It Happened in Broad Daylight
|Es geschah am hellichten Tag - El cebo|
|Directed by||Ladislao Vajda|
|Produced by||Lazar Wechsler
Artur Brauner (co-producer)
|Written by||Friedrich Dürrenmatt
|Music by||Bruno Canfora|
Praesens Film GmbH
|Distributed by||Deutsche Film Hansa|
Es geschah am hellichten Tag (English: It Happened in Broad Daylight) is a 1958 Swiss-German-Spanish suspense film directed by Ladislao Vajda. In 1958, it was remade under the same title as a German TV film, directed by Nico Hoffmann. There was also a Dutch remake of the film, by Rudolf Van Den Berg, under the title The Cold Light of Day made in 1995.
The original screenplay was written by Friedrich Dürrenmatt, a Swiss playwright and novelist, and the first incarnation of the film is still acclaimed by critics. Heinz Rühmann and Gert Fröbe both starred in the 1958 movie.
The three films follow the same basic plot, where a senior police detective is detached to investigate the murder of a little girl. As the detective hopes for leads while talking with the mother of the murdered girl, he pledges to find her killer – and so, even after leaving the police force, he embarks upon buying a gasoline shop in the remote area where he hopes to find the criminal, and uses a little girl as bait to attract the killer. His trap is ultimately successful in ensnaring the murderer.
- Heinz Rühmann - Oberleutnant Matthäi
- Sigfrit Steiner - Det. Feller
- Siegfried Lowitz - Lt. Heinzi
- Michel Simon - Jacquier
- Heinrich Gretler - Polizeikommandant
- Gert Fröbe - Schrott
- Berta Drews - Frau Schrott
- Ewald Balser - Professor Manz
- Roger Livesey - Professor Manz (voice: English version)
- María Rosa Salgado - Frau Heller
- Anita von Ow - Annemarie Heller
- Barbara Haller - Ursula Fehlmann
- Emil Hegetschweiler - Gemeindepräsident
The film premiered on 4 July 1958 at the IFF/Berlin. It went on general release on 9 July 1958. In Switzerland it premiered on 12 July 1958 (Rex, Zürich).
Friedrich Dürrenmatt had not been happy to see the detective proven successful at the end the story, so he wrote the novel Das Versprechen: Requiem auf den Kriminalroman (The Pledge: Requiem for the Detective Novel) from the previous film script. Das Versprechen differs from Es geschah am hellichten Tag by having the detective fail to identify the killer in the end because of the murderer's death in an auto accident. This failure ultimately leaves the detective a broken and witless old man.
- Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep: A Brief History of Child Murder in Cinema
- "Filmportal: Es geschah am hellichten Tag (German)". Retrieved 1 July 2016.
- "IMDB.com: Awards for Es geschah am hellichten Tag". imdb.com. Retrieved 2010-01-01.