. See more »

Quotes

Patrick Tully: [threatening a Jewish double amputee] Don't you jew me over the price!
See more »

Crazy Credits

All the logos appear in black and white, while the Warner Brothers logo appears in the forties old style See more »

Connections

Referenced in Strictly Background (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Somebody Else Is Taking My Place
Written by Bob Ellsworth, Dick Howard and Russ Morgan
Performed by William Marsh, Chris Ross, Johnny Britt and Gary Stockdale
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Homage or Pastiche?
27 November 2007 | by LejinkSee all my reviews

I'm not sure about the answer to my question. With its stylistic nods to 40's noir thrillers like "Notorious", "The Third Man", "Gilda" and at the end, "Casablanca", "The Good German" aims high but ultimately falls flat under the weight of an incomprehensible plot peopled by too many characters. Moreover, none of said characters evinces any sympathy so that as the body-count mounts up towards the end and even as Clooney and Blanchett remain standing to take their relationship who knows where, ultimately you don't really care either way, distracted as you are by the various cinematic reference points - I even detected an in-joke at the expense of "The Pianist". The film is beautifully shot with many attractive framing and tracking shots in luminous monochrome, but the acting quality is distinctly mixed, with Clooney never quite achieving Joseph Cotten standards as he takes hits from almost everyone in sight and Blanchett struggling to emote beyond her sub-Deitrich accent. Tobey Maguire seems to me altogether too typecast in his winsome underdog parts ("Spider Man", "Sea Biscuit") to wholly convince as Clooney's somewhat callous, duplicitous driver who gets in too deep and you don't believe Blanchett's even thinly-veiled attraction to him either. I did enjoy the nostalgic tricks employed by Soderburgh, for example the left to right dissolves between scenes and the musical motifs which accompany the various characters but there are also too many shots of Clooney walking off-shot, or tossing away a cigarette or worst just gazing into space. All told, you'd be better off renting out one of the source movies mentioned above to see how it should be done.


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