Five Days, Five Nights (1960 film)

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Five Days, Five Nights
Five Days, Five Nights (1960 film).jpg
Directed byLev Arnshtam
Heinz Thiel
Anatoly Golovanov
Produced byOtman Karayev, Adolf Fischer
Written byLev Arnshtam
Wolfgang Ebeling
StarringWilhelm Koch-Hooge
Annekathrin Bürger
Erich Franz
Heinz-Dieter Knaup
Evgenia Kozireva
Music byDmitri Shostakovich
CinematographyYu-Lan Chen
Aleksandr Shelenkov
Edited byTatyana Likhacheva
Distributed byProgress Film (GDR)
Release date
  • 28 February 1961 (1961-02-28) (USSR)
  • 31 March 1961 (1961-03-31) (GDR)
Running time
106 minutes
CountrySoviet Union
East Germany
LanguageRussian, German

Five Days, Five Nights (Russian: Пять дней, пять ночей, romanizedPyat Dney, Pyat Nochei; German: Fünf Tage, Fünf Nächte) is a 1961 joint SovietEast German film, directed by Lev Arnshtam and Heinz Thiel.


On 8 May 1945, the day of Germany's surrender at the end of World War II, exiled communist Erich Braun returns along with the Red Army to his native city of Dresden, only three months after it was devastated in aerial bombardment. He aids a group of Soviet soldiers to recover the art of the Old Masters Picture Gallery from the ruins of the Zwinger Palace. During the next five days, while searching for the collection, he encounters several of the city's residents who have also returned from the war. Although they distrust the Soviets at first, they eventually assist them to recover the pictures.


  • Wilhelm Koch-Hooge as Erich Braun
  • Annekathrin Bürger as Katrin
  • Erich Franz as Father Baum
  • Heinz-Dieter Knaup as Paul Naumann
  • Evgenia Kozireva as Nikitina
  • Marga Legal as Luise Ramk
  • Mikhail Mayorov as General
  • Vladimir Pitsek as Galkin
  • Nikolai Pogodin as Rudakov
  • Vsevolod Safonov as Captain Leonov
  • Vsevolod Sanaev as Sergeant Kozlov
  • Raimund Schelcher as farmer
  • Gennadi Yukhtin as Strokov


The picture's plot was inspired by the recovery of the art of the Old Masters Picture Gallery through the hands of Soviet troops in 1945. The art collection was then taken to the USSR, where it was kept until being returned to the Dresden Gallery during 1960.[1][2] The film was the first Soviet–East German co-production in the field of cinema.[3]


Five Days, Five Nights sold more than two million tickets in the German Democratic Republic.[4]

The film critic of Der Spiegel described the picture as "making no claim to document history truthfully", while also quoting Walter Ulbricht, who called it "a great work of the Working Class" and a monument to Soviet–East German friendship.[5] The Die Zeit reviewer wrote: "the film portrays the Germans quite objectively. But the Soviets? We could only wish for it. Although we well realize that could not have been as they are depicted: noble, faultless and helpful."[6]


  1. ^ Frank Beyer. Wenn der Wind sich dreht. Econ (2001). ISBN 978-3-548-60218-9. p. 122.
  2. ^ Ilse Heller, Hans-Thomas Krause. Kulturelle Zusammenarbeit, DDR-UdSSR. Universität Halle-Wittenberg (1967). ASIN B0000BRJTW. p. 111.
  3. ^ Heiko R. Blum. Film in der DDR. C. Hanser (1977). ISBN 978-3-446-12453-0. p. 255.
  4. ^ Beate Müller. Stasi - Zensur - Machtdiskurse. Niemeyer (2006). ISBN 978-3-484-35110-3. p. 129.
  5. ^ Non-credited writer. Kampf in der Galerie. Der Spiegel, 12 April 1961.
  6. ^ Non-credited writer. Zuviel des Edelmuts. Die Zeit, 31 March 1961.

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