|THE RATS (DIE RATTEN) (director: Robert Siodmak; screenwriters: based on the play "Die Ratten" by Gerhart Hauptmann/Jochen Huth; cinematographer: Göran Strindberg; editors: Klaus Eckstein /Ira Oberberg ; music: Werner Eisbrenner; cast: Maria Schell (Pauline Karka), Heidemarie Hatheyer (Anna John), Curd Jürgens (Bruno Mechelke), Gustav Knuth (Karl John), Ilse Steppat (Frau Knobbe); Runtime: 91; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Artur Brauner; Central Cinema Company Film; 1955-West Germany/USA-in b/w- in English)|
by Dennis Schwartz
bleak drama, shot in long flashbacks, is based on the
tragicomic play "Die Ratten" by Gerhart Hauptmann, and adapted to the
screen by Jochen Huth.
The German-American director Robert
Siodmak ("Cobra Woman"/"The Crimson
Pirate"/"Criss Cross") shot a German version entitled
"Die Ratten" and an English version, with
the same cast and called it "The Rats."
early 1950s, in post-war West Berlin, Pauline (Maria
Schell) is an impoverished abandoned pregnant refugee
from East Berlin. At birth, she sells her baby to a
calculating laundry owner, Anna John (Heidemarie
Hatheyer), longing for a child but
unable to become pregnant she thinks is necessary to
help her failing marriage. Eventually the ladies
get into a squabble.
Curd Jürgens plays
the petty crook who impregnated Schell and then
pic, though clumsily handled on screen, nevertheless
successfully illustrates the strife and uncertainty of
the times during the Berlin Wall era.
German version won the Golden Bear award.
REVIEWED ON 8/18/2015 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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