Whenever the day starts

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Original title Whenever the day starts
Country of production Germany
original language German
Publishing year 1957
length 102 minutes
Age rating FSK 12
Director Wolfgang Liebeneiner
script Wolfgang Liebeneiner
Utz Utermann
production Utz Utermann
for Bavaria Filmkunst
music Franz Grothe
camera Werner Krien
cut Margot von Schlieffen

Whenever the day begins is a German feature film by Wolfgang Liebeneiner from 1957 .


Dr. Hanna Burkhardt is a teacher of mathematics and physics. She has twice been fired from schools for breaking the rules, including covering up a girl who had stolen and giving her money until the police found out. Hanna defends herself to the city school councilor Hanke, saying that she only wanted to help the child who had grown up without parental attention. Hanke transfers her to the Schiller School, which is one of the best schools in the area. There she meets the director Wolfgang Cornelius, who initially considers her the sister of one of the senior primans. She, on the other hand, thinks he's a caretaker. Wolfgang is initially critical of her. He not only knows her criminal record, but suspects that they will face problems as the only teacher of the boys' school, especially since they the nearing graduation Oberprimaner teaching needs. Teacher Wächter found her a room with old Fraulein Richter. There Hanna met the young man Martin Wieland, who carried the suitcases to her room. First Miss Richter tells Hanna that Martin is senior prime minister at the Schillerschule - and thus a student in the class in which she will teach.

Hanna begins her first mathematics lesson in the senior class with rigor. She wears glasses and asks for particularly heavy material to find out the boys' level of knowledge. Hardly anyone can even begin to solve a given task. Hanna arranges a voluntary tutoring session for the evening, but none of the boys appear. They prefer to spend the evening in a jazz cellar , where they make music. Hanna maintains her strict method and is soon called "owl" by the boys. Class representative Hans Kleinschmidt also lets her play a glass bottle with a poison label on it on behalf of the class. Only now does Hanna begin to rethink her working methods. Before a physics lesson, she sets up a tape recorder unnoticed and can thus record Hans's derisive remarks about her. She plays them in front of the entire class, but shows a sense of humor and thus wins the students' respect. Later they send Hans to her with a symbolic dove of peace and ask for another chance; they want to accept the tutoring, especially as the Abitur exam is approaching. Hanna, however, divides them into study groups, in which the weaker students should be encouraged by the stronger students. Hanna's commitment to the students raises false hopes for Martin Wieland, for example. He falls in love with Hanna, but she hesitantly rejects him.

One day Hans' mother appears at Hanna's and accuses her of overwhelming the students. Since Hanna no longer distributes homework at the same time as the study groups are divided, the students would no longer know any limits in their eagerness to learn. Hans Kleinschmidt worked so hard for Hanna that he had to be hospitalized before being overworked. Only Wolfgang Cornelius can reassure Hanna: Hans has always suffered from a heart defect, and that led to his hospital stay. Hanna and some senior primans visit Hans in the hospital; a short time later he dies. According to his last will and through Hanna's commitment, his band plays jazz music at the funeral. The report about the unusual funeral appears in a newspaper article and city school councilor Hanke is outraged.

The death of Hans threw the unstable Martin Wieland off course. His previously latent suicide intentions become more concrete and his love for Hanna more desperate. He writes down his suicide and love fantasies in a diary which the caretaker finds next to his locker one day and gives it to Wolfgang Cornelius. He lets Hanna wake up in the middle of the school lesson, but she is outraged that a young person's private thoughts are held to be true and she is held accountable for them. She returns to class and without a word puts Martin's diary on the desk. During the break, she explains to him that they are both no longer allowed to live under the same roof and that either he or she will leave school. When she puts the diary in his satchel, she finds a pistol in it. When Martin tries to snatch the pistol from her, a shot goes off. The rushed Wolfgang is beside himself and compresses Martin. He only replies that Wolfgang is in love with Hanna himself.

In the end, the case ends up with City School Councilor Hanke. He wants to expel Martin from school and transfer Hanna to a sentence. Wolfgang, however, vigorously supports Hanna, so that he has to leave the room. Hanna is released from Hanke to go voluntarily, and she agrees. In front of Hanke's office, Wolfgang waits for Hanna and proposes to her. After a moment's hesitation, Hanna agrees, since she had fallen in love with him the first time they met. Hanna can now stay at the school and Martin will not be transferred as a punishment.

Production notes

School at Harthof, in the film Hanna's new school

Whenever the day begins is based on a film novel by Georg Hurdalek . The film was shot from August 26th to October 1957 at the then newly built school at Harthof (now Balthasar-Neumann-Realschule) in Munich and in the Bavaria studio in Munich-Geiselgasteig. It premiered on December 19, 1957 at the Gloria in Frankfurt am Main.

The film was the screen debut of Rex Gildo , who is listed in the credits under the name Alexander Gildo . He does not sing in the film, but is a clarinet player in the jazz band. This plays among other things the midnight blues composed by Franz Grothe .

Film music

Label of the single Mitternachts-Blues by Bert Kaempfert, 1958

The soundtrack comes from Franz Grothe . The midnight blues used several times in the film reached number 6 in the version by Bert Kaempfert on the hit parades of the time and was the orchestra leader's first major success. In the film, Billy Mo plays the famous trumpet solo in midnight blues .


For the film-dienst , Immer When the Day Begins showed “human and pedagogical conflicts, staged in a clichéd and kitschy way.” “Apart from the dripping sentimentality of numerous sequences, the film clearly illustrates the basic problems of pedagogical authority. The solution to the conflicts, of course, shows that this is not about critical reflection, but about 'so-called cultivated German entertainment' ”.

“Doesn't lure a primary student out of the smoking area,” Cinema stated.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Billy Mo ( Memento from September 1, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) at covergalerie.org
  2. Whenever the day starts. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed March 2, 2017 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used 
  3. Handbook of Catholic Film Critics. 6000 films. 2nd edition, Düsseldorf 1960, p. 212, quoted from Friedrich Koch : Schule im Kino. Authority and education . From the “Blue Angel” to the “Feuerzangenbowle” . Weinheim and Basel 1987, p. 178 - ISBN 978-3-407-34009-2
  4. See cinema.de