Wednesday, 2 December 2020

watching the detectives

Adapted from the 1929 novel by Erich Kรคstner with screenplay written by Billy Wilder, the adventure film directed by Gerhard Lamprech Emil und die Detektive opened on this day in 1931 in Berlin at the Kurfรผrstendamm Theatre. The titular young boy is dispatched by his widowed mother from their provincial home on Neustadt (a generic anytown name, like Springfield, and usually appended to the name of the river it’s on) in the Weimar Republic (see also) to Berlin with a sum of money to deliver to his grandmother and cousin, Pony Hรผtchen. En route, Emil makes the mistake of accepting candy from a stranger, is knocked out and awakes to find the Marks missing. Emil then solicits help of neighbour youths who style themselves “detectives.” They eventually apprehend the stranger that mugged Emil, who is revealed to be a wanted bank robber and the gang receives a large award for his capture. Remade five times over the decades, the movie established several cinematic tropes including drugged sweets and innovative camera techniques.