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Based on the true story that shocked a nation in the summer of 1988 and revealed the scandalizing amount of errors committed by the media and the police in a half-baked attempt to rescue hostages.




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Series cast summary:
Sascha Alexander Gersak Sascha Alexander Gersak ...  Hans-Jürgen Rösner 2 episodes, 2018
Marie Rosa Tietjen Marie Rosa Tietjen ...  Marion Löblich 2 episodes, 2018
Alexander Scheer ...  Dieter Degowski 2 episodes, 2018
Martin Wuttke ...  Peter Möller (Leiter Kripo Bremen) 2 episodes, 2018
Zsa Zsa Inci Bürkle ...  Silke Bischoff 2 episodes, 2018
Johannes Allmayer Johannes Allmayer ...  Harald Engels 2 episodes, 2018
Lilli Fichtner Lilli Fichtner ...  Ines Voitle 2 episodes, 2018
Ulrich Noethen ...  Einsatzleiter Recklinghausen 2 episodes, 2018
Riccardo Campione Riccardo Campione ...  Emanuele de Giorgi 2 episodes, 2018
Amelie Kiefer Amelie Kiefer ...  Karin Blank 2 episodes, 2018
August Zirner ...  Herbert Schnoor (Innenminister NRW) 2 episodes, 2018
Giolina Ardente Giolina Ardente ...  Tatiana de Giorgi 2 episodes, 2018
Vinicio Marchioni ...  Aldo de Giorgi 2 episodes, 2018
Lara Brucci Lara Brucci ...  Giuseppina de Giorgi 2 episodes, 2018
Tatja Seibt ...  Helene Bischoff 2 episodes, 2018
Uli Krohm Uli Krohm ...  Heinrich Bischoff 2 episodes, 2018
Moritz Leu Moritz Leu ...  Henrik 2 episodes, 2018
Harald Maack ...  Paul Mikolajczak 2 episodes, 2018
Stephan Kampwirth ...  Bernd Meyer (Bremer Innensenator) 2 episodes, 2018
Christian Beermann ...  Hans Steinwald 2 episodes, 2018
Peter Benedict Peter Benedict 2 episodes, 2018
Sven Gerhardt Sven Gerhardt 2 episodes, 2018
Michael Lott 2 episodes, 2018
Jörg Malchow Jörg Malchow 2 episodes, 2018


As life slows down on a hot summer's day in 1988, an armed bank robbery goes awry. While fleeing from the police, the two gangsters take an entire busload hostage. The ensuing manhunt, however, turns into a disaster. The police make fools of themselves with their amateurish operations and, above all, are obstructed by the nation's media who swoop down on the events in their rat race for the juiciest pictures and live interviews with the kidnappers. As Rösner, the driving force of the duo, orchestrates their 54 hours of fame in cold blood, his accomplice Degowski derives sinister pleasure from manipulating the media. But Degowski is also unpredictable and violent. When he loses his nerve and kills a teenage passenger in the bus, the two men choose two young women as their hostages while leaping into another getaway vehicle. Thus begins an odyssey that goes completely out of control. Written by Happy_Evil_Dude

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


In the unbearable August heat


Crime | Drama | Thriller


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Release Date:

7 March 2018 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Gladbeck See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(2 parts)


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Did You Know?


Based on the true story that shocked a nation in the summer of 1988. See more »


The license plate on the vehicle provided by the Dutch police uses the authentic registration (HR-20-TN), but the font and spacing don't match those used for Dutch license plates in 1988. See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening titles and the closing credits listed the actors but none of them had a corresponding character name - even for the major characters. See more »

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User Reviews

54 Hours: The Gladbeck Hostage Crisis
28 October 2018 | by TweekumsSee all my reviews

This two-part drama tells the tale of the 'Gladbeck hostage crisis'; a shocking event which began on 16 August, 1988, with two gunmen attempting to rob a bank in the German town of Gladbeck. Those inside are taken hostage as the police surround the building. Wishing to avoid any violence the police allow them to leave with two hostages, they then pick up one of the gunmen's girlfriend. As they are in a car fitted with a tracker the police follow. As soon as the news of the event gets out the media descend on the story. The action then moves to Bremen where the kidnappers abandon their car and hijack a bus. As they wait for police negotiators they give interviews to the press who are free to film everything. The police response is very confused with different forces claiming overall command and the men on the ground being left waiting for orders.

This drama really is quite shocking; if it weren't based on real events it would be impossible to believe. The competence of the senior officers is clearly lacking, as an example they don't even have an ambulance on standby. If anything the media response is even more shocking; they surround the hijackers, interview them, obstruct the police and even board the bus to take photographs.

As a piece of entertainment this was very effective. It was filmed in a way that felt very real and the actors gave natural performances. Knowing it was based on real events, but not knowing details before watching, made it very tense at times as we can't work out the 'designated survivors' as one might in a fictional thriller. There are of course some fictional elements as the creators give us there idea of what happened behind the scenes; these scenes were necessary to give more depth to characters and explain some of the things that were happening. Overall I'd definitely recommend this drama.

These comments are based on watching in German with English subtitles.

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