Des Teufels General
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|Des Teufels General|
|Directed by||Helmut Käutner|
|Produced by||Walter Koppel
|Written by||Carl Zuckmayer
Viktor de Kowa
Eva Ingeborg Scholz
|Edited by||Klaus Dudenhöfer|
|Distributed by||Europa-Filmverleih AG
Distributors Corporation of America (US)
|23 February 1955|
Des Teufels General (English: The Devil's General) is a 1955 black and white film based on the play by Carl Zuckmayer. The film features Curd Jürgens as General Harras, Marianne Koch, Viktor de Kowa, Karl John, Eva Ingeborg Scholz, and Harry Meyen.
Nazi Germany in 1941: the title character is Luftwaffe General Harras, a highly decorated World War I veteran contemptuous of the Third Reich and the World War II attempt to conquer Europe. Initially courted by SS officials he continually mocks the Nazi leadership, which leads to friends turning into enemies and suspicion from SS and Gestapo of what may be treason. He is temporarily arrested by order of Heinrich Himmler, and after his release is determined to break his deal with the devil. He backs the sabotage action of his flight engineer, threatens an SS officer at gunpoint and finally crashes his aircraft into the control tower of his airbase.
- Curd Jürgens as Harras, whose character is supposed to be based upon German Luftwaffe General Ernst Udet while bearing not the remotest resemblance to the personality and motifs of the latter in the film.
- Bum Krüger as Lüttjohann, Harras's adjutant.
- Paul Westermeier as Korrianke, Harras's chauffeur.
- Albert Lieven as Friedrich Eilers, Colonel & leader of the war front and military.
- Harry Meyen as Hartmann, aviation officer.
- Hans Daniel as Hastenteuffel, aviation officer.
- Beppo Brem as Pfundtmayer, aviation officer.
- Karl Ludwig Diehl as Sigbert von Mohrungen, raw materials purchasing director.
- Werner Fuetterer as Baron Pflungk, Attaché for the ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- Viktor de Kowa as Dr. Schmidt-Lausitz, SS officer.
- Karl John as Oderbruch, engineer in the Ministry of Aviation.
- Erica Balqué as Anne Eilers, Friedrich Eilers' wife.
- Eva Ingeborg Scholz as Waltraut von Mohrungen, who goes by the alias Pützchen. Anne's sister.
- Camilla Spira as Olivia Geiss, diva.
- Marianne Koch as Diddo Geiss, Olivia's niece; love interest of General Harras, despite how much younger than him she is.
- Ingrid van Bergen as Lyra Schoeppke, named "die Tankstelle," which means "The Gas Station."
- Inge Meysel as Frau Korrianke.
- Joseph Offenbach as Zernick, SS-Hauptsturmführer.
- Wolfgang Neuss as police photographer.
- Robert Meyn as von Stetten, Generalleutnant.
- Werner Riepel as Kleinschmidt,, Göring's chauffeur.
- Werner Schumacher as SS-Wachtmeister.
- Wolfried Lier as Herr Detlev, restaurant waiter.
The literary model by Zuckmayer was supposed to be based on the fate (and in the film nothing more) of his friend, Luftwaffe general Ernst Udet, who committed suicide in 1941. With fine actors grossly overacting it was shot in Hamburg and Berlin using Swedish-built Junkers Ju 86 bombers with license-built Bristol Mercury engines on a local airfield including its offices with Esselte Files on the shelf. The parking lot contains a post-war VW Bus. All Uniforms were of a material and tailoring standard unknown in wartime Germany. Contrary to living quarters that were very close to that of well-to-do circles in Berlin at the time.[clarification needed]
At the German Film Awards of 1955 Marianne Koch won the Film Award in Silver for Outstanding Individual Achievement: Supporting Actress for her performance in the film.
- Zuckmayer, Carl. "Des Teufels General." ISBN 978-3-596-27019-4