Reversed Lives (1961)

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Original title Reversed life
Country of production Germany
original language German
Publishing year 1961
length 88 minutes
Age rating FSK 12
Director Helmut Weiss
script Maria von der Osten-Sacken
Helmut Weiss
production Eberhard Meichsner
music Peter Mösser
camera Franz Weihmayr
cut Werner Preuss

and Dietrich Thoms , Clas Eriksen , Katharina Herberg

Reversed life is a German melodrama from 1961 by Helmut Weiss with Karin Baal and Rudolf Prack in the leading roles as daughter and father.


Brigitte "Biggi" Bertram works for her father, the well-known pianist Alexander Bertram, as his secretary. Father and daughter get along really well, except that Biggi, unlike the father, is rather unmusical. One night when Brigitte and her friend Nikolaus "Nicky" Dahlem had an argument outside the gates of Munich, Biggi, on a moped, had a serious accident when she collided with a truck. An emergency operation is being prepared in the hospital. Her parents rush over, but neither the father's nor the mother's blood type is compatible with Biggis. It turns out that their parents cannot be their parents. Ms. Bertram remembers that in 1943, shortly after giving birth, she and her hospital roommate Ms. Lindner rushed to the air raid shelter because of an air raid on Munich, taking their two children with them. In this hectic pace there must have been an exchange.

Maria Bertram desperately wants to get to know her biological daughter, receives Mrs. Lindner's old address in the hospital at the time, which is still correct today, and goes to Munich. There is a knitwear shop at that address, and Katharina Lindner, Maria Bertram's biological daughter, works there as a young saleswoman. Maria watches the young woman with delight as she buys a top for Brigitte from her, but does not tell Katharina the real reason for her appearance. Back home, Maria reports to her husband about the visit to his biological daughter and that she looks very much like him. Brigitte who joined them, who was quite worried about a suspected quarrel between her parents, is now happy that they have obviously reconciled. Soon Prof. Bertram can't take it any longer, and he visits his biological daughter in the knitwear shop. He speaks to her briefly and learns from her that she is taking violin lessons at the conservatory. So Katharina has inherited his musicality. When both Bertram and Ms. Lindner received a letter from the local court that the doctor had dutifully informed the authorities in Biggi's accident that Brigitte Bertram's parents were not her birth parents, the whole matter got rolling.

Bertram goes to Mrs. Lindner and they both discuss how to proceed from now on. Ms. Lindner is desperate because she fears that the authorities want to take away her dearly beloved daughter. When Katharina, who heard about the letter from the district court through her mother, visited the completely unsuspecting Brigitte at home and told her about the baby swap back in 1943, she was completely taken by surprise and was downright in shock. Brigitte now wants to leave her parents' house. The reason: Secretly, she has always felt more for her father than a daughter's feelings for her father should allow. Now that there are no more blood ties in the way, she sees a great danger to the peace in her parents 'home and the continuation of her parents' marriage. During their escape from home, the two daughters meet in a train, and it turns out that Katharina has far fewer problems with this situation than Biggi. Brigitte and her birth mother finally get to know each other, but when Brigitte learns that her parents are about to join the meeting, she immediately runs away and goes underground. However, Nicky learns through his friend Otto that she is in Bremen.

Biggi and Nicky haven't seen each other for two months, and Katharina, who now bears the name “Brigitte Bertram” by court order, marries her friend Paul in the presence of her social mother and her two birth parents in an Upper Bavarian village church. The old Brigitte, who is now called "Katharina Lindner" due to her new papers, wants to emigrate from Bremen to the USA by ship. That is why she has accepted a position on board as secretary. Prof. Bertram, who found out about this from Nicky at the wedding party of the new "Brigitte", rushed to Bremen and was able to visit her on board at the last moment, which Brigitte alias Katharina was very happy about. They say goodbye and Brigitte tells her father that she will probably not return. There is also a brief farewell to Nicky, who was accompanying Prof. Bertram, who asks her to stay, and when she says that she cannot, she insinuates, not entirely wrongly, that she probably loves another man. Then the ship casts off to the sound of " Must i, must i then go out to the Städtele ", and the two men are left alone on the quay. In the final scene, Brigitte can be seen waving back at the railing with a tear in her eye and the ship sailing out to sea.

Production notes

The film was directed by the production company Co. KG DIVINA-FILM GmbH & manufactured. The company belonged to Ilse Kubaschewski , who was also the owner of the first distributor Gloria-Film GmbH & Co. Filmverleih KG . Reversed Life was created in the spring of 1961 under the working title The diary of Brigitte B. in Munich, the Bavarian area and at the then newly built Columbuskaje in Bremerhaven (final scene). The buildings come from the hands of Rolf Zehetbauer and Werner Achmann , Eberhard Meichsner was in charge of production . The film premiered on May 19, 1961.


“Rudolf Prack, Carola Höhn and Barbara Frey try to breathe a little life into this unrealistic depiction, which is ultimately reserved for Karin Baal. Of course, she is no longer the profiled cellar child, the wonderfully half-baked ponytail brat. Smooth, beautiful and well coiffed, she has become the standard type of flicker world. "

- Hamburger Abendblatt from June 10, 1961

The lexicon of the international film says: "A film with the characters of German women's novels from the day before yesterday, which bypasses all deeper problems."

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Reversed life. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed November 24, 2015 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used