7.2/10
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7 user 31 critic
In Switzerland, German singer Willie falls in love with Jewish composer, Robert, who offers resistance to the Nazis by helping refugees. But his family thinks Willie is a Nazi and may be a ... See full summary »

Writers:

Manfred Purzer (original screenplay), Joshua Sinclair (screenplay contributor) | 4 more credits »
Reviews
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Hanna Schygulla ... Willie
Giancarlo Giannini ... Robert
Mel Ferrer ... David Mendelsson
Karl-Heinz von Hassel Karl-Heinz von Hassel ... Henkel (as Karl Heinz von Hassel)
Erik Schumann ... von Strehlow
Hark Bohm Hark Bohm ... Taschner
Gottfried John ... Aaron
Karin Baal ... Anna Lederer
Christine Kaufmann ... Miriam
Udo Kier ... Drewitz
Roger Fritz Roger Fritz ... Kauffmann
Rainer Will Rainer Will ... Bernt
Raúl Gimenez Raúl Gimenez ... Blonsky (as Raul Giminez)
Adrian Hoven ... Ginsberg
Willy Harlander Willy Harlander ... Prosel
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Storyline

In Switzerland, German singer Willie falls in love with Jewish composer, Robert, who offers resistance to the Nazis by helping refugees. But his family thinks Willie is a Nazi and may be a risk for them. One day Willie helps Robert but, has to stay in Germany. As Willie starts to sing the song 'Lili Marleen' she becomes very famous and every soldier hears that song via radio - even Hitler wants to meet her, but she still does not forget Robert, and helps to smuggle photos of concentration camps to the free Switzerland. Robert wants to visit her, but is captured. Will never see Willie again until war is over. Written by Marco Louis <Alouisius@hotline.pfalz.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Music | Romance | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

West Germany

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

14 January 1981 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Lili Marlene See more »

Filming Locations:

Berlin, Germany See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

DEM10,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,623, 16 February 2003

Gross USA:

$8,144

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$8,144
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Fujicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shot in English for American distribution; later dubbed in German See more »

Goofs

Robert is put in a Gestapo cell to find out who he is; apparently at least a week passes. Finally the ruthless ones find out that he knows Willi, the star, and decide to have them confronted, yet at this point he looks his clean-shaved best and is even better dressed than on the night of his arrest. See more »

Connections

Featured in Century of Cinema: Die Nacht der Regisseure (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Thema Willie
Composed By David Ambach, Peer Raben
(p) 1981 Schlicht Musikverlag, Phonogram, GmbH, DRG Records, Inc., Philips
© Metropolis Records
Published By Brampton Music Ltd., Chappell Music Ltd., Peter Maurice Music,
EMI Music
See more »

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User Reviews

Story of a spell
14 January 2007 | by VincentiuSee all my reviews

Story of a song. And what song! In fact, the creation of Hans Leip and Norbert Schultze is the only character, a spell who creates existences, loves, tragedies with a sarcastic indifference. It is an obsessive music, soul of a ambiguous time of dreams and ideas intoxication, with old words and cruels ambitions.

Certainly, it is a Fassbinder's lesson about values and lies, about rules of war and feelings, about small victims and sacrifice.

Hanna Schygulla is gorgeous in a character's skin different of Lale Anderson or Marlene Dietrich but with the same art to describe the atmosphere of extincted space. In some moments I saw in parts of film elements of "Cabaret" Nazi song or "Satyricon" dances. It is normal: interpretation of song is not only piece of a show but rule of life. "Lili Marleen" is not the old "Das Lied eines Jungen Soldaten auf der Wacht" but hard of an universe, hypocrite, coward, frail.

The final meeting between Willie and Robert is only seal of ordinary tragedy. To late, to far.


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