Die Familie des jungen Klaus Teichmann ist mehr als beunruhigt: Immer öfter bewegt sich Klaus in Gesellschaft von Homosexuellen. Vor allem Dr. Boris Winkler und diverse Künstler, die den Jungen in seinen Vorlieben für Kunst und Kultur unterstützen, haben es ihm angetan. Obwohl Psychologen und Ärzte die Eltern entwarnen, zeigt der Vater von Klaus anonym Dr. Winkler an. Da nichts gegen diesen vorliegt und ihm kein unsittliches Vergehen nachgewiesen werden kann, wird das Verfahren eingestellt. Aber auch die Mutter ist nicht untätig und versucht mittels der hübschen Gerda ihren Sohn wieder auf die rechte Bahn zu bringen. Tatsächlich gelingt es Gerda Klaus zu verführen. Doch der beste Freund von Klaus, Manfred, berichtet die Vorgänge Dr. Winkler, der Mutter Teichmann schließlich wegen Kuppelei anzeigt
While West Germany made the attempt (outwardly, at least) to appear much more liberal after the Second World War, this new-found concern for human rights and freedoms did not extend to their homosexual citizens. The very paragraph, which imprisoned homosexuals in the Third Reich and led to their extermination in the thousands -- Paragraph 175 of the criminal code -- continued to be enforced vigorously in postwar Germany; very much up into our times. In 1957, the justice department in the Bundesrepublik wanted to make a film explaining to the populace the dangers of homosexuality and the perils of associating with them. For everyone knows, you can be turned gay by an aggressive homosexual, right? Uh huh; yeah, sure. But who to get to direct such a film? Obviously, it would have to be someone who could handle this delicate subject with sensitivity and subtlety and tact. And so, with that in mind, Germany's justice department chose ...
Veit Harlan ... the director of such politically and socially sensitive films in the Third Reich, such as JUD SUSS; a film so "subtle and tactful", that it is banned in a number of countries to this day because of its incredibly hateful portrayal of another minority in Germany, mostly gone by the time he directed this film. Only recently -- and miraculously -- cleared of war crimes prior to the production of this film, Veit Harlan is as subtle with the subject of homosexuality as he was about Jews.
The film opens with a mother being put on trial for violation of legal paragraph 181: procurement. In other words, soliciting someone to prostitute him-/herself. In this case, she allegedly bribed the household help to seduce her son, who was way too friendly with a gay man and appeared to be leaning too far into the gay camp. As her doctor told her, however, the good love of a woman will surely cure a homosexual (sort of like lesbians being told that they're such only because they haven't had a good man). This is just a smaaallll part of the many notorious and outrageous stereotypes, misconceptions, and misunderstandings about gay men and homosexuality overall. Veit Harlan's treatment of the topic is so typical "subtle" for him, that people today might watch this film with their mouths hanging open in astonishment. Face it: the man would probably try to kill an intruding fly by pulling out a shotgun and blasting away!
No matter whether you are of a liberal bent and are amazed by what you see, or whether you are more conservative and actually think this film is dead on, you will find this film incredibly entertaining and anything but subtly and sensitively handled.