The Bockerer III - The Andau Bridge

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Original title The Bockerer III - The Andau Bridge
Country of production Austria
original language German
Publishing year 2000
length 97 minutes
Director Franz Antel
script Franz Antel , Kurt Huemer , Carl Szokoll
production Dieter Pochlatko , Paul-Heinz Knipp
music Gerhard Heinz
camera Hans Selikovsky
cut Charlotte Muellner

←  Predecessor
Der Bockerer II - Austria is free

Successor  →
Der Bockerer IV - Prague Spring

Der Bockerer III - Die Brücke von Andau is an Austrian feature film from 2000 by Franz Antel . It is the third part of the Der Bockerer series. The focus of the film is the 1956 Hungarian People's Uprising .


Detail of the Andau bridge

Bockerer III is set in 1956. The Allies have withdrawn, Austria is free again. Karl Bockerer, however, has to cope with the death of his wife Sabine. His old friend Anna runs the household for him, his grandson Karli works in his butcher's shop, and his foster son Gustl returns to Vienna with his wife Elena from western Austria.

Karl Bockerer sends Gustl, Karli and his employee Fritzl to Hungary to buy meat. Hungary is still in the hands of the Soviet "liberators". Bockerer's refrigerator truck and meat are confiscated by Soviet troops. Gustl and Karli stay in Budapest , while Fritzl brings the bad news to his boss. For the time being, Karli becomes involved in the Hungarians' struggle for their national independence (see Hungarian popular uprising ) by joining the demonstrators in his youthful idealism, motivated by the young Hungarian Ilona. Bockerer himself traveled to Budapest and managed to get his car and meat released from an old friend, Colonel Nowotny of the Red Army , who had once emigrated from Vienna to the Soviet Union, but they were immediately confiscated again, this time by the insurgents. Bockerer was able to obtain the surrender from Ilona's father, an officer in the Hungarian army and a leader of the rebels. Colonel Nowotny went to the rebels to warn them of the imminent Soviet military operation and was wanted by the Red Army as a deserter . Bockerer, Gustl and Karli start the adventurous and dangerous journey home with Nowotny, whom they hide in the refrigerator, but on the way Karli decides to return to Budapest alone to continue to support the rebels. During these events, the worried Elena travels to Hungary with Bockerer's old friend Hatzinger to look for her husband, but does not get far and returns to Austria.

In Budapest the population demonstrates in the streets and demands the withdrawal of the Soviet troops . Suddenly the tanks of the Soviet Army roll in and the resistance of the Hungarian freedom fighters , which was so successful at first , collapses. The borders are made tight. More than 200,000 Hungarians are on the run from the Red Army. Only one way to freedom is still open. It leads over the bridge from Andau to Austria. It is blown up, but Bockerer, his companions and insurgents can repair it and thus continue their escape. Back in Vienna, Bockerer learns from Ilona, ​​who fled to Austria, that Karli died in the fighting against the Red Army.


In 1956, more than 70,000 Hungarians came to Austria over the Andau Bridge, which crosses the Einser Canal .

The painter Paul Gruber, who lives in Andau, drew Franz Antel's attention to the book The Bridge of Andau by the American author James A. Michener , from which Antel drew some ideas for his film. As with its predecessors, the film institute declined financial participation. One of the reasons given was that the Bockerer's ability to arrange arrangements was not perceived as an exemplary principle. But the federal states of Vienna, Lower Austria, Burgenland, ORF, governor Karl Stix and federal chancellor Viktor Klima finally secured the financing of the project.

The bridge had already been rebuilt in 1996 as a sign of friendship from Hungarian wood by Austrian pioneers. A separate pontoon bridge had to be built so that heavy equipment could be transported back and forth for the film work. As a young couple in love, Antel Volker Schmidt from Graz engaged and as his partner, chosen from a dozen budding young actresses from Budapest, Katalin Szántó.

Since István Szabó was shooting a film with tanks in Budapest, Antel engaged him and his production company as a film partner, which ensured the realistic use of tanks for Bockerer III .

Large parts of the film were shot on original locations, such as the battle scenes in Budapest and the scenes at the location of the bridge in Andau, for which the bridge, which was rebuilt shortly before, was put into a war-like state.

At the premiere in the Gartenbaukino , the audience celebrated the director with standing ovations that lasted for minutes. Then there was a premiere party in the Vienna City Hall. At the box office, the film attracted 10,000 visitors on the first weekend.

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References and comments

  1. The actress Ida Krottendorf , who played Sabine in the first two parts , actually died in 1998.
  3. ^ Franz Antel: Twisted, in love, my life , Munich, Vienna 2001, p. 287 ff.