When Susanne Wallner returns home from a concentration camp in 1945, she finds the city of Berlin in total ruins. What’s more, the traumatized and cynical surgeon Dr. Mertens has occupied her apartment and refuses to leave. While she tries to begin living her life again, he feels unable to perform as a doctor and instead drowns his memories in self-pity and alcohol. Against the desolate backdrop of the destroyed city, a love story develops. Things are put to the test when Dr. Mertens finds out that the former Hauptmann Brückner, an unscrupulous opportunist who ordered the execution of many innocent women and children, resides nearby. –IMDb
Wolfgang Staudte was born in Saarbrücken, in 1906, to parents who were both actors. Six years later, his family moved to Berlin. He trained to be an engineer before he began performing at the Volksbühne in Berlin, where he worked with Max Reinhardt and Erwin Piscator from 1926 to 1932.
Wolfgang Staudte is one of the few important German directors of the postwar years. Die Mörder sind unter uns , the first German postwar film, remains today among the director’s best works. In the film, a surgeon, Hans Mertens, returns home from the war, becomes an alcoholic, and lives hopelessly among the ruins. His girlfriend Susanne has survived a concentration camp and attempts to help him overcome his apathy. The apathy is quickly dispelled by the appearance of an industrialist, formerly a Nazi, whose outlook remains unchanged and who, just as before the war, uses deceptive phrases to justify the new situation.
This contemporary material was realized by Staudte in a thoroughly realistic… read more
One of the first films shot in the ruined streets of post war Berlin portrays German war guilt in a melodramatic manner but with an undeniable power that kicks like a mule. Knef, in her first starring role, plays a concentration camp survivor sharing her apartment with a guilt-ridden doctor who has turned to alcohol as a coping mechanism. An essential and absorbing document of a defeated nation in its darkest hours..
A retrospective of German classics and a showcase of new German talent.
Die Mörder sind unter uns is quite the tale, moreso for when the film was made then the actual subject matter itself. Wolfgang Staudte crafted his story to be released in 1946, just a year after World… read review