The four in the jeep
|Original title||The four in the jeep|
|Country of production||Switzerland|
|original language||English , German , French , Russian|
|Age rating||FSK 12|
|production||Praesens-Film AG, Zurich|
The film deals with the situation in Vienna during the occupation after the Second World War. In the international zone (1st district) public order is maintained by joint military patrols of the four occupying powers in jeeps . The US Sergeant Long forms one of these vehicle strips with the British Sergeant Stuart, the French Sergent Chief Pasture and the newly assigned Soviet Sergeant Voroshenko. While the cooperation of the three «Western» NCOs is running smoothly, the Soviet and its administration are mistrusted, which reflects the already beginning Cold War . In addition, there seems to be a special relationship between Long and Voroshenko.
The "four" are called to a burglary, which turns out to be an illegal search by a Soviet secret service. With the Soviet administration in command of the International Zone this month, the Voroshenko case is dismissed as "closed". Franziska Idinger lives in the searched apartment, who is waiting for her husband Karl to return home from a Soviet prisoner of war. However, he escaped from captivity and is therefore wanted by the Soviet authorities and suspected of being in Vienna.
The relationship between Long and Voroshenko is revealed in flashbacks. Long reports that he met Voroshenko a few days before the official meeting of the Red Army with the US Army on the Elbe on April 25, 1945 . Both had previously been separated from their units and had fraternized spontaneously. Since both returned to their units after a few days, the glory of the first encounter between the allies fell to others. Later, Long reports, he met Voroshenko in Lower Austria . Due to the tense situation in 1948, Voroshenko completely ignored him as if he were a stranger.
In the meantime, Voroshenko received the order to seize Karl Idinger. Contrary to official instructions, Long decides to help Franziska. It becomes clear that Long also has a personal interest in women. Long and Stuart are able to prevent Franziska from attempting suicide and place her with the initially reluctant Pasture until a new apartment becomes available in a western sector of Vienna - and thus outside the sphere of influence of the Soviets. However, Voroshenko succeeds in locating Franziska's new whereabouts. In the meantime Karl Idinger has also arrived in Vienna and meets up with Franziska briefly.
Long's superiors put him under increasing pressure to stop his aid, since the Soviet administration has now received a formal extradition request for Karl Idinger. This is all the more strange since Idinger is neither a National Socialist nor a war criminal and was already on his way home to be released from captivity. After all this, however, the Soviets have to assume that Franziska is a spy for the Western powers. Franziska and Karl Idinger finally flee to the American sector and find themselves in a half-finished new building. Long and Voroshenko follow them. Voroshenko initially wants to prevent the escape according to his orders, but is stopped by Long, who pushes a wheelbarrow with building materials in Voroshenko's path. The wheelbarrow falls down, putting Franziska's life in danger and can only be saved through the cooperation of Long and Voroshenko with Karl. Voroshenko lets the Idingers escape and pretends that nothing has happened. The «four» then continue the patrol.
The film was made in the Studio Bellerive in Zurich and in the Atelier Thalerhof near Graz with exterior shots from Vienna, Zurich and Graz. Werner Schlichting designed the buildings , production manager was Lazar Wechsler . Since it was of course strictly forbidden for private individuals to wear Allied military uniforms in 1950, the producers used brightly colored uniforms. These then appeared on the black and white film material in authentic gray or dark brown. The film was produced in four languages, the dialogues in English, French and Russian were subtitled. The film title has become synonymous with the Allied presence during the occupation.
The state of North Rhine-Westphalia gave the film the title " artistically high" .
- 1951: Golden Bear at the Berlinale 1951 for the "best film in several languages that promotes international understanding"
- 1952: United Nations Award from the British Academy Film Awards
The Catholic film service called The Four in a Jeep an excellently staged, captivatingly told film.
- Four in a Jeep in the Internet Movie Database (English)
- Die Vier im Jeep Report on the film "Die Vier im Jeep" with original manuscript