Emil and the Detectives (1931 film)

  • Rolf Wenkhaus: Emil Tischbein
  • Käthe Haack: Frau Tischbein
  • Fritz Rasp: Grundeis
  • Rudolf Biebrach: Jeschke
  • Olga Engl: Big Mama
  • Inge estate: Ponyhütchen
  • Hans Schaufuß: Gustav with the horn
  • Hans Albrecht Löhr: little Dienstag
  • Hans Richter: Flying Deer

Emil and the Detectives is a German film directed by Gerhard Lamprecht from the year 1931. It is based on the novel by Erich Kästner.


Emil Tischbein lives with his widowed mother in Neustadt, a ( fictional) small town. Emil is a good boy and tried to make his mother a little grief, as the financial situation of the two is not exactly rosy. Nevertheless, also makes Emil as "real " boy a few times pranks. Such a memorial will be summarily restructured so that it looks amazingly similar to the Officer Jeschke. As Jeschke noticed this, he is of this " desecration of a monument " of course not thrilled. Fortunately, he does not find out that Emil was involved.

Emil is sent for the holidays with his grandmother in Berlin. It is for them ( according to current purchasing power about 474 Euros ) take 140 Reichsmark, which he fastened additionally as a precaution with a needle in his pocket. On the train ride to Berlin Emil sitting with a shady stranger in the compartment, who introduces himself as Mr. Grundeis. This noted that Emil has a lot of money on him, stunned by the boy candies that contain a sleeping pill, and steals the money.

Only at the Berlin Zoo station Emil comes back to himself. He looks just like Grundeis disappears from the platform. Instant Emil takes on the prosecution, which of course turns out to be very difficult in a foreign city. Luckily, he meets " Gustav with the horn ". Gustav can be readily explained willing to help Emil. And since he is the leader of a gang of children, many helpers are quickly rounded up, monitor the ground ice.

Meanwhile Emil's cousin wait Ponyhütchen and the grandmother at the Friedrichstrasse station in vain for the arrival of Emil's. So they are informed by the gang of children. Of course, the grandmother makes terribly concerned. But since Ponyhütchen accompanied the boys, she calms down a bit.

At the end of the film follows a whole hundred children mobilized to the thief, so that it eventually has to give up: When he wants to change a hundred-mark note in a bank, he is unmasked by Emil due to the needle holes in the bill. The banker triggers alarm, the thief is arrested. At the police station, it turns out that it is a bank robber warrant of arrest for ground ice on the 1,000 marks ( 3,385 euros ) are advertised reward.


The film from 1931 is the first film adaptation of the novel Kästnerschen. Filming began on 6 July 1931 in Berlin and at the UFA studio complex Neubabelsberg, the exterior shots of " New Town " were filmed in Werder ( Havel ). Due to the technical difficulties which existed at the early sound films, some exterior scenes were recorded and subsequently silently backed by sound and music.

The author Erich Kästner you can read here seen in a cameo newspaper in the tram, in the Emil rises when he arrives in Berlin.

The screenplay for this film was created by the then relatively unknown, and later in Hollywood as a director has become famous Billy Wilder, since the original collaboration between Emmerich Pressburger and Erich Kästner already failed at an early stage: read "Until early ½ 5 clock I have the Emil film Manuscript the manuscript is ... disgusting ... the whole atmosphere of the book is the devil. And I'll be saugrob beginning of the week, when I talk to Stapenhorst, " said Erich Kästner then very indignant comment. Since Wilder quite sensitively dealt with the substance and oriented mainly to the novel, Kästner finally accepted Wilders manuscript.

2003 created the Federal Agency for Civic Education in cooperation with numerous filmmakers a film canon for work in schools and took this film in this list on.

The world premiere of the film took place in Berlin on 2 December 1931. Emil and the Detectives brought unusually high grossing results. Even in London and New York, the film was shown for one year. The extraordinary success made ​​it finally possible that the strip even at Christmas 1937 - has long since been occupied as Kastner by the Nazis with prohibition on writing and Wilder had emigrated to the United States - was in a Berlin cinema. Only after that the film was banned.


" The manuscript wrote Billy Wilder. A young author, has been much debated about its qualities and so far, always groping moved to new and original forms, perhaps here and there a little insecure. He now recorded a hit the mark. Displays a downright outstanding talent for certain substances and indented with a beat with this work in the series of all-time greats. He creates his film a downright fascinating pace, leads his action with logical consistency on the line of drama sensation from the beginning up to the moment when the thief turns out to ordinary bank robber. He ignites an enthusiasm for the substance in his youthful cast, which is unheard of ... "

" The Ufa can again scored a success. A huge success even. Adults and children cheered yesterday this new Stapenhorst film thrilled to ... A happy idea to consult Erich Kästner's magnificent boys novel as a substance was. This story of the resolute villain who undertake on your own, bring a crafty deceiver to the track is fresh, original, features, above all, cinematic possibilities. The manuscript also the author of Billy Wilder to use mind ... This movie has atmosphere. From it a freshness comes from a boyishness that entrains. This is a world recognized with the imagination and illusion strength of the child ... Gerhard Lamprecht, the director, deserves this recognition very first. This is without a halt from ( refined silent ) beginning to the bravura finish. This boy's adventure seems actually experienced. A particularly interesting point in the film the way the dream - vision in the railway train, the involuntarily the adult instills a faint shiver ... essential to success contributed to the imaginative musical illustration Allan Grey, which is almost in parts to the essential support of the action. The film was happy initiated by the musical performances of the student orchestra of Treitschke - school, which is also very pretty, the lovely children of Josef Haydn Symphony brought to the lecture and others. "

"That was an excitement in yesterday 5 - clock - idea represented in the youthful element a substantial minority. A so intense witnessing the events on the screen was long since in the cinema floor. Throughout the film, it was loud or muted Entzückensrufe, and the relatives of the children had all the effort to keep his excitement had become fidgety in their seats quietly. To say before a meeting of this film is true: This is not just a movie for kids. Any adult who has not completely lost the joy of primitive rejoice, this film has to find lovely and worth seeing. It must be one very ossified or very blase already if he did not his ten or thirty or fifty years adult existence forgets after the first two hundred meters on the canvas' and as a child the joys and sorrows of children follows ... Who Lamprecht at the work has seen with his children can appreciate how much sacrificial love and patience is in this exposed celluloid. He has made no stars, no, actors ' from his children, he has not led to the mimes in close-up: they should be natural children, and are also ... There was huge applause, during the movie and in the end when the 'stars' in original costume came on stage. "

Other adaptations

There are a total of eight film adaptations of the book Emil and the Detectives:

  • ( Germany, 1931) - Director: Gerhard Lamprecht
  • ( UK, 1935) - Director: Milton Rosmer
  • (Argentina, 1950) - Director: Antonio Momplet
  • ( Germany, 1954) - Director: Robert Adolf Stemmle
  • (Japan, 1956) - Director: Mitsuo Wakasugi
  • (Brazil, 1958) - Director: Alberto Pieralisi
  • (USA, 1964) - Director: Peter Tewksbury
  • ( Germany, 2001) - Director: Franziska Buch

For direct comparison of the three German films you get some insight into the spirit of the times and the changes in Berlin.