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Kinder, Mütter und ein General 1955
Description: Laslo Benedek interrupted his thriving Hollywood career to return to Europe as director of the German Kinder, Mutter und ein General (Children, Mother and the General). The movie is set in Berlin during the last days of WW II. Desperate for manpower, Hitler has ordered that all able-bodied teenaged men --some as young as 15 -- be drafted into the army. Frau Asmussen (Hilde Krahl) is one of five mothers who learn to their horror that their men have been slated to be cannon fodder on behalf of the Third Reich. Asmussen and the another mothers head directly to the front to plead with the German generals for the lives of their sons. Not directly an indictment of Germany's involvement in (or incitement of) the newest war, Kinder, Mutter und ein General stresses the futility and heartbreak of all fights everywhere.
Released: 04 Mar 1955 Director: Laslo Benedek Writers: Herbert Reinecker (screenplay), Herbert Reinecker (novel) Actors: Hilde Krahl, Therese Giehse, Ursula Herking, Alice Treff Genres: Drama, War
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Kinder, Mütter und ein General Reviews:

This was type of a drill for "Die Brücke", the masterpiece coming some 4 years later. Few young men have volunteered to war with the remains of the German Units on the Eastern Front and their mothers take on a desperate adventure to receive them back home. This is said in black and white, with only tiny doses of softening and taking stand for the German cause, basically a human drama of motherly uncompromising love, officers and generals torn between duty and human common sense and boys, who feel like deserters, if they would be forced to be men again. And also a tiny love storyline between of the widowed mothers and an Officer. Everything is there, dominating performances by Therese Giehse and Bernhard Wicki, but just a warm-up for the much more focused and uncompromising Masterpiece to follow.


This engaging film is a mixed bag. There is the seed of a nice film to be made in this patchy one. The intriguing storyline of six girls heading to the Russian front to rescue their teenage sons, who've run away from school to enlist for the Fatherland, deserves better telling. Some fine performances are mixed with some cute dreadful ones. Some nice lines are mixed with some dreadful clichés. The cinematography was magnificent throughout. The star performance is that of Therese Giehse. How did she not have a wider fame outside of Germany? Bernhard Wicki, who does cute well, appears interestingly in the soon movie, "Paris, Texas."



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