Bandits (1997 film)

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Bandits 1997 poster.jpg
Promotional poster
Directed by Katja von Garnier
Produced by Harry Kügler
Molly von Fürstenberg
Elvira Senft
Written by Uwe Wilhelm
Katja von Garnier
Starring Katja Riemann
Jasmin Tabatabai
Nicolette Krebitz
Jutta Hoffmann
Hannes Jaenicke
Music by Peter Weihe
Udo Arndt
Cinematography Torsten Breuer
Edited by Hans Funck
Distributed by Buena Vista International
Stratosphere Entertainment
Release date
  • 3 July 1997 (1997-07-03)
Running time
110 minutes
Country Germany
Language German

Bandits is a 1997 German road movie directed by Katja von Garnier. The film stars Katja Riemann, Jasmin Tabatabai, Nicolette Krebitz and Jutta Hoffmann.[1] Both the film and soundtrack album were commercially successful in Germany, but Bandits grossed less than $25,000[2] in the United States. Much of the soundtrack was written and performed by the actresses themselves.[citation needed] One track from the soundtrack reached number one in the German Charts.[citation needed]


As part of socio-professional reintegration in a German prison, four women form a band named Bandits. Drummer Emma Moor, a former member of a Jazz group, was abused by the bandleader and shot him. Angelika Angel Kleinschmidt is imprisoned for marriage fraud, she plays the bass. Singer and guitarist Ludmilla Luna Nabiba was arrested for aggravated robbery. Marie Irrgang poisoned her husband, is schizoid and suicidal, she plays the piano.

On the way to a performance at a prom the band manages to escape from custody. On their way towards Hamburg they hear one of their own songs on the radio, which they sent to record producer Michael Gold. Due to the media attention the Bandits gained, Gold senses profitable business. The four women trick him into paying them without signing the contract he offers, financially securing their escape.

In light of their growing fanbase, the Bandits play a spontaneous concert in a club, however they are interrupted by the police. To evade arrest, they take the American tourist West hostage. The good-looking male causes faction within the group, as he seduces both Angel and Luna. The Bandits leave him behind soon after.

With the police led by Kommissar Schwarz still chasing them, they get surrounded on a bridge. Marie dies of a natural death, and the other bandmembers set the car on fire. Luna and Angel jump into the river, while Emma gets arrested. Soon after, she is freed by the other musicians. With the help of a contact Marie had, they concoct a plan play a gig on a cruise liner and thereby leave the country.

Prior to their departure the Bandits play a farewell show on a rooftop in the harbor. As the police is informed about this, Kommissar Schwarz and a Sondereinsatzkommando rush to the scene. Constrained by the audience and makeshift barriers, the SEK reaches the rooftop only to see the band stage dive down. While Luna, Angel and Emma run towards the cruise liner, Marie appears to be standing behind the guard rail, wearing a red evening dress. Meanwhile, police snipers get into position.

As the Bandits reach the gangway, Kommissar Schwarz addresses them with a bullhorn. Facing the police, they draw their weapons and throw them away. Kommissar Schwarz, however, misinterprets the move and orders the police snipers to shoot. Realizing his mistake, he looks shocked, while shots are heard. The film ends with Marie's hand reaching down to the hands of Luna, Angel and Emma.


Rotten Tomatoes reports 88% approval of Bandits among eight critics.[3]



  1. ^ Van Gelder, Lawrence (September 24, 1999). "FILM REVIEW 'Bandits': The Saga of a Criminal Band of Runaway Musicians". The New York Times. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Bandits (1997)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved January 10, 2017. 
  4. ^ "YUBARI INTERNATIONAL FANTASTIC ADVENTURE FILM FESTIVAL'99". Archived from the original on 18 July 2011. Retrieved 2009-09-20.  External link in |publisher= (help)

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