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Under The Bridges (Unter den Bruecken)

Under The Bridges

Hendrik and Willi are the owners and crew of a canal barge. They travel up and down the Havel River, have girlfriends here and there, and dream of a "solid" life. One evening they observe a young girl, Anna, who is apparently about to jump off a bridge. They both run to save her, but are "disappointed" to find out that she only threw a ten mark note into the river in hopes of ridding herself of a bad memory. Anna is persuaded to travel back to Berlin as a "passenger" with them, and the two friends soon fall in love with her. After an insulting comment from Willi, Anna leaves the boat, and the two men make an agreement with one another: whoever wins Anna back must forfeit his claim to the barge. Feeling sure of himself, Willi goes on land and looks after her. However, he soon realizes that she is in love with Hendrik, and is honest enough to confess this realization to his friend. But his friendship with Hendrik is more important to him than their agreement, and so the three start a new life on board the barge, all together.


Helmut Kaeutner was born in 1908 in Duesseldorf and died in 1980 in Italy. He studied German, Art History, Philosophy, Psychology and Theater Studies and was one of the founding members of the cabaret group "Die vier Nachrichter", which was banned in 1935. Originally working in the theater as an actor and director, he began his film work as a scriptwriter. His directorial debut was with the film Kitty and the World Conference (Kitty und die Weltkonferenz, 1939), but the film was withdrawn by the Nazi government due to its "pro-English tendencies". His other films include: Kleider machen Leute (1940), Auf Wiedersehen, Franziska! (1941), Anuschka (1942), Romance in a Minor Key (Romanze in Moll, 1943), Great Freedom No. 7 (Grosse Freiheit Nr. 7, 1944), Seven Journeys (In jenen Tagen, 1947), The Original Sin (Der Apfel ist ab, 1948), The Last Bridge (Die letzte Bruecke, 1953) - winner of a German Film Award in 1954, Sky Without Stars (Himmel ohne Sterne, 1955), The Devil's General (Des Teufels General, 1955), The Captain of Koepenik (Der Hauptmann von Koepenik, 1956) - winner of two German Film Awards in 1957, The Affairs of Julie (Die Zuercher Verlobung, 1957), The Restless Years (Zu jung, 1958), Stranger in My Arms (Ein Fremder in meinen Armen, 1959), Lausbubengeschichten (1964), and Die Feuerzangenbowle (1970), among others.
Genre Drama, Love Story
Category Feature
Year of Production 1944
Director Helmut Kaeutner
Screenplay Helmut Kaeutner, Walter Ulbrich
Cinematography Igor Oberberg
Wolfgang Wehrum
Bernhard Eichhorn
Anton Weber, Herbert Kirchhoff
Cast Hildegard Knef, Hannelore Schroth, Carl Raddatz, Gustav Knuth, Ursula Grabley, Margarete Haagen, Erich Dunskus, Walter Gross
Producer Walter Ulbrich
Production Company Ufa/Berlin
Length 92 min
Format 35 mm, b&w
Original Version
 German
Subtitled Versions Arabic, English, French, Greek
Sound Technology Mono
German Distributor Transit Film/Munich

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