Private Schulz

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Private Schulz
GenreComedy Drama
Written byJack Pulman
Directed byRobert Chetwyn
StarringMichael Elphick
Ian Richardson
Billie Whitelaw
Country of originUnited Kingdom
No. of series1
No. of episodes6
Producer(s)Philip Hinchcliffe
Running time50 mins. per episode
Production company(s)BBC
Original networkBBC2
First shown in6 May - 10 June 1981

Private Schulz is a BBC television comedy drama serial set mostly in Germany, during and immediately after World War II. It stars Michael Elphick in the title role and Ian Richardson playing various parts. Other notable actors included Tony Caunter, Billie Whitelaw, Billy Murray and Mark Wingett.

Over six one-hour episodes, it tells the story of Gerhard Schulz, a German fraudster and petty criminal who is forced against his will to serve in the SS. In a story based on the real, though unrealised, plot by the Germans known as Operation Bernhard, he persuades his superiors to authorise a project to print counterfeit British five pound notes for the purpose of destroying the British economy. Schulz has little interest in the defeat of Britain, and simply wants to steal the forged notes, although he is also strongly motivated to help a former criminal colleague, a Jewish master forger imprisoned in a concentration camp. Other elements of the story based on the history of the period, include the Venlo incident, when two British intelligence officers were abducted from the Netherlands at the start of the war. Salon Kitty was a Berlin brothel, secretly run by the Sicherheitsdienst (the intelligence agency of the SS) to spy on its clientele, who were often prominent German government officials or military officers.

Many of the main characters are based on real people (though some of the characters carry different names). Dialogue in the series is in English and in situations where Schulz interacts with English characters, his delivery is deliberate, like that of a non-native speaker not used to speaking English, or attempting to conceal his native accent. Billie Whitelaw played the role of a prostitute working at Salon Kitty, where German officers were secretly recorded by the SS. Her character claims to have a psychological block that prevents her having sex with any soldier below the rank of major. The screenplay was by Jack Pulman, who died in 1979 before any filming had taken place. In 1982, he was posthumously awarded a writer's award by The Royal Television Society for his work on Private Schulz. Other notable names involved in the show include composer Carl Davis and producer Philip Hinchcliffe.


External links[edit]