The rats (1955)

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Original title The rats
The rats 1955 Logo 001.svg
Country of production Germany
original language German
Publishing year 1955
length 97 minutes
Age rating FSK 16
Director Robert Siodmak
script Jochen Huth
production Artur Brauner
music Werner Eisbrenner
camera Göran Strindberg
cut Klaus Eckstein
Ira Oberberg

The rat is in black and white twisted German film directed by Robert Siodmak from 1955. The film was loosely based on the eponymous play by Gerhart Hauptmann .


Berlin in the early 1950s: the young Polish woman Pauline Karka comes to the city to go to West Germany . She is pregnant and without a permanent home. When Pauline meets the laundry owner Anna John, hope sprouts for Pauline. Anna John is childless and comes to an agreement with Pauline. She will look after the girl until she is born and adopt the child as her own. The child is born and before she goes to West Germany, Pauline comes back to Mrs. John to say goodbye to the child. Anna John, however, refuses to give her a last look at the child. Pauline wants to kidnap the child in her distress, but accidentally takes the sick child of the neighbor Mrs. Knobbe. Mrs. John instructs her brother Bruno to find and kill Pauline. In the attempted murder, Pauline kills Bruno with a stone. After her brother's death, Ms. John faces the police and confesses her guilt.


Director Robert Siodmak and screenwriter Jochen Huth moved the plot of the play from Berlin before the First World War to Berlin in the 1950s. The film was shot from March to April 1955 in the CCC-Film studios in Berlin; the outdoor shots were also made in Berlin. The premiere of the film took place on June 28, 1955 as part of the Berlin International Film Festival . On July 6, 1955, Die Ratten was released in cinemas.

In order to appear as authentic as possible in her role, Maria Schell went to a camp in the east before filming began: "The wall didn't exist then. She bought a terrible dress there, including a bra, underwear and shoes, which she of course She also had a perm in the GDR , had her earlobes pierced and had two small false pearls in them. Since she had to play a girl who was in different circumstances, she wore this only dress during of the whole movie. She looked absolutely real. "


“A weak script and the modernization take away from the material its important historical background and its socially critical sharpness. Well-known actors ensure that the psychological conflicts remain credible. "

“Siodmak's first German film after returning from emigration… suffers from a poor script that did not adequately transport the historical references of Hauptmann's Wilhelmine drama to the 1950s. The fact that the motivation of the conflicts and people still bears is thanks to the sovereign art of representation of Schell, Hatheyer, Knuth and Jürgens. "

- Thomas Kramer in Reclam's Lexicon of German Films , Stuttgart 1995


The film was awarded the title valuable by the FBW and won the Golden Bear at the 1955 Berlinale . Cinematographer Göran Strindberg was awarded the silver film tape in the same year .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Dr. Alfred Bauer: German feature film Almanach. Volume 2: 1946-1955 , p. 548
  2. a b The rats in the lexicon of international filmsTemplate: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used .
  3. ^ Robert Siodmak: Between Berlin and Hollywood. Memories of a great film director. Munich 1980, page 222