6.4/10
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Wenn der Vater mit dem Sohne (1955)

| Drama, Comedy | 1959 (USA)
After Clown Teddy lost his son, he lost his gift for laughter. He opened a joke shop and lives above the shop. His landlady has had a foster son since birth, and Teddy decides to raise the ... See full summary »

Director:

Hans Quest

Writers:

Hans Grimm (based on an idea by), Gustav Kampendonk (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Heinz Rühmann ... Teddy Lemke
Oliver Grimm ... Ulli
Waltraut Haas ... Gerti
Robert Freitag ... Roy Bentley (as Robert Freytag)
Sybil Werden ... Jane
Fita Benkhoff ... Frl. Biermann
Carl-Heinz Schroth ... Peepe
Pero Alexander ... Donald Crossman
Herbert Kiper Herbert Kiper ... Miller - Agent
Hans Schwarz Jr. Hans Schwarz Jr. ... Samson (as Hans Schwarz)
Rudolf Schündler ... Herr im Laden
Heidi Becker Heidi Becker ... Helga
Arnim Dahl Arnim Dahl ... Kunstspringer (as Armin Dahl)
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Storyline

After Clown Teddy lost his son, he lost his gift for laughter. He opened a joke shop and lives above the shop. His landlady has had a foster son since birth, and Teddy decides to raise the child, who always believed that Teddy was his father. When the mother suddenly appears five years later and wants her son, Teddy decides to run away with the child and goes back onstage with his son. Will the family catch up with them, or will the mother never get her son back? Written by Michelle Schick

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

clown | parenthood | See All (2) »

Genres:

Drama | Comedy

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

West Germany

Language:

German

Release Date:

1959 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

If the Father and the Son See more »

Filming Locations:

Pichelsberg, Berlin, Germany See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Klangfilm-Eurocord)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Remade as Wenn der Vater mit dem Sohne (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

La-Le-Lu
Music by Heino Gaze
Lyrics by Bruno Balz
Performed by Heinz Rühmann
See more »

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User Reviews

Charles Chaplin would have loved this
2 November 2004 | by Chip_douglasSee all my reviews

Terribly dull comedy/drama about Teddy, 'the greatest clown ever' who lost the will to perform after the accidental death of his son (and clown partner). Now he runs a Joke shop, but when his landlady's foster child Ulli kicks his window in, the old performer starts to liven up. Teddy even starts to learn the boy some of his old routines. Unfortunately, Ulli's mother is about to remarry in New York (they always had to have some sort of American connection) and calls for him to be send over. The old clown misunderstands, packs up Ulli and his dog and heads for Switzerland. Once there, they immediately start plastering home made posters on the walls, as if they had this planned all along.

Brief side note. I simply must mention a totally out of place reverse shot that is inserted at the swimming resort: divers are shown catapulting out of the water onto the diving board. At first I thought something was wrong with my video, but using my own rewind button, it turned out they added this on purpose for a cheap laugh. Since this kind of thing normally only happens in Kung Fu fantasies, it makes little sense in an overly sentimental film like this. I mean, who needs a clown act when you can break the laws of gravity?

Finally we get to see the act, once again called Teddy und Teddy (apparently old Teddy has shaken of any nasty memories). As this was supposed to be the funniest clowns act ever, our expectations are high. It turns out to consist mainly of moving suitcases and stuff (quite impressive seeing as they have no accomplices), while both the Teddy's are playing instruments. Apparently Ulli learned all this while driving from Germany to Switzerland. But the sister of his mothers fiancée is on Ulli's trail. When she finds them, the woman decides to follow them a while longer, probably so their parting will have an even greater impact near the end. Unfortunately for us, this means more shots of them driving around town.

Actor Heinz Ruhmann (the original Teddy) was incredibly popular with German audiences at this time and if you can make it all the way through, you do realize why. His performance as the sad clown can hardly be faulted. Still, unless you're going through a depression of your own, you will have a hard time sitting this one out.

5 out of 10


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