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3 DVD SET: 08/15 (1954/55) *with or without English subtitles*

Paul May Writers: Hans Hellmut Kirst (novel), Hans Hellmut Kirst, 3 more credits » Stars: Joachim Fuchsberger, Helen Vita, Paul Bösiger
Old price: $36.99
Price: $26.99

 

3-part set of the anti-War German series put out shortly after the end of the Second World War describes the life of the German soldier from recruit to soldier on the Eastern Front.

 

08 / 15 - PART ONE  (1954):

 

This movie isn't actually a war movie but covers the life of German conscripts on the eve of the Second World War.  They are in the hands of ruthless and sadistic NCOs who are constantly trying to impose harsh measures against the men.  The officers on the contrary are shown much more civilized and see themselves somehow as a father-figure.  The tension between the privates and their superiors forms hard bonds of friendship between them, although they come from very different social backgrounds.  Private Vierbein and Gefreiter Asch are the two protagonists of this film.  Vierbein is a sensible piano-player that detests the rudeness and the lack of privacy in the barracks.  However, he is deeply in love with Asch's sister, who is a full-propagandized BDM-girl and demands that he become an officer.  In this tension, he attempts suicide on the shooting range but is hindered by Asch.  With Vierbein's stolen ammunition and deep knowledge of the internal processes, the practical and clever Asch is able to land a brilliant coup and to get his nasty superiors all removed from the unit.  The film ends with the beginning of  WWII. Many stereotypes about the different ranks were included in the film and in some cases they were played out excessively. Still many German soldiers may find similarities from some of their own experience.

 

08 / 15 - PART TWO  (1955):

 

Winter 1942:  Like thousands of other German soldiers, Asch and Vierbein have ended up at the Eastern front.   Although Vierbein finds a new friend in Kowalski, the squadron commander,  Captain Witterer, a true army veteran, gives them a really hard time.  Witterer’s pointless orders reflect the bad habits of many former superiors.  And again, Vierbein has to bear the brunt. Considering that Part Two of this trilogy was filmed only nine years after war's end, it should suprise no one that it is not only anti-miltaristic, but leaves the impression that the Wehrmacht committed no atrocities or improper actions on the Eastern Front, where the plot of this film is set.  Nonetheless, it is by far one of the best portrayals of the Wehrmacht in WWII.  It does not vilify or victimize the Germans as so many movies do today, but is presented honestly and unapologetically having been produced by the people who were actually there.

 

08 / 15 - PART THREE  (1955):

 

The third part of Paul May's "08/15" trilogy based on the novel by Hans Hellmut Kirst takes place shortly before the end of World War II:  In the spring of 1945,  German troops are practically defeated, and the battalion of Kowalski, Major General von Plönnies and Asch, who had risen to the rank of Lieutenant in the meantime, is left to its own devices to a large extent.  They hope to be able to wait for the end of the war without having to encounter any combat operations.  At the same time, Asch tries to prevent high-level Nazi officers from disappearing unnoticed and from cashing in on the chaotic circumstances.

Kasernenleben, Drill, Schikanen und die Eulenspiegeleien des Gefreiten Asch – das sind die Zutaten des Erfolgsromans "08/15" (eine Heeresvorschrift) von Hans Hellmut Kirst. Kurz vor dem Zweiten Weltkrieg: Der Gefreite Asch und Kanonier Vierbein gehören der gleichen Einheit an, sind aber gänzlich gegensätzlich. Die Ausbilder, allen voran der unberechenbare Unteroffizier Platzek nutzen jede Gelegenheit, den unbeholfenen Vierbein zu schikanieren. Sind es anfangs nur kleinere Strafdienste, werden die Methoden zunehmend brutaler. Schließlich schlägt sich Asch auf Vierbeins Seite und legt sich mit den Vorgesetzten an. Joachim Fuchsberger in seiner ersten großen Rolle.

Winter 1942: Die Soldaten Asch und Vierbein hat es wie viele ihrer Kameraden an die Ostfront verschlagen. Zwar findet Asch einen neuen Freund, Kowalski, doch der Batteriechef, Hauptmann Witterer, ein richtiger "Kommisskopp", macht beiden das Leben schwer. In seinen sinnlosen Befehlen spiegeln sich die Untugenden vieler ehemaliger Vorgesetzter wider. Und Hauptleidtragender ist wieder einmal Vierbein.

Der dritte Teil von Paul Mays "08/15"-Trilogie nach der Vorlage von Hans Hellmut Kirst spielt kurz vor dem Ende des Zweiten Weltkriegs: Im Frühjahr 1945 sind die deutschen Truppen so gut wie besiegt, das Bataillon um Kowalski, Generalmajor von Plönnies und den inzwischen zum Leutnant beförderten Asch ist weitgehend sich selbst überlassen. Sie hoffen, das Kriegsende ohne weitere Kampfhandlungen abwarten zu können. Gleichzeitig versucht Asch zu verhindern, dass hohe Nazioffiziere unbemerkt abtauchen und aus den chaotischen Zuständen Kapital schlagen. 

299 minutes long.  REGION FREE  (will play in any DVD player)

FILM QUALITY:  VERY GOOD.

DVD-R IS AVAILABLE EITHER IN GERMAN WITH NO SUBTITLES or IN GERMAN WITH HARD-ENCODED ENGLISH SUBTITLES. See film sample for audio and video quality!

 

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