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The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum (1975)

Die verlorene Ehre der Katharina Blum (original title)
A young woman's life is scrutinized by police and tabloid press after she spends the night with a suspected terrorist.

Writers:

Heinrich Böll (novel), Volker Schlöndorff (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Angela Winkler ... Katharina Blum
Mario Adorf ... Kommissar Beizmenne
Dieter Laser ... Werner Tötges
Jürgen Prochnow ... Ludwig Götten
Heinz Bennent ... Dr. Hubert Blorna
Hannelore Hoger Hannelore Hoger ... Trude Blorna
Rolf Becker ... Staatsanwalt Hach
Harald Kuhlmann Harald Kuhlmann ... Moeding
Herbert Fux ... Weninger
Regine Lutz Regine Lutz ... Else Woltersheim
Werner Eichhorn Werner Eichhorn ... Konrad Beiters
Karl Heinz Vosgerau Karl Heinz Vosgerau ... Alois Sträubleder
Angelika Hillebrecht Angelika Hillebrecht ... Frau Pletzer
Horatius Häberle Horatius Häberle ... Staatsanwalt Dr. Korten (as Horatius Haeberle)
Henry van Lyck ... 'Scheich' Karl
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Storyline

Katharina Blum is a young handsome German maid. She meets Ludwig, and they fall in love at once. They spend the night together. In the morning, the police bursts in her flat, looking for Ludwig : he is a terrorist. But he was no longer here. Katharina is arrested, humiliated, suspected to be a terrorist herself, dragged in the mud by the newspapers... A plea for democracy and individual rights. Written by Yepok

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

West Germany

Language:

German

Release Date:

10 October 1975 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #177. See more »

Goofs

Katharina's car has two different license plates. See more »

Quotes

Lüding, Verleger: The shots that killed Werner Tötges didn't hit him alone. They were aimed at Freedom of the Press, one of the most precious values of our young Democracy. And these shots - for us who stand here in grief and horror - they strike us. Just as they struck him. Who doesn't feel the wound? Who doesn't feel the sorrow above and beyond one's personal concerns? Who doesn't feel the breath of terror, the savage of anarchy, the violence which is undermining the foundations of our liberal-democratic order...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The legal disclaimer reads as follows: 'Personen und Handlung sind frei erfunden. Sollten sich bei der Schilderung gewisser journalistischer Praktiken Aehnlichkeiten mit den Praktiken der BILD-Zeitung ergeben haben, so sind diese Aehnlichkeiten weder beabsichtigt noch zufaellig, sondern unvermeidlich.' (Characters and plot are purely fictitious. Similarities with journalistic practices of the newspaper "BILD" are neither intended nor coincidental, but inevitable.) This is a direct quote from the introduction to the original novel by Heinrich Böll. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Powerful film based on Heinrich Böll novel
5 February 1999 | by Nick-163See all my reviews

This film is based on the novel of the same name by the German author Heinrich Böll. The book is purported to be written by Böll as a result of an ongoing feud in the German media between Böll and the publisher of the German daily tabloid the Bild Zeitung, a publication known for its lurid and sensational reporting of the news. In his story, Böll attempts to show how damaging irresponsible journalism can be to the lives and reputations of innocent persons caught up in the tide of current events.

The story begins with Katherina Blum attending a party where she meets and is strongly attracted to a young man. She invites him to her apartment and they spend the night making love. The next morning, the young man has gone and the police are storming her door seeking to arrest the overnight guest as a terrorist. Instead, Katherina is arrested and taken to the police station for interrogation as his accomplice. The young terrorist has been killed and Katherina is unable to prove that she had no knowledge of his activities. A tabloid reporter becomes obsessed by the case hounds Katherina, mercilessly destroying her reputation and any semblance of a normal life. The emotional tension continues to build, finally reaching a violent climax.

This is a very powerful and well made film. Böll's message regarding sensational and irresponsible journalism is very clear. After suffering along with the innocent Katharina through the insult, pain and dishonor of her ordeal, I came away from the film with an altered point of view toward tabloid journalism and commercial news reporting in general. In a world where reporters are being found guilty of manufacturing news stories, media agencies are providing dramatic reenactments of sensational news events, and names like O.J. Simpson and Monica Lewinsky are used as teasers to improve the ratings of news programs, this film is a must see.


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