Anna Susanna

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Original title Anna Susanna
Country of production GDR
original language German
Publishing year 1953
length 92 minutes
Director Richard Nicolas
script Richard Nicolas
production DEFA
music Horst Hanns Sieber
camera Emil Schünemann
Wolf Göthe
cut Lieselotte Johl

Anna Susanna is a DEFA German feature film directed by Richard Nicolas from 1953.


The "Anna Susanna" is a four-masted barque that was on her way back from Chile to her home port of Hamburg in 1929. Due to bad weather conditions, the ship can only dock in Hamburg with a delay of six weeks. Most of the crew want to stay on land in the future. So the Smutje waits for the money that the sailmaker has predicted to win in order to buy his own restaurant. Emil wants to remodel his father's hairdresser and support him in his work. In the vegetable shop of Knuddel's parents, his labor is urgently needed. Fietje wants to take a job with his father at the shipyard, and Orje is just looking forward to seeing his mother again.

The shipowner of the "Anna Susanna", Brinkmann, is threatened with bankruptcy. He sees no other chance than to commit serious insurance fraud. Freights are rare at that time, the shipping companies chase them down from each other - a windjammer has no chance in competition with the competition. Brinkmann decides to discreetly capsize the "Anna Susanna" somewhere in the middle of the ocean and to save his company from bankruptcy with the sum insured. The "Anna Susanna" is sent on another long voyage from Hamburg to Australia, with a valuable load of optical and precision mechanical equipment, for which the ship is highly insured.

The helmsman tries to find a sensible crew, since the last one hired does not make a trustworthy impression. He can hire almost the entire crew from the last trip. Since Orje's mother died during the last voyage and Fietje's father was dismissed from the shipyard because there was no more work, the well-rehearsed team is complete again. Even a stowaway comes on board with the help of Lütt-Heini, the ship's boy: the shipowner's son, who, of course, without his father's knowledge, absolutely wants to go on the voyage and hid in a lifeboat.

During the journey, Captain Kleiers drills the ship, as ordered personally by the shipowner, and also sets fire to the dynamite boxes in the hold to be on the safe side. He is surprised by the helmsman and killed in the subsequent fight. The new crew members do not take part in the rescue work and bring themselves and the shipowner's son to safety with the lifeboat. Now the remaining crew members discover that the cargo consists only of scrap and not high-quality materials. But despite all your efforts, you cannot prevent the ship from sinking and save yourself on a lonely, uninhabited island. During this stay of several months, the sailmaker and the helmsman die, the only witnesses that the captain tried to sink his ship himself. If a ship goes by, the rest of the survivors can make themselves felt and they will be rescued. When they return to Hamburg, they learn that the damage has been recognized as an insured event. Under the pressure of influential shipowners, the Hamburg Maritime Administration, at which the shipwrecked people are bringing a lawsuit, does not believe their statements; it demands evidence; but the witnesses of the act are dead.


The film was shot in the Jofa studio in Berlin-Johannisthal. The outdoor shots were taken on the Baltic coast and in Rostock . Anna Susanna premiered on February 27, 1953 in the Berlin film theater "Jugend", at Langhansstrasse 23. It was first broadcast on German television on April 26, 1955.


In the Berliner Zeitung , Hans Ulrich Eylau found that DEFA should watch the film very often and very carefully in order to learn from the actual causes of its failure for the future. Herman Müller said in New Germany : A superficial plot that is routinely built up in the genre of an adventure film is predominant. The juxtaposition of the shallow and the politically weighty mixes in the final picture to a political-artistic tastelessness: sailors and shipyard workers sing the sentimental-unimaginative hit of the film during a protest demonstration! Gerhard Rostin states in the daily newspaper Neue Zeit that it turns out to be a major disadvantage if you make the scriptwriter a director because he was obviously so in love with every scene in his script. that he let everything play out in the greatest possible breadth.


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Alfred Bauer : German feature film Almanach. Volume 2: 1946-1955 , p. 309
  2. Hans Ulrich Eylau in the Berliner Zeitung of March 4, 1953
  3. Herman Müller in Neues Deutschland from March 26, 1953
  4. ^ Gerhard Rosin in the Neue Zeit of March 4, 1953