Duped Till Doomsday

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Duped Till Doomsday
Directed by Kurt Jung-Alsen
Produced by Adolf Fischer
Written by Franz Fühmann
Kurt Bortfeldt
Willi Brückner
Starring Rudolf Ulrich
Music by Günter Klück
Cinematography Walter Fehdmer
Edited by Wally Gurschke
Distributed by PROGRESS-Film Verleih
Release date(s)
  • 7 March 1957 (1957-03-07)
Running time 97 minutes
Country East Germany
Language German

Duped Till Doomsday (German: Betrogen bis zum jüngsten Tag) is a 1957 East German drama film directed by Kurt Jung-Alsen. It was entered into the 1957 Cannes Film Festival.[1]


Soldiers Wagner, Paulun and Lick are three friends and the best sharpshooters in their division, that is stationed in Latvia, near the German-Soviet border. During June 1941, while on vacation, they walk near a river and spot a movement in the bush. Believing it to be a bird, they shoot in its direction and discover that they have killed Angelika, their captain's daughter. The three throw her corpse to a swamp and proceed as if nothing happened. Lick tells of the incident to his father, a Waffen-SS general, who decides to use the corpse for propaganda purposes: on 22 June, the day of the invasion to the Soviet Union, he exhumes Angelika's remains and claims she was killed by Soviet marauders. Her father orders to shoot Latvian civilians in response. Paulun tries to tell the truth, but Lick claims he is insane; Wagner remains silent. When Paulun tries to escape arrest, he is killed by Lick. Wagner does nothing and continues to behave as usual.



The script was adapted from the 1955-published novel Kameraden by Franz Fühmann. Fühmann himself was excluded from participating in the production.[2] The picture was the first of the "army epics", a new East German genre that reformed the classic German style of portraying military comradeship, replacing the typical soldiery friendship with plots centered on moral dilemmas facing the servicemen.[3] In addition, the picture was intended as a response to the war films produced in the West at those years.[4]


Betrogen bis zum jüngsten Tag was the first East German film to be entered into the Cannes Film Festival; a year earlier, at 1956, Zar und Zimmermann and Der Teufelskreis were screened outside the competition.[5] Although the picture had no chance of winning due to political considerations,[2] it was nominated for the Palme d'Or.[1]

The film was DEFA's most successful project since the 1946 Murderers Among Us. It was well received abroad.[2] The Punch magazine's reviewer wrote that it was "very worth seeing... mostly admirable, flowed in the end."[6] The East German media called it "the first DEFA war film" and praised it.[4] Fühmann's work received considerable attention due to the film, and his books were re-printed.[2]


  1. ^ a b "Festival de Cannes: Duped Till Doomsday". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-02-07. 
  2. ^ a b c d Dennis Tate. Franz Fühmann, innovation and authenticity: a study of his prose-writing. ISBN 978-90-5183-805-3. page 50.
  3. ^ Miera Liehm, Antonin J. Liehm . The Most Important Art: Soviet and Eastern European Film After 1945. ISBN 0-520-04128-3. Page 269.
  4. ^ a b Detlef Kannapin. Dialektik der Bilder. ISBN 978-3-320-02903-6. Page 150.
  5. ^ Ulrich Pfeil. Die "anderen" deutsch-französischen Beziehungen: die DDR und Frankreich 1949. ISBN 978-3-412-04403-9. Page 324.
  6. ^ Punch, Volume 234. Page 163.

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