Lola runs

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Original title Lola runs
Lola rennt.svg
Country of production Germany
original language German
Publishing year 1998
length 81 minutes
Age rating FSK 12
Director Tom Tykwer
script Tom Tykwer
production Stefan Arndt
music Tom Tykwer
Johnny Klimek
Reinhold Heil
camera Frank Griebe
cut Mathilde Bonnefoy

Run Lola Run is a German action thriller by the German director and film producer Tom Tykwer from 1998 with Franka Potente and Moritz Bleibtreu in the leading roles. The film shows the same time span of twenty minutes three times, each time with small differences in detail, each of which leads to a completely different outcome ( butterfly effect in a form similar to a time loop ).


The house on Albrechtstrasse in Berlin's Mitte district , where the three episodes begin

The story takes place in Berlin and begins with Lola's friend Manni, who works as a courier for a fence and calls her from a phone booth. He accidentally left a cloth bag with 100,000 marks in the subway , partly because he was confused that Lola did not pick him up as agreed (her moped was stolen when she went to get cigarettes). He only sees a homeless man find the money. Manni now has 20 minutes left until his client comes to collect the money. That's 20 minutes for Lola to bail out her boyfriend. In the meantime Manni is supposed to wait for her at the phone booth. The audience watches as Lola runs through town and tries to get the money. The main part of the film consists of three different "runs", all of which have the same starting point, but develop differently and affect the lives of the people Lola encounters in different ways. The latter is shown briefly in a sequence of snapshots.

First run

Lola starts to run and meets a punk with his dog in the stairwell. The dog makes her run faster and as a result, she collides with a woman with a stroller outside. A quick sequence of images shows how the woman loses her child to social workers and procures another child. In the next scene Lola runs next to a cyclist who is offering her his bike for sale. She refuses, and it is shown in the same form as before, the man being mugged on his bicycle but later marrying the nurse he met in the hospital. Shortly afterwards, Lola walks past the homeless man who found Manni's wallet and took it with him. Then she causes a small rear-end collision. A man is sitting in a car who later turns out to be her father's work colleague. Her father is the director of the bank that Lola is now entering. On the way to the bank, she passes a bank employee who - again shown in a photo sequence - is later involved in a car accident and kills herself as a result. However, her father refuses to get Lola the 100,000 marks and also reveals to her that she is not his biological daughter and that he will leave her mother and her for his work colleague. Meanwhile, Manni uses a blind woman's phone card to make a phone call, but nobody can get him that much money on the fly. Lola runs next to an ambulance, which just misses a long pane of glass that is being carried across the street by several people. Lola arrives at the meeting point shortly after 12. Manni has already started the attack on a supermarket and Lola rushes to help him. On the run they are caught by the police and Manni throws the bag with the loot into the air. A police officer is distracted, accidentally fires his pistol and hits Lola in the chest.

In a cutscene, Lola and Manni lie next to each other and smoke. She asks him questions about his love for her and whether their relationship isn't just a coincidence.

When Lola lies fatally injured on the street, she refuses to accept the end of the story and the plot of the film starts all over again.

Second run

The film jumps back to the end of her phone call with Manni and she tries again to get the money from her father. In the stairwell, the punk tripped Lola, causing her to fall down the stairs, causing her to limp slightly. She collides with the woman with the stroller again, but this time the snapshots show how she wins the lottery. And again Lola meets the cyclist, but now she accuses him of stealing the bike, and it is shown how the man becomes a beggar. This time, too, the paths of Lola and the homeless man who took Manni's money cross. Another time Lola triggers a car accident with her father's colleague. She arrives at the bank a little later because of her injury, which gives her father's lover enough time to confess that she is pregnant by someone else. Lola overhears more of the argument this time and is so upset that she robbed her father's bank with a security guard's gun. She manages to escape because the police believe she is a fleeing hostage. In time lapse you can see the woman walking past Lola and the cashier who gave Lola the money. In order to get to Manni more quickly, Lola asks an ambulance driver for a ride, but he refuses and drives into the familiar pane of glass. When Lola arrives at Manni's, who is about to enter the supermarket, he hears her calling his name. He turns back, but the next moment he crosses the street to get to her, he is run over by the ambulance.

Another cutscene follows. This time Manni asks Lola questions and wants to know whether, in the event of his death, her life would not go on as normal despite her love for him.

Third run

This time Lola skilfully jumps over the punk in the stairwell and does not collide with the woman outside, but almost collides with the car of her father’s colleague and remains for a while on his father’s hood, whereupon there is no rear-end collision because the other car drove by in time is. This time the cyclist sells his bike to the homeless man. When Lola arrives at the bank, she sees her father driving away with his colleague. She walks through the city and asks God for help. In a casino puts its last almost 100 marks in roulette twice in succession on 20 and wins. On the second run of the roulette ball, she let out a long, sharp scream of tension, which draws the attention of everyone present. After she has had her winnings - almost 130,000 marks - paid out, she gets into an ambulance in which the bank's security officer is lying. Lola takes his hand and his pulse normalizes. Meanwhile, Manni is at the phone booth and the blind woman points out the homeless man on his new bike. He runs after him and causes an accident between Lola's father, his colleagues and the guy who stole their moped. Manni exchanges his pistol for the homeless man's money. The situation is saved. Lola reaches the meeting point before Manni. Manni arrives a little later with the fence. But it becomes clear that Manni managed to give the fence the money in time. Manni asks Lola if she ran and what she has in her bag. Another image sequence of the future is announced acoustically - this ends the film.

Template, dramaturgy

  • With its three variations of one and the same story, the film varies the basic idea of ​​the film The Chance Possible ( Blind Chance , Polish Przypadek ), shot in 1981 by Krzysztof Kieślowski and shown only in 1987 due to Polish censorship , with the version by Kieślowski with a length of 120 minutes offers the viewer a far more philosophical examination of the subject of chance and fate . As a well-known admirer of Kieślowski, Tom Tykwer used the basic narrative structure of the film, which was banned for many years in real socialist Poland, as a template. As early as 1950, Akira Kurosawa had a story told from four perspectives in his film Rashomon - Das Lustwäldchen in order to raise the question of truth and reality.
  • The script's dramaturgy follows a spiral structure. Similar to a spiral, the pace of action begins in the extreme turn of the spiral at a medium pace. This increases continuously until the central end point, the goal in the center of the spiral, is reached. The metaphor of the spiral visualizes the “turning around itself” of the helpless and restless protagonist Lola as well as the continuously decreasing available time in each “running around” round of the search for a solution. The spiral also appears several times in the film as an image metaphor, for example in a stairwell. The youth center "Die Spirale" can be seen in the background of the telephone booth. In the casino, a portrait of a woman with a spiral hairstyle hangs on the wall - which can be interpreted as an homage to a scene from Hitchcock's film Vertigo - From the Realm of the Dead .

Reception in later films

  • The Simpsons episode "Trilogy Of Error" (English title: "Trilogy of the same story") pays homage to the film. There are three storylines in this episode, each of which is intertwined. Each storyline one day alternately tells the same story from the perspective of Homer, Bart and Lisa. In Lisa's segment she runs to the soundtrack of Lola runs through the town of Springfield.
  • The episode Run, Gary, Run from the series Alone Against the Future also has a similar plot.
  • The episode Run Johnny Run by Johnny Bravo also uses three timelines and shows images from a possible future of people.
  • In the episode My Clever Idea from Scrubs - The Beginners , the theme song from "Run Lola Run" is played when the caretaker runs a 100 m obstacle course towards JD.
  • In the episode The Monster from the Deep by Buffy - The Vampire Slayer , a young woman in Germany who bears a strong resemblance to the protagonist from "Run Lola Run" is pursued in the opening sequence.
  • The 2009 comedy And Then Came Lola is a lesbian remake of the film.
  • The music video for the single It's My Life to find on the album Crush by Bon Jovi , was inspired by the movie. There a young man runs through Los Angeles to meet his girlfriend at a band concert.
  • In the episode "Run, Candace, Run" (English title: "Lauf, Candace, Lauf") of the series Phineas & Ferb , Candace is on the move with converted shoes to a song similar to the theme song in scenes inspired by the film.
  • The episode "A Thousand Tode" from the television series Seven Days - Das Tor zur Zeit (episode 14 of the second season) refers indirectly to the film.
  • The figure of Katja Obinger from the first episode of the Canadian television series Orphan Black is a tribute to the figure of Lola : The German comes as Lola from Berlin, has medium-length red hair and shot as Lola.
  • In the fifth episode of the comedy series SMILF , the leading actress with red hair runs through the four variants of the plot.


This former Bolle branch in Berlin-Charlottenburg was used as a filming location for Manni's and Lola's attack
  • The districts through which Lola walks during the film are not on one route, but rather scattered across Berlin; it is therefore impossible to run through them in this order.
  • One of the main motifs of Lola running was shot on the Oberbaum Bridge , which connects the districts of Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain in Berlin .
  • It took five weeks to find a supermarket to film the robbery scene.
  • The bank scenes in the fictional Deutsche Transfer Bank , where Lola's father works, were filmed in the then vacant former headquarters of Dresdner Bank on Bebelplatz . The building now houses u. a. the Hotel de Rome .
  • The casino scene was filmed in the foyer of the Schöneberg town hall . The head of the hall, who actually allows the improperly dressed Lola to be used at the roulette table, which is actually above the maximum, is now the technical director of the Spielbank Berlin .
  • The Kronprinzenpalais can be seen as the exterior view of the casino .
  • The scenes in which the ambulance had to brake hard because of the glass were filmed on the south side of the intersection of Greifenhagener Strasse and Buchholzer Strasse in Prenzlauer Berg .


  • The narrator's voice at the beginning of the film comes from Hans Paetsch , who is also known as the “fairy tale uncle of the nation”.
  • The statements "The ball is round" and "The game lasts 90 minutes" are famous quotes from Sepp Herberger .
  • Around 1,000 extras were hired for the film . 500 alone were required for the initial sequence.
  • In the trailer for the film is flawed "Moritz Lead Trust".
  • The blind woman from whom Manni borrows a phone card in the film is played by Monica Bleibtreu , Moritz Bleibtreu's mother.
  • With a budget of around 3.5 million D-Marks , the film grossed around 7.2 million US dollars in the USA (equivalent to 12.7 million D-Mark in 1998).
  • The end credits of the film run from top to bottom instead of - as usual - from bottom to top.
  • In 2000 (with a re-edit in 2006) the parody “Run Lilli” was created by Hamburg directors Jan Braband and Oliver Schnekenbühl. In this version, Lola is played by a male actor with a red wig. The film won the Hamburg Short Film Slam in 2006.


“Using a wide variety of formal means, the director skillfully creates a staccato-like rhythm that condenses into a rousing, formally brilliant visual fireworks display. Approaches to deepening the subject in the direction of reflection on time and chance are definitely there, but are not taken any further, as the story is narrowly limited in its dimensions and only poorly transferable. "

- Lexicon of international film

“Director Tom Tykwer […] surprised both critics and the audience with 'Run Lola Run': crisp, short 80 minutes in which (he) also tells three variants of a story. […] Otherwise, the title says it all and Franka Potente as Lola runs almost the entire length of the film. Using almost all technical possibilities and cinematic achievements, Tykwer changes from video to cinema film, from digital to color to black and white pictures or even from real to cartoon film. Once you've gotten used to the techno beat, which is a bit annoying at the beginning, the most entertaining, funniest flick of recent times awaits you. "

- Prism Online

“'Run Lola Run' is probably 'the' German film of the late 90s. Fast, pulsating, dynamic is the thriller, which captures the lifestyle of this time in an outstanding way. With 'Run Lola Run' Tom Tykwer managed to wake the German film industry from its Snow White slumber and to prove on the international stage that films ' made in Germany ' can also shine with their originality and willingness to experiment. For the director and his partner at the time, Franka Potente, the work, which was celebrated at film festivals around the world and also became one of the most commercially successful German productions abroad, should mean the big breakthrough. "


In her review, the critic Joanna Berry writes that the film is “a visually imaginative and kinetically charged film that comes up with surprises on every corner.” As an example, she cites the opening credits, in which a crowd becomes the title of the film. Actress Franka Potente is the “optical red thread of the film” in this “high-speed adventure”. She can also react warmly and empathetically, which is particularly evident in the scenes with her father. The presentation of the story is "inventive and innovative". Director Tykwer used animation , camera tricks, color and black and white film , music video effects and repetitions. She judges that the film is an "interesting, unusual film experiment, breathless excitement and tremendous energy, packaged by the talented director as an event for the MTV generation."


Run Lola Run was awarded the German Film Prize in 1999.

  • German Film Award in Gold (best film)
  • Best Director ( Tom Tykwer )
  • Best Cinematography ( Frank Griebe )
  • Best Editing (Mathilde Bonnefoy)
  • Best Supporting Actress (Nina Petri)
  • Best Supporting Actor (Herbert Knaup)
  • Audience Award: Movie of the Year
  • Audience Award: Actress of the Year ( Franka Potente )

In addition, there were these prizes and awards:

The film has also been nominated many times, including a. For:

The German Film and Media Assessment FBW in Wiesbaden awarded the film the rating particularly valuable.

The film was Germany's candidate for a nomination in the category Best Foreign Language Film at the 1999 Academy Awards , but it was not nominated.


  • Petra Anders, Manfred Rüsel: Run around Lola. Copy templates for German lessons. Cornelsen, Berlin 2006, ISBN 3-464-60393-8 .
  • Simone Donecker: Narrative Constructions in Tom Tykwers Run, Lola, run. GRIN Verlag, 2005, ISBN 978-3-638-54807-6 .
  • Sandra Schuppach: Tom Tykwer . 1st edition. Dissertation. Bender, Mainz 2004, ISBN 978-3-936497-02-1 .


In addition to the music of Tom Tykwer , Johnny Klimek , Reinhold Heil , Franka Potente with Believe , a. a. also The Unanswered Question by Charles Ives and the song What a Diff'rence a Day Makes in the version by Dinah Washington . Franka Potente feat. Thomas D. with the song Wish (Come to me) .


On February 28, 2013 took place at the Theater am Bismarckplatz the Theater Regensburg the premiere of the opera Lola Run by Ludger Vollmer instead. The theater was the first stage to receive the rights to adapt the film. Schirin Khodadadian staged, Arne Willimczik was the musical director .

Age rating on DVD

The DVDs of the film, which were released by Laser Paradise , have an FSK -16 rating; not because of the film, but because of the trailer that is also included on the DVD .


In February 2020, the Indian production company Ellipsis Entertainment announced that it would be shooting a Bollywood version of the film. Filming will begin in April 2020, and the cinema release at Sony Pictures Films India will take place on January 29, 2021 in India. The language of the film is in Hindi , under the direction of executive producer Tanuj Garg and directed by Aakash Bhatia, based on a script by Vinay Chhawal. Taapsee Pannu and Tahir Raj Bhasin, will star in Run Lola Run.

Web links

Commons : Run Lola Run  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Release certificate for Lola runs . Voluntary self-regulation of the film industry , January 2009 (PDF; test number: 79 732 DVD).
  2. And Then Came Lola: GaydarNation Reviews LOLA , May 15, 2010.
  3. Alex Gernandt: Bon Jovi . 2nd Edition. Goldmann, Munich 2001, ISBN 3-442-42851-3 , p. 261
  4. a b Trivia . IMDb ; accessed June 2, 2009
  5. Filming locations with photos on a city map ( Memento from October 28, 2010 in the Internet Archive )
  6. Michaela Menschner, Ela Dobrinkat: Best of Berlin. Visit Berlin's most famous filming locations. In: Berliner Morgenpost. April 2, 2009
  7. Jump up ↑ location of the stories . The daily mirror
  8. a b Berry, Joanna: Run Lola Run (1998) . In: Schneider, Steven Jay, Ueberle-Pfaff, Maja (ed.): 1001 films that you should see before life is over. Selected and presented by 77 international film critics. Twelfth, updated new edition. Edition Olms, Oetwil am See 2017, ISBN 978-3-283-01243-4 , p. 868 .
  9. Business and box office . IMDb ; accessed June 2, 2009
  10. ^ Run Lola Run .; accessed June 2, 2009
  11. Persiflage: Lilli Runs .; accessed March 2, 2013
  12. Persiflage: Lilli Rennt in the Internet Movie Database (English)
  13. Lola is running. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed March 2, 2017 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used 
  14. Lola runs criticism
  15. Lola is running . In:
  17. Bollywood filmed “Run Lola Run” again
  18. "Run Lola Run" in Hindi - Bollywood is shooting a remake of the German hit film
  19. Bollywood filmed the German classic "Run Lola Run" again
  20. 'Run Lola Run' Set for Bollywood Remake Through Sony and Ellipsis