4.7/10
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7 user 7 critic

Bewildered Youth (1957)

Anders als du und ich (original title)
Klaus is a young man in post-war Berlin. He is drawn to his friend Manfred and, under the encouragement of their acquaintance, Dr. Winkler, explore the underground world of gay clubs and ... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (idea) (as Robert Pilchowski)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Christa Teichmann
...
Bankdirektor Werner Teichmann
Hans Nielsen ...
Max Mertens
Ingrid Stenn ...
Gerda Böttcher
...
Klaus Teichmann
Friedrich Joloff ...
Dr. Boris Winkler
Herbert Hübner ...
Verteidiger Dr. Schwarz
Kurt Vespermann ...
...
Mrs. Glatz
Guenther Theil ...
Manfred Glatz (as Günther Theil)
Paul Esser ...
Kommissar
Siegfried Schürenberg ...
Staatsanwalt
Peter Nijinskij ...
Carlos
Otto Graf ...
Gerichtspräsident
...
Jugendpsychologe
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Storyline

Klaus is a young man in post-war Berlin. He is drawn to his friend Manfred and, under the encouragement of their acquaintance, Dr. Winkler, explore the underground world of gay clubs and electronic music. His family begins to learn of his other life and do everything they can to set him straight. Written by Geoffrey Skinner <gskinner@stanford.edu>

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There are men ... There are Women...and then There is "The Third Sex" See more »

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Drama

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Release Date:

30 May 1958 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

Bewildered Youth  »

Filming Locations:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Klangfilm-Magnetocord)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

Weil ich gar nicht gern allein bin
(uncredited)
Performed by Marcel André
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User Reviews

 
Wait a minute!
16 December 2006 | by (bochum, germany) – See all my reviews

A German movie from the 1950ies, showing how a homosexual is "cured"? Directed by a notorious antisemitic Nazi director? Before we bash it with all our power let's take a closer look: A young man of 17 years is a gifted painter and feels misunderstood by his father, a bank manager who apparently doesn't know anything in life but money. His best friend is a young lyricist, living with his poor mother. The lyricist is the protégé of an homosexual art dealer who attracts the young painter, too, because he is obviously a valuable conversational partner for him. The father, suspecting his son's interest in abstract art and electronic music to be an expression of abnormal behavior, sues the art dealer to have seduced the son - without any reason, not to mention evidence. Meanwhile the mother, who shares her husband's fear that her son might be gay, also tries to "cure" him by successfully making a match between him (who never said of himself to be gay) and her maid. The art dealer gets to know about that and sues the parents for procuration, hoping in vain to defend himself from the father's legal attack. In the end the mother is convicted while the art dealer is arrested - still without any reason and admittedly without a warrant. All in all not as homophobic as many reviews want us to believe. It comes better: There are indeed many homophobic statements in the film, but if you watch carefully you'll see that they all are DUBBED (except for those of the father which intendedly characterize him as an unteachable square), and that the unmotivated arrest of the gay art dealer was obviously filmed later (maybe even by another director and/or DOP) because it matches neither the movie's style nor plot!

Fortunately the Filmmuseum München (Munich Film Museum) has undertaken the effort to find footage from the original version of the movie, called "Das dritte Geschlecht" ("The 3rd Sex"), and has just released a DVD of "Anders als du und ich" (European PAL, region code 0, German soundtrack with optional English subtitles) which provides the movie not only in stunning technical quality but also with extensive extra features including comparisons of all edited scenes with their original version. And these original scenes are far from homophobic! To give you just one example, in the edited version the lyricist's mother tells the painter's uncle (who joins the father in searching for his son) that she knows her son is gay and that she has learned to accept it, and the man replies that she mustn't accept it. In the original version he simply replies: Well, that's fate. A multitude of more examples prove without doubt that the original intention of the film was remarkably enlightened, and the superb and highly recommended DVD edition even contains a ROM part with documents that explain why the alterations were performed: The "Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle", a German film rating organization comparable to the MPAA, rejected the original version - for "advertising" homosexuality!

To get that straight (sorry for the pun): All this doesn't make Mr Harlan a saint. There are elements in the film that are hard to explain: Why is the art dealer filmed in a sort of demonic light during his all-male soirées? Maybe to parody the society's view on homosexuality? If so this would be a risky approach.

In the end we cannot accuse Mr Harlan of homophobia but certainly of naiveté: He, who always claimed that Goebbels (Hitler's "secretary of propaganda") had not only forced him to shoot "Jud Süß" but also destroyed his own non-antisemitic cut of the film (there are at least clues to support his version of the story) should have been warned that something similar could happen again and that this in conjunction with his reputation would destroy any noble message he may have wanted to communicate.

All in all a highly interesting and truly unique historical document of the situation of homosexuals in Germany very far "before Stonewall".


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