Men's game (film)

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Original title Men's game
Country of production Germany , Yugoslavia
original language German
Publishing year 1964
length 92 minutes
Age rating FSK 12
Director Wolfgang Staudte
script Werner Jörg Lüddecke
production Rüdiger von Hirschberg for Neue Münchner Lichtspielkunst,
Avala Film, Belgrade
music Zoran Hristić
camera Nenad Jovičić
cut Carl Otto Bartning
Advertisement for men's party at Kino International , 1964

Herrenpartie is a German-Yugoslavian feature film from 1964 by director Wolfgang Staudte . The film is a mixture of political satire and fate tragedy.


A German men's choir takes a bus to the popular holiday destination of Yugoslavia. When they run out of gas, they come to a remote village inhabited exclusively by women. The women don't give them gasoline or water against the heat.

The search for gasoline and water comes to a standstill in a ravine, as the Wehrmacht had blown up the bridge to save it during the war. But the German male choir is tough. They settle down in the abandoned village pension with old soldiers' songs. By posting an announcement from the time of the German occupation, the women declare their continued hatred of the German petty bourgeoisie. The order shows that all of the male residents of the village were shot in retaliation during World War II.

The situation comes to a head when the men “ requisition ” a sheep and slaughter it.

Then, at the request of their spokesperson Miroslava, the women plunge the German bus into a ravine. Miroslava also tries to kill the Germans with a blast when they try to make their way to the next village. She refrains from doing so, as she would endanger a girl in the village who ran after the Germans.

In this tense situation (as in previous scenes) the entanglement of the men in the machinations of the Third Reich and their current dependencies become apparent. Only the young Herbert, who, together with the journalist of the troops, is the only one who has no Nazi past, can understand the suffering of the villagers.

After the men have climbed up in the mountains, they are saved by the women. Miroslava, who does not agree with this rescue operation, then wants to shoot the men on their return, but refrains from doing so at the last moment.

In the final scenes, when the Yugoslav police and a replacement bus have arrived, Miroslava is preparing to be arrested for the destruction of the coach that rolled into the ravine. But the journalist blackmailed his fellow travelers because of their Nazi past, which has now come to light, and the Germans explain the loss of the bus through their own fault.

Production notes

Shooting started on October 6, 1963, in Njeguši in Montenegro. The world premiere took place on February 27, 1964 in Cologne.


“Oscillating between political satire and fate tragedy, the superbly played film is a remarkable contribution to the unresolved past of both peoples. No less interesting is the look at the history of the reception of the film at that time, which was defamed as "bad nest pollution " and ended Staudte's career in cinema as a committed social critic. "

“While the value of some of the Staudte films that were initially strongly rejected is beyond question today ( the subject even adorns a postage stamp from the Federal Post Office), opinions about men's part are still divided today. For me it is an extremely successful film. It is demanding in terms of content, formally interesting and a successful experiment in terms of the conditions in which it was created.

- Andreas Lenhard


The film, shot in Yugoslavia in 1963, took part in the 1964 Berlinale competition, but did not receive any awards. The two Yugoslav actresses Mira Stupica and Nevenka Benković were each awarded the German Film Prize in gold for their performance .

In 1964 the film was invited to the Cannes Film Festival as an official contribution, but the government of the Federal Republic of Germany rejected this request.


  • Andreas Lenhard: Without distinction: men's game . In: Uschi and Andreas Schmidt-Lenhard (eds.): Courage and stubbornness. On the 100th birthday of Wolfgang Staudte . Röhrig, St. Ingbert 2006. pp. 78-96.
  • Ulrike Weckel: men's party. A remarkable satire on German coming to terms with the past, which only a few got to see. In: WerkstattGeschichte 62, 2013, pp. 94–114 ( pdf download ).

Web links


  1. ^ CineGraph - Lexicon for German-language film - Wolfgang Staudte
  2. Men's game. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed August 2, 2017 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used 
  3. a b Andreas Lenhard: Without predicate: Herrenpartie . In: Uschi and Andreas Schmidt-Lenhard (eds.): Courage and stubbornness. On the 100th birthday of Wolfgang Staudte . Röhrig, St. Ingbert 2006. pp. 78-96.