The Good German DVD


George Clooney stars in this post-WW2 thriller based on the novel by Joseph Kanon.

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05 November 2007
Warner Home Video 
105 minutes 
  • Average Rating for The Good German [2007] - 3 out of 5

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  • The Good German [2007]
    Rupert Dean

    This homage to the great 1940s Film Noir masterpieces, references these works in so many deliberate and pointed ways. For example, note the lighting (most Noirs) to the ruined city (Third Man), the airport farewell (Casablanca) and to the Kate Blanchett acting (Greta Garbo) to name but a few. It is a shame that the look and feel of the film was given more attention than the script. Whilst the famous meeting at Potsdam engages Stalin, Churchill and Truman, the former allies and some individuals are depicted on the "make" trying to locate and retrieve the designers of the Nazi's V2 Rocket programme. Whilst the film starts at a good pace with interesting characters and motives as it unwinds the simplicity that made those 1940s war Noirs so great is lost in overcomplicated details and narratives. Nevertheless its worth seeing if you are a Noir fan.

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War drama based on the novel by Joseph Kanon. The film takes place in the ruins of post-WWII Berlin, where U.S. Army war correspondent Jake Geismar (George Clooney) becomes embroiled with Lena Brandt (Cate Blanchett), his former lover, whose missing husband is the object of a manhunt by both the American and Russian armies. Intrigue mounts as Jake tries to uncover the secrets Lena may be hiding in her desperation to get herself and her husband out of Berlin. Tully (Tobey Maguire), a soldier in the American army motor pool assigned to drive Jake around Berlin, has black market connections that may be Lena's way out - or lead them all into even darker territory.

One of mainstream cinema's most tirelessly inventive directors, Steven Soderbergh delivers another big-budget stylistic experiment with THE GOOD GERMAN. This time around, Soderbergh's target is 1940s film noir. Set in post-war Berlin, the atmospheric thriller is based on the acclaimed novel by Joseph Kanon. Frequent Soderbergh collaborator George Clooney plays Jake Geismer, an American military journalist who has returned to Berlin for the Potsdam Peace Conference. Jake’s driver, Tully (Tobey Maguire), appears innocent upon first glance, but is in fact a major player in the corrupt Berlin underworld. He’s also dating Jake’s former flame, Lena Brandt (Cate Blanchett), whose beauty continues to torment Jake. When Tully’s cadaver washes ashore one day, Jake is shocked to discover that nobody wants to go public with the news. As much as he’d like to forget about Lena, he can’t. Pretty soon, he’s risking his life to help her flee the country. In shooting THE GOOD GERMAN, Soderbergh employed many of the actual filmmaking techniques that were used in the 1940s: black-and-white cinematography, elaborately constructed sets, wide master shots, and a sweeping score. The result is a film that looks and feels like it was made in a much earlier era, yet which contains the graphic language and content of an early 21st-century production.

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