Anonymous letters (1949)

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Original title Anonymous letters
Country of production Germany
original language German
Publishing year 1949
length 95 minutes
Director Arthur Maria Rabenalt
script Ernst Hasselbach
production Cordial-Film, Berlin
music Theo Mackeben
camera Otto Baecker
cut Walter Wischniewsky

Anonymous letters is a psychologizing German film drama from the year 1949. Directed by Arthur Maria Rabenalt play Käthe Haack , Petra Peters and OE Hasse the lead roles. The 23-year-old up-and-coming actress Cornell Borchers made her film debut here. The story is based on a novel by Annemarie Artinger.


The setting is early post-war Berlin. The four victorious Allied powers still have complete control over the city, which has just been sealed off by the Soviets. An event of great consequence worries the drama school directed by Toni Gerling. A number of the drama students who are to be trained here have received the anonymous letters from which the title is given, which the young women put in their coat pockets and which are now causing plenty of bad blood. The addressees are put under pressure in matters of the heart in partly threatening, partly extortionate form.

Someone knows some of the girls' dark secrets, including one or the other wrongdoing. With this knowledge, all sorts of confusion is caused and so many hopeful artist careers are to be torpedoed. Soon there is a bad atmosphere of general suspicion, and everyone suspects everyone else. Only when the courageous classmate Ulli Brackmann takes the initiative to track down the perpetrator, and a classmate tries to take her own life because of the allegations, Mrs. Gerling becomes active and hands over the slanderous abuse letters to the criminal police, which soon becomes the culprit gets to the bottom of things.

Production notes

Anonymous Letters was created in the autumn of 1948 in the Berlin-Tempelhof film studios or in Berlin (exterior shots). As can be seen from an emblem in the opening credits, the film was made during the Berlin blockade . The film premiered on March 29, 1949 in Berlin.

Frank Clifford took over the production management. Willi A. Herrmann and Max A. Bienek designed the film buildings.

Five years earlier, during the war, the French thriller specialist Henri-Georges Clouzot had taken up a similar topic in a much more subtle way in his dark film noir The Raven .


Die Zeit wrote: “Momentum and speed in the direction of Arthur Maria Rabenalt, an exciting (admittedly unmotivated in its outcome) script based on a novel by Annemarie Artinger and somewhat too heavy cuts make the 'Anonymous Letters' ... a relaxed and skilful entertainment film by German post-war production. (...) Two little things disturb the good overall impression: the fight between the two girls at the end of the film, which can seem embarrassing as long as it is not shown as exaggerated and skilfully as the Americans in the 'Big Bluff', and the short scene, in which the director Rabenalt lets himself be imagined visually and acoustically as a 'well-known film director'. "

"Despite interesting psychological aspects, a post-war crime thriller without a conclusive concept."

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Criticism from June 2, 1949
  2. ^ Anonymous letters in the Lexicon of International Films , accessed April 1, 2020 Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used

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