The Brutalization of Franz Blum

1974 [GERMAN]

Crime / Drama

0
IMDb Rating 6.9 10 141

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN

Director

Cast

Günter Meisner as Borsig
Jürgen Prochnow as Franz Blum

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Horst_In_Translation 6 / 10

Good performances make this a solid watch

The title of this 100-minute movie actually sounds like a Rainer Werner Fassbinder movie and even if the time fits, he was not actively working on this project. It's actually a Reinhard Hauff movie and the script comes from Burkhard Driest. Driest worked with Fassbinder (and Herzog), so this was certainly inspired. He also plays the main antagonist Kuul (is he really that one?) in this film and was a prolific actor himself. Our anti-hero is played by Jürgen Prochnow (in his early 20s), who you may know from "Das Boot". Eberhard Junkersdorf produced here and he was one of the most known German filmmakers at that time. The whole thing runs for 100 minutes and basically only plays in a prison. The protagonist gets in it right at the start for driving a vehicle in a robbery. The film ends with him being release after 4 years. Other known German actors in here include Tilo Prückner, Fassbinder regular Kurt Raab, Gert Haucke and Charles Brauer.

The story can be summarized pretty easily with the film's title. Blum is an almost harmless good guy at the beginning, but life in prison drastically roughens him up and he becomes one of the most feared and influential people inside. His intelligence helps a lot and it's his great advantage compared to Kuul. This way Blum makes up for his physical weaknesses. But still, he also acts violently, the first time around minute 40 after he gets beaten up by Kuul. Prochnow occasionally looked a bit like the young Clint Eastwood here in my opinion. It's a good film from start to finish, not really great on any occasion and there are some expected events, like the death of the inmate with the heart disease, but it doesn't really hurt the overall perception of the film. The ending is truly ironic when one of the warden's tells Blum that he became an entirely different human being in these 4 years. Maybe this comment that closes the film will give you goosebumps, but it's a nice example of smart dialog writing. Good watch and I recommend it.

Reviewed by maralex 10 / 10

A deeply ironic film about what one man learns from his time in prison

Roughly translated the English title for this is The Brutalization of Franz Blum and that's exactly what the story is about. Franz Blum (Jurgen Prochnow) goes to prison for his part in a bank robbery. He previously worked in a bank, came from a good family and has never been in trouble before. An intelligent, caring man he quickly comes to realise that he has to survive in a world he can scarcely comprehend, where brute force and ignorance are more important than anything else. Slowly Franz Blum learns how to fight back from the insults and beatings that his fellow inmates inflict on him, until he starts to become one of the most influential of the prisoners with his own 'gang'. His survival comes at a price, as he discards his moral principles and begins to manipulate the inmates as much, if not more, than the wardens and the previous gang leaders. The ending is deeply ironic and rings horribly true. Although well acted by everyone, it is Prochnow who makes this movie so outstanding and is one of his best performances apart from Das Boot and Die Konsequenz.

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