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Pfarrer Braun

Pfarrer Braun
Scene from "Pfarrer Braun"

Production Report featured in
German Films Quarterly 01/2003

There are some actors who have so made the role their own, it is virtually impossible to come up with a better candidate for the part. Think of Sean Connery as James Bond (with apologies to Pierce Brosnan!), Peter Ustinov as Agatha Christie’s Belgian crime buster, Hercule Poirot, or Margaret Rutherford as the immortal Miss Marple. And then there’s that greatest of all detectives, Sherlock Holmes. Has anyone embodied him better than Basil Rathbone?

While he might not, yet, be a household name outside of Germany, Ottfried Fischer has already achieved national recognition as the larger-than-life detective in the hit television series, Der Bulle von Toelz (translation, "The Cop from Toelz"). And so who better to take on the role of the crime-solving cleric, the priestly sleuth, Father Braun? Fischer, who can now add his name to those actors who have become inseparable from the characters they play.

Having annoyed Bishop Hemmelrath once too often, the Bavarian Father Braun is sent into exile to northern Germany. But crime has a way of striking and it isn’t long before Braun has his hands full.

In Pfarrer Braun: Der siebte Tempel, our hero finds himself on the small island of Nordersand. He quickly wins the confidence of the locals, and wealthy widow, Miss Groenewold, even asks him to take charge of the finances of her foundation for the preservation of wildlife. As so often happens, shortly afterwards the old lady is found dead. Was it an accident or was it murder?

In part two, Pfarrer Braun: Das Skelett in den Duenen, the son of the local police officer finds a skeleton in the sand dunes. Our hero would love to dig deeper, but the bishop is visiting. However, when a second skeleton is discovered, Braun cannot stay uninvolved.

Both screenplays are by Wolfgang Limmer, known for his prowess in scripting TV crime stories. And like our hero, director Martin Gies has also made crime his specialty, having written and directed several episodes of the famous series Tatort and Ein Fall fuer zwei. Father Braun’s faithful acolyte is played by the up-and-coming actor Antonio Wannek, whose most recent credits include Domink Graf’s A Map of the Heart (Der Felsen, 2002), Connie Walther’s Never Mind the Wall (Wie Feuer und Flamme, 2001), and Sandra Nettelbeck’s Bella Martha (2000). Last year, Wannek was among the European Film Promotion’s “Shooting Stars“.

Genre Comedy, Drama
Category TV Movie
Year of Production 2003
Director Martin Gies
Screenplay Wolfgang Limmer
Cinematography Thomas Etzold
Vera von Appeldorn
Martin Boettcher
Cast Ottfried Fischer, Hansi Jochmann, Antonio Wannek, Hans-Michael Rehberg, Ursula Buschhorn, Peter Heinrich Brix, Tilo Prückner, Eva-Maria Hagen, Thomas Fritsch
Producer Rainer Poelmeyer
Production Company Polyphon Film- und Fernsehgesellschaft/Hamburg, in cooperation with ARD
Format Super 16, color
Shooting Dates Norderney, Greetsiel, Hamburg, September - November 2002
German Distributor Degeto Film

World Sales
Degeto Film GmbH
Am Steinernen Stock 1
60320 Frankfurt/Germany