Crime scene: death on the Rhine

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Episode of the series Tatort
Original title Death on the Rhine
Country of production Germany
original language German
Maran film
length 88 minutes
classification Episode 757 ( List )
First broadcast February 28, 2010 on First German Television
Director Patrick Winczewski
script Horst friend
production Sebastian Hünerfeld
Sabine Tettenborn
music Andreas Hoge
camera Jürgen Carle
cut Angela Springmann

Death on the Rhine is a television film from the crime series Tatort with the Ludwigshafen investigator duo Lena Odenthal ( Ulrike Folkerts ) and Mario Kopper ( Andreas Hoppe ). It is the 757th Tatort episode and a SWR production in collaboration with Maran Film . The episode was broadcast for the first time on February 28, 2010 on First German Television .

The death of a former racing car engineer is to be solved, as a result of which another murder occurs for which there is the same culprit. The investigators get to know the world of car racing with all its subtle problems of existential fear, competitive thinking, data theft and jealousy dramas.


Konrad Hanke was chief engineer in a racing company. But after his wife had a fatal accident in a car race a year ago, he renounced racing and works with his son Daniel at the Grimm shipyard, which belongs to his sister-in-law Silke Grimm. Nevertheless, he can no longer find a proper hold in life and is often drunk. So it is not surprising when one day he is found dead on the banks of the Rhine. Although the body was disfigured by seagulls, the identity is quickly determined. It wasn't suicide, though. He was knocked out with a bottle and drowned.

Odenthal and Kopper have to inform the victim's son that after his mother he has also lost his father. Daniel Hanke is convinced that Gabi Stein has something to do with the death of his father. She used to be his mother's teammate and was involved in her training accident, so Daniel blames her for his mother's death. When she showed up at the shipyard the day before, his father had literally chased her away.

Racing team owner Hamacher wanted Hanke to return to the racing business as an engineer, because since he is no longer there, victories have become increasingly rare. His young star Martin Berger also doesn't get along well with his team colleague Gabi Stein, which is not conducive to the racing climate. Hamacher relies on a computer program that he knows Konrad Hanke owned. With the help of this vehicle setup program , the racing cars can be optimally adjusted for each racetrack, which can be of great advantage for a competition. Shortly thereafter, the Grimm shipyard was broken into and Hanke's computer was stolen. A tire print leads to Hamacher. Odenthal tries to put him under pressure, because she noticed that he was interested in Hanke's know-how . But it was not he who had been out in the car that night, but Gabi Stein. She was afraid that she would no longer be able to win against her teammate and had brought the program and laptop from Hanke's office. When trying to reprogram her racing car, someone surprised her. In her fear, she calls Kopper, but the conversation breaks off, and when the investigators check the racing stable, they find Gabi Stein lying on the floor, beaten to death with a hammer. Kopper suspects Hamacher, but he is shocked by the death of his driver and cannot be contacted. Daniel Hanke is quickly identified as a possible perpetrator. In his grief over the family losses, he drives his laptop across the Rhine in a rubber dinghy and collides with a barge. However, only the empty boat is found after the collision. Odenthal checks the shipyard and is successful. Daniel is hiding here but is injured. He states that he didn't want to kill Gabi Stein, he just wanted to get back his father's laptop. When she attacked him hysterically, he just wanted to defend himself and pushed her away. When Odenthal asks him about the hammer, he is irritated because he knows nothing about a hammer.

Forensic technician Becker discovers film sequences from the last victory party at Hamacher, which was celebrated with Magnum champagne bottles, a type of bottle that could be used for Konrad Hanke's head wound. Odenthal then asks Christian Hamacher, who, still saddened by the death of his top driver Stein, meekly admits that Konrad Hanke came to them drunk at the victory celebration at the weekend on the ship on which the celebration was taking place and started a massive argument. It had escalated so much that Martin Berger threw his champagne bottle at Hanke and it hit him in the head so unhappily that Hanke went overboard and immediately drowned in the water. Instead of helping, Hamacher ran in a panic and drove home in the car.

Hanke's laptop has meanwhile been retrieved from the Rhine, and Berger manages to get it working again. It actually contains the racing car setup program that Hamacher and his drivers were so obsessed with. Kopper approaches Martin Berger, who, as meekly as Hamacher, announces: "I would have managed without this shitty program, but she would never have made it, never."


The film was produced by Südwestrundfunk in cooperation with Maran Film and shot in Ludwigshafen, Baden-Baden , Germersheim and at the Hockenheimring . One of the locations was the Neue Germersheim shipyard .


Audience ratings

The first broadcast of Death on the Rhine on February 28, 2010 was seen by 8.3 million viewers in Germany and achieved a market share of 22.0 percent for Das Erste .


Rainer Tittelbach from writes very sobering: “After two and a half minutes, Die Toten Hosen give an initial picture of the mood: 'Get up when you're on the ground.' That it is one of the worst songs the band has ever recorded is not a good omen. The 'Tatort: ​​Death on the Rhine' begins as a run-of-the-mill Whodunit and later never gets the curve between racing stable and shipyard, between family drama and racing criticism. The crime story is plotted according to scheme F, the staging style, interrupting scenes because of the superficial tension, is a relapse into the narration of the 1970s and 80s. […] The figures are laid out in the manner of a woodcut, but so are their conflicts with one another. Correspondingly colorless, the actors cast with little surprise. The dramaturgy may be sufficient for racing fans, but far too little for thriller fans. 'Tatort' low point! "

At , Gregor Dolak judges: “There is nothing more bluesy than a completely deserted race track, on which feelings and mutual suspicion hit up. Empty stands, dreary pit lanes and not a single bitch far and wide. What the Sunday Formula 1 spectator does not see, he gets delivered on this Sunday evening: the weeds in the cracks of the asphalt, the destroyed human relationships after a crash. […] [Unfortunately] the plot occasionally gets stuck in traffic. The pictures conjure up frenzied tension, while the number of motifs seems throttled. [...] The fraud with stolen car software must serve as a motive. A criminological emergency stop. "

Kathrin Buchner at states: “Data theft, competition and jealousy drama: The Ludwigshafen 'Tatort' takes place on the Rhine and on the racetrack, is in the fast lane with a modern look, but makes too many pit stops in terms of tension. It is difficult to understand why director Patrick Winczewski and screenwriter Horst Freund do not use these individual parts to screw together a story that stays in the fast lane. Ulrike Folkerts, as Commissioner Lena Odenthal, investigates in a concentrated and meticulous manner like seldom, without any digression into the private sphere. The dialogues are reduced to the essentials, the actors, above all Jeremias Koschorz as a bitter orphan with a tendency to vigilante justice, show a more than solid performance. The imagery in particular is modern, the settings are melancholy-beautiful, the cuts fit. And there are even shock effects to be seen: Hanke's corpse was horribly disfigured by the seagulls' bites. [But unfortunately] alternating between full throttle and deceleration [...] [only] remains. Although there is constant movement, on land and on water, the tension fades away like a Formula One car with engine failure. "

At , Uwe Ebbinghaus states: 'Death on the Rhine' “with Lena Odenthal stops at the Hockenheim-Ring for a pit stop. That's a good idea. But its cuts and twists make you as dizzy as a motor race with no discernible racing strategy. [...] There is nothing wrong with the ensemble's performance. Ulrike Folkerts has already had much weaker appearances, Andreas Hoppe wrestles a new facet from the figure of her assistant Mario Kopper, namely life disgust, Karin Giegerich plays as Konrad Hanke's sister-in-law Silke Grimm so confidently that one wonders why she is so rarely on television , and Jeremias Koschorz as the traumatized son Daniel Hanke is a discovery. Nevertheless, this 'crime scene' failed. You can neither identify with the characters, nor does the plot begin to develop suction. The film fails to direct the viewer's attention to their advantage. It begins as enigmatic as a French art thriller and ends banally. In the meantime, you have to work out what is happening just as laboriously as the time levels and the relationships between those involved. "

Tilmann P. Gangloff says: “Although the story allows a few glimpses behind the scenes of a racing team, it shouldn't bore the regular audience of the Sunday thriller with details. [...] So [...] the film is slowed down again and again, and that literally: Measured against the speed of the racing cars, the staging often lags behind. [...] With all the joy about the rich sound of the Maserati engines: The film just doesn't want to get going, especially since some actors have decidedly too little format for their roles. "

The critics of the television magazine TV-Spielfilm write about this crime scene: “The over-constructed story with its incredible staff is about as exciting as writing a ticket. [Conclusion:] Confusion with exhausted actors. "

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b Production details and audience rating at, accessed on March 14, 2014.
  2. Filming locations on Internet Movie Database , accessed March 14, 2014.
  3. ^ Rainer Tittelbach: Film review on, accessed on March 14, 2014.
  4. Gregor Dolak: Volle Pulle, empty bottle on, accessed on March 14, 2014.
  5. Kathrin Buchner: Death on the racetrack on, accessed on March 14, 2014.
  6. Uwe Ebbinghaus: A race without a strategy on, accessed on March 14, 2014.
  7. ^ Tilmann P. Gangloff : Critique of the film on , accessed on March 14, 2014.
  8. Short review on, accessed on March 14, 2014.