Der Totmacher

Germany

Synopsis

In 1924, as Friedrich W. Murnau's THE LAST LAUGH comes out, Thomas Mann's "Magic Mountain" is published, and Adolf Hitler is indicted for high treason in Munich, a criminal case in Hanover causes a sensation in Germany.
Fritz Haarmann, a salesman, confesses to having killed 24 young men and dismembered their bodies. He rejects the accusation of cannibalism.

Professor Ernst Schultze is commissioned to prepare a psychiatric report to determine whether Haarmann is of sound mind. In August, 1924, his six-week examination begins in the Göttingen Provincial Mental Asylum.
Protocols of the ensuing dialogue were taken down by a stenographer and served as the basis for this film, employing the authentic text.

The entire action of the film takes place in Professor Schultze's examination room.
"The most terrible murderer of the 20th century", as Fritz Haarmann was characterized, inspired artists like George Grosz and Alfred Hrdlicka, as well as the author Alfred Döblin for the psychogram of Franz Biberkopf in "Berlin Alexanderplatz" and Fritz Lang for Peter Lorre's role in M.
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Cast & Crew

Directed by: Romuald Karmakar

Written by: Romuald Karmakar, Romuald Karmakar

Produced by: Thomas Schühly

Main Cast: Pierre Franckh (stenograph), Götz George (Fritz Haarmann), Jürgen Hentsch (Prof. Ernst Schultze)

Nominations and Awards

  • Young European Film 1995
  • EFA Feature Film Selection 1995