Eine Berliner Romanze (1956) - full transcript

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We want to tell you a little story
from the big city of Berlin.

It's the story of two young people.

The boy lives
in what's called the West sector.

The girl lives in East Berlin.

She's training as a salesgirl
in a big store at Alexanderplatz.

Today is a special day for her.

I'm so excited.

There's a fat man on the left.
Was he ever staring!

- Fine.
- Where's Uschi?

She's coming!
So, finished. Hurry!

Say, Uschi, would you rather
be a model than a salesgirl?


That's a job for crazy people.

All right, Uschi, time to go out.

Ladies and gentlemen,
here is number 14,

a dream in nylon and silk.

She's doing a marvelous job.

Come on, you're pretty enough, girl!

- Here, look!
- Bah!

- Evening.
- Now that you're here, set the table.

- Deep plates, we're having potatoes.
- We had that Saturday.

You know what kind of day I had?
Gas company people were here all day.

Heini, get your stuff out of here.

Know what the gas people said?
The opposite of last time.

No leak.
They don't know what they're doing.

- Why not rice?
- Your dad likes potatoes.

- I don't.
- It's not always your way.

- It never is.
- What's up?

- Whining about dinner.
- What are we having?

Hands off!

- What about your exam?
- I'll never pass.

Nonsense. I was good in math,
and we were seven kids.

- Rather a fitter than a bad engineer.
- Maybe you're just lazy.

I wouldn't mind a bit of theory.

There's a hole.
Would you mind mending it for me?

- You can do that yourself.
- Uschi!

- Thinks she's grown up.
- What use are you otherwise?

I won't fix your holes!
Think that's how I imagine life?

Actually, Uschi has no clear idea
of how she imagines her future yet.

Here, don't lose it.
Tell Mother I'll be late.

- Oh, come on.
- Evening, Gisela.

- Brothers should be abolished.
- God knows.

- Where are you going?
- For a stroll.

- Let's see Temptation in the West.
- That dumb movie?

- At least walk with me a way.
- Oh, all right.


The border has existed
as long as Uschi can remember.

People cross it,
call themselves West or East Berliners.

They used to call themselves Berliners.

- Are you coming?
- I really don't want to.

- I already know what it's about.
- Bye.

Have fun.

Here you go.
How about you, Madam?

Get your individual beauty consultation
at Salon Babette. Here you go.

This is a wonderful offer!

A sachet for you, lovely young lady.

Try it, and I'm sure
you'll be a regular customer.

Do step closer and have a look, ma'am.

Won't cost you a penny.


- Miss?
- A Nappo, please.

- Here you are.
- Do you take East marks?

Yes, sure we do.

- I can't give you change for that.
- Why not?

- Because I can't.
- You could go get change.

All right.
Just a second.

- Erna, do you have one mark East?
- No, I don't.

- One more, then it's the right amount.
- They're not that great.

- Then give it back.
- Here you are.

You can't just put it in your mouth!

- Where else would I put it?
- May I come to your aid?

Thank you.
But I'm sure I could have managed.

- Only works if the wind is right?
- Shall it be Rome, Paris, or London?

- You only heard the names in school.
- But I'm done. You're not.

- I'm a model.
- Oh?

- You don't believe me?
- What do you do exactly?

Don't you know?
I model dresses while a band plays.

- Do you smoke?
- No, thank you.

- Doesn't taste like it used to.
- Shall we go to a movie?

- I rarely have time.
- We can look at the pictures first.

A romance.

Are you interested?

Oh, I don't know.


Go on, one more!

- No throwing diagonally.
- I'm cross-eyed.

Get a red one, they're bigger.

- A red one.
- They cost more.

Hey, look.
Who does Lord have with him?

Hello, old boy.

This is Hans.

- Hello.
- Hello.

We're going on the Ferris Wheel.
Want to come?

Come on, it's stopped!

One ticket, please.

- Be more careful, okay?
- Sorry, I'm with them.

- Hello there!
- It's leaving without you!

- Not dizzy?
- Pardon?

- Aren't you getting dizzy?
- What? Oh no, my beetle.

- Give it to me!
- Later.

- What does that mean?
- I'll walk you home.

- You think I'm 14, or what?
- No.

- We're going the same way.
- How do you know?

Doesn't matter.
I'm going your way.

- Why did you get out?
- I had to.

Some friends of mine are over here.

- Going for another whirl?
- Is the air better up there?

Shall we go for one more ride?

- What time is it?
- I have to go. It's high time.

- Willi, see you in two days.
- Okay.

- Where are you going?
- I have to run.

Really, I have to hurry.

So we have a date.
On Wednesday, all right?

- Where, here in the West?
- Where else?

I thought we were going to a movie.

- Maybe you aren't interested anymore.
- Of course I am.

I'm very interested.

We'll see.


Hello, Boss.
Where do you want me to work?

You're lucky
your friend reserved a spot for you.

You know, first come, first served.

Number 17, the Opel Captain.

Wash, polish, check coolant, interior.
Got it?

All right, Boss.

Your sweetie didn't let you go?


A black one.

I knew it.

You can polish till your fingers bleed.

Well, we're out of business.
They're packing it real tight.

No room to smuggle
a single case of fish cans.

- One guy got kicked out.
- Thought we were in business.

When it comes to money
they're tough.

So there you have it.

Good luck.

- Isn't anything else on?
- Don't like it?

- Man, it's good.
- Shitty weather.

Only thing that's free.

- Where were you for so long?
- Oh...

Something came up.


Who was that girl?

- The one at the fair?
- Oh, her.

I don't really know her.

On Wednesday we're going
to see Temptation.


- I wanted to see that, too.
- What?

- I was going to see Temptation, too.
- Come along if you like.

- Sorry I'm so late.
- That's okay.

- Aren't we going alone?
- No, he's coming too.

Come on!
Maybe the movie hasn't started yet.

- Isn't that your radio?
- Why yes!

I love transistors.

Thank you.

Anyone for ice cream?

- Ice cream?
- It'll be starting soon.

- We could take it in.
- Let's do that.

If you like.

Three please.

I think I'll take my coat off.
It'll be hot in there.

He'll find us.

Your ticket, please.

Just a minute. Hold this.

There you go.

Thank you.

I never thought
I could cheat on him.

Could we help it?
Could it have been any different?

Why are you torturing me?

I'm returning to Mexico.

He loves me, Mike.

Can't you eat your ice cream outside?


- Hey!
- Relax!

Remember the dreams we had, Mike?

- Sit down!
- Hands off!

- Stop fussing!
- Exactly!

- Maybe...
- Don't speak to me. I hate you!

- You have 30 seconds.
- My God, don't go!

- That's what he wants.
- And I get the blame!

- 10 seconds, 5!
- It was vanilla.

You'll have to wash it out.

I'll get spot remover.

And where from?

- I can go home like this.
- No, I'll go and get some.

- Shall we wait here?
- Let's go ahead.


- Good evening.
- Evening.

Please help me.

- You have to!
- What's wrong?

A stain, a yellow one.

We must hurry.
She's only young.

You're all mixed up!

Is it urgent?


- No, it's for a stained skirt.
- This is a pharmacy, not the cleaners!

Hey, wait!
You should see this girl!

Marrying some dumb Agha Khan.
No thanks.

Ever heard of Empress Soraya?

- You could make it in the West.
- I could make it anywhere.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

The excitement counts.

I got some gas.

Give it here.

That's fine, thanks.
I'll have to wash it anyway.

- Aren't you taking the bottle back?
- No.

I've got to go up now.

- Didn't we have a date in Grünau?
- Oh yes...

Grünau sounds like a good idea.

- At two at the station?
- Suits me.

- Two is too early. Let's say three.
- Even better.

I've got to go.
I had a lovely time, good night.

Good night.

- Good night.
- Sorry about the stain.

Now look here...

- You can't treat me like that.
- What do you mean?

I get the gas
so you can fondle her?


- Keep your hands off her.
- And who asked her out?

I don't care.

And who do you think she wants?

Don't care about that either.

- Give me a cigarette.
- Don't have any.

Don't think you've scared me off
but I want to go to Hamburg.

- Hamburg, what for?
- It won't be worse than here.

So, what were you thinking?

You go alone on Sunday.


- Hello.
- Hello.

My friend couldn't come.

He apologizes.

Why can't he come?

He went to Hamburg.

Why didn't you go to Hamburg?

I'm kind of a homebody.

What are we going to do now?

Go for a walk or make conversation?

We don't have to talk.

Let's go?

- Watch out, a car!
- Thought we weren't talking.

The lady had coffee, strawberry cake,
Madeira cake, whipped cream...

- 6.95. The gentleman had...
- Put it all on one check.

- Fine.
- I'll pay mine.

- I'm in a hurry.
- Coming.

- Mine separately.
- One bill.

- You can't just do that.
- Do what?

Why are you chasing me anyway?

Absolutely no idea.

You're rude, ugly and mean!

And you're stupid.

Did you see that?

Watch, he's going to slap her now.

Don't forget your bag.

- A student ticket to Grünau.
- 20 pfennigs.

Two to Grünau.

One mark.

You spilled coffee on your shirt.

Found a nice one?
Let me have it.

You can't do it.

- Want to bet?
- Why?

Watch, this is how you do it.

Seven, eight...

- Like that!
- Like that!

- I've got to go.
- Five more minutes.

- Which idiot left his transistor here?
- Sorry.

He knows me. I've got to go now.

Hey, open the door again.

I've got to go now.

- You want it? I know you like them.
- But it's yours.

- Bring it next time we meet.
- They'll ask me where I got it.

- Just say anything.
- No.

- So you taking it?
- No.

- Take it.
- No.

I'm going to let go.



Hello, Mother.

You're late. I was just going to bed.

Why do you wear
your socks out so quick?

Because I walk so fast.

Tell me, what's this?

- A repayment book.
- Who's repaying it?

Me, of course.

It's for Lord's transistor.

Three installments and it's mine.
Isn't that nice of him?

You're crazy!
Won the lottery or something?

No not quite.

- Well maybe I have.
- Can't you speak plainly?

Can't pick the shoes up
because there's no money left.

Heard it all before.

So stop wasting money on nothing.

What do you want from me?

I wash cars when others are sleeping
for a few lousy marks.

I had to give up boxing,

although Kora said
I had a mean right hook.

There are more important things
than shoes.

- Bundle up, it's cold.
- I'm hot enough.

- So you don't want me.
- Nice weather means bad business.

The others can manage it alone.

- I came three times last week.
- Sorry, it's not my fault.

- Next week?
- Don't think so.

In 14 days?

Did you finish high school?

I thought it was a sales position.

We only employ graduates.

Not here. Got enough.

Got a cigarette?

We can share.

Come on. It's not allowed here.

- What's going on?
- Uschi's in the newspaper.

That's where she worked longest.

- Uschi models...
- What's up??

- She's famous.
- She'll snub us.

- You anyway.
- So?


- Is that him?
- That's him.

Did you sleep well?

Like a log.

- Did you?
- Ouch!

- Did you sleep well?
- Yes.

Look, I have some great news.

You already know.

You look much prettier in real life.

Shall we walk down here?

In love, engaged, married, divorced.

In love, engaged...

...married, divorced.


That's humbug.

- Don't you believe in it?
- Nah.

- Who believes that stuff?
- Maybe I do.

Would you jump in the water for me?

What, here?


Of course.

I would jump for you too.

What else would you do?

I don't know.


Would you drive somewhere with me?

- Far away. In an airplane?
- I would, definitely.

- I want to live in the West.
- Why?

Don't know. More interesting.
More opportunities.

Everything's more modern.
Like in the ads.

Here, it's all work.
Would you live in the East?

You don't have a choice anyway.

I want to be with you.

- Want to go dancing sometime?
- Dancing, yes!

- Can we go to a bar?
- Done.

- Till dawn?
- No curfew?

- I'm old enough.
- Shall I pick you up?

There you are. Why so late?
Your friend's already left.

Sorry, Harald. Let me congratulate you.

I thought about you all day.
I couldn't come earlier.

- Coming in?
- In a second.

- Hello, Mom.
- Hello.

- Who's been in my wardrobe?
- It was me.

- To get the table cloth.
- Thought it was my wardrobe.

- The radio, is that also yours?
- The radio? Someone lent it to me.

It's expensive. Who would do that?

- A friend.
- Which friend?

I don't have to tell you.
I'm grown up, and I'm tired.

You're insolent!

- Do you have to argue right now?
- Be quiet.

It's not about boys.

But if I ask you a straight question
I expect a straight answer.

You can't tell me what to do.

We won't fuss over you.

That's a West radio.
I don't like you going there.

- You're staying home next week.
- Locking me up'd be a good method.

- Come on, let's dance.
- Don't feel like it.

That's okay.
I just got here. Ready to go?

- I can't make it tonight.
- How come?

I had a fight at home about the radio.
I've got to go back up.

They know about me and disapprove.

Of course not. It's not you.
They still treat me like a kid.

Maybe that'll change now.
You were on the front page.

That's the whole point. No one cares.
The girls say I should quit modeling.

Got to stay home every night.
They're making life hell.

- Hey come on.
- I can't take it anymore.

If only I were older.
I'd be a model and show them.

- Hi, Uschi.
- Hi.

I've got to go now. Bye.

Hey. Don't be sad.

Hans is looking for another chance.
We all know it's a land of opportunity.

But reality isn't nearly as rosy
as the papers suggest.

We've hired ten men.
That's it. Can't fire them for you.

You're out of luck.
We don't need anyone.

Thanks for the information.

Try Urban Street, Mr. Kowalski.

- They need wreckers.
- Thanks.

- You're welcome.
- Let's go.

One Bild.

- Here you are.
- Thanks.

Big Nose!

- Well if it isn't our golden gloves!
- Not anymore.

- Have you quit?
- What can you do?

- Got something for you.
- Yeah?

The Trocadero needs help.

For the counter, tidying up, errands.
You're always looking.

- I can't believe this!
- What?

- Two offers at once.
- I don't get it.

- I'm starting here.
- That's no good.

- How much?
- 5 marks a night.

Forget it. I get more here.

Got to go. Thanks anyway.
Another time maybe. So long, Big Nose.

- Okay.
- Thanks.

Listen up before we start.

Work fast.
Double pay for double time.

We can't use blasting to knock it down.
The subway's below.

Like I said, we pay fast work.

Bet it's dangerous.

So's crossing the road.
But you don't get paid for it.

Hello, Mother.

The second reminder for the radio
that you're luring a new girl with.

I'm not luring anyone!

And the girl is my business!

Thought our job wasn't good enough.
The other one no good?

- I'll do this one too.
- A girl?

- They're expensive.
- It's not like that.

She's talented.

She wants to be a model.
She's been in the paper.

- But first she has to take a course.
- And you want to be her manager?

- I'm being serious.
- Is that her?

- Pretty girl.
- This is nothing.

I like you. You're a character.

Come and see the boss.
Got to be on the ball.


Please take a seat.


He spoiled me so terribly rotten.
Simply rotten.

Recently I was ill, mild headache.
Feeling listless.

He called two doctors for me.

He's really a fantastic person,
but one has to be independent.

I've had offers from Vienna
but I want to finish my education.

I used to work in fashion.
In an exclusive studio with Mr... Mr...

Oh well, it really doesn't matter.
Anyway, he had Dalmatians.

You know what Dalmatians are.

We had a wonderful time back then.

I gave it all up for personal reasons.
You understand?

- What happens next?
- Enrollment. It's a popular course.

- How come?
- Connections to fashion houses.

Maybe they just say that to advertise.

I know someone
who went to the movies from here.

That's not for me though.

Me neither.

With these legs and this figure
I have nothing to worry about.

- She'd die if she saw our legs.
- And lose the tuition!

How much is it?

Next, please.

It's cheaper elsewhere.
I sold my necklace. A keepsake.

It costs 50 marks a month.
And 20 marks deposit now.

I see.

Can't you afford it?

No I don't have that kind of money.

Good luck anyway.

- What is it?
- What do you think?

It's really posh.
20 marks deposit and 50 each month.

I told you so.

- Come with me.
- Where are you going?

I can't. What'll they say at home?

- I've got to work.
- Go in the evening.

- It's far too dear.
- So what?

You're crazy. I'm not coming.

We want to enroll
in the modeling course.

I mean, she wants to.

- She's already been here once.
- Well, she's back.

- Come in.
- Thanks.

Are you happy?

Want to go somewhere?

I have an idea.

You've got to see this.
I know you'll like it.

Come on, let's hurry.

Peppi can't win.

- If he keeps Zenker away he will.
- He wants to turn pro.

Poor bastard.

Probably promised him the world.

We were in the same club as Peppi.

Look at the rain.

- It's been a while.
- Hello, Kora.

Won't you come back?

- You know I can't.
- When I think about your right hook

I could cry.

Well, think about it.
It would really be a shame.

- Hello, Hans.
- Hello.

- Hi, Atze.
- How are you?


- Excuse me.
- No thanks.

Excuse me a minute.

She's cute.

I'm engaged and we live together.
But it's not exactly great.

I doubt she's the one for me.

But anyway...
Your girl is cute, though.

Going steady?

What do you think?

Want to use my room sometime?
The key is under the flower box.

The ring's open for the first round.


Great isn't it?

What's going on?

Excuse me a second.

- So you live here.
- Do you like it?

- Don't you have a towel?
- Yes, I do.

Actually... everything's in the laundry.

Use the tablecloth.

- I can't do that.
- Yes you can.

- Hi. Excuse me.
- Oh it's you.

- Is Uschi there?
- No. Haven't seen her all week.

When I was eleven years old
I secretly joined a boxing club.

We trained in an old gym
in Bernburger Street.

It rained through the roof.

Not very nice on a day like this.

At first they gave me quite a beating.

They wanted to see
what I was made of.

Most new fighters quit
if it hurts a bit.

Then my mother found out.

She said boxing was too rough.
Not something you do.

She tanned my hide.

Good and proper.

That's how it was back then.

I'm sure it's not very interesting.

Yes it is.

Is it eleven already?

I've got to go home.

But it's raining.

The shoes are almost dry.

Can't get them on.

Then stay.

But it's so late.

Give me a shoehorn.

Oh how cute!

Where's he from?

The shoehorn.


Will you give him to me?

You won't, will you?

As a token of affection.

I'll give you something.

A small toy horse.

Then I'll have something of yours
and you of mine.

You can have him.
You don't have to give me anything.

Yes, I'll bring it.

Next time I come.

Maybe tomorrow.

Should I come tomorrow?

You can't go now.

Yes, of course I'm coming home, Mom.

I was at Karin's last night.
I was helping her bake.

Then it started raining
so I decided to stay over.

I'm coming home tonight, as always.

Bye, Mom.


I feel like a smoke.

- I have 15 pfennigs.
- I have 5.

I have 15.

- And you?
- 25.

That's enough.
Get us 8 Chesters.

- No way. I chipped in the most.
- That's why you should go.

- Come on Moses, heads or tails?
- Heads.

Stop loafing down there.

Watch out!

God damn it!

Call an ambulance.

Is it bad?


- Police. Who's the contractor?
- Already been informed.

By accepting these conditions
you share the blame.

- It was the only job around.
- For miles.

- We'll find out who was guilty.
- What do you mean, guilty?

- You in charge of this demolition?
- Yes.

Do you have a permit?

Of course I do.

You didn't take
sufficient safety measures.

How do you deduce that?
From this accident?

Demolition isn't a picnic.
Unskilled labor. Maybe they rushed.

Please come with us. The others too.

- You should come too.
- Go to hell.

If you can't tell us
I know something's wrong.

I guess it's none of our business.
We're only the parents.

What were you thinking?

Listen, Uschi.

You can't stay out all night
without telling us.

You're too young.

But I told Mom not to worry.

I know what I'm saying.
Soon it'll be too late.

Why ask if you know it all?

Someone's put ideas into your head.
You're not worth the worry.

Leave me alone then.
I'll be just fine.

I'll be a model in the West.


One for 20, please.

What's wrong, Uschi?

- What's with the suitcase?
- I'm leaving home.

You're crazy. Come on.

Give me the radio and come home.

- I'm not coming.
- Why not?

Because you've got a boyfriend?
Don't worry.

- You can't just stay out all night.
- I can now.

Don't be silly.
What are you going to do?

- Be a model in the West.
- You're insane!

- Stand back!
- Stop!

- Stop the train!
- Get back!

Do something!
My sister's making a big mistake.

The train's moving.
The next station's in the West.

Who do you want?

- Mr. Genschow.
- What is it?

Oh, it's you.

Doesn't Hans live here?

No, there must be some mistake.

Hans lives in Hammerberg Street 34.

Hammerberg Street 34.

Can't hire you with a broken arm.

And when it's fixed?
What about then?

Can't make any promises.

We need someone now. You know that.

Forget about it, son.

You were very lucky.

Guess I am lucky.

But that's about it.

The police closed the site.

That bastard comes here?

- Watch what you're saying.
- I recognize him!

- He makes money by crippling people.
- Don't cause trouble.

You don't have to take that!

- Looking for trouble?
- Easy.

All I said was "bastard".
Do you answer to that?

You idiot!

Say hello to Mommy.


I've been waiting for three hours.

Your mother said you'd be home soon.

You haven't had your dinner yet.

What happened to your arm?

I went to the room.

Say something.

A letter came
from the modeling school.

You're accepted.

Are you happy?

Just imagine you were at the movies.

The boy rents a small room.

The girl will be a model
because she's so pretty.

But it's not true.

Because the boy can't pay the rent.

The radio isn't paid for either.

It plays music.

Do you care about all that?

I have to go home.


Thanks. Goodbye.

- Should I wake Heini?
- Let him sleep.

Have you seen my hat?

Maybe the dog ate it.
You've got to go.

- Thanks. Goodbye.
- Goodbye.

Just look at you.

Just because you're pretty
doesn't mean you have to be dumb.

Your mother was pretty too.

One Sunday, three guys
were waiting for me outside.

They had to saw wood
with Grandpa all afternoon.

It was hot outside. They did it for me.
Think it impressed me? Not one bit.

And you lose your head
the minute someone says "modeling".

You've got to know where you belong.

But I know that now, Mom.

Your mother's right about one thing.
Always look before you leap.

Give me a kiss.


And now tell me, what's the boy like?

- He's got brown hair.
- Not the hair color.

He wants to be a mechanic.
Just like Harald.

But I don't think he has a job now.

And he's making such a fuss over you.

- You're not old enough.
- But, Mom.

Off you go.
You'll miss your train.

But I just left him standing there.

Well, he'll probably still be there then.

- Can I bring him home?
- Ask Dad.

- Bye, Mom.
- Bye, child.

- Why did you even go?
- Hamburg was worth a try.

Now I have something great.
Australia in one month.

- They'll be thrilled.
- Enough to pay my fare.

- For real?
- Sure.

Come with me.
We're old pals.

- What for?
- Moses wants out too.

This place is dead. I'm out of here.
In a month I'll be in snappy GI duds.

- I'd rather go naked.
- Haven't forgotten her, have you?

Forget about girls from the East.

Why's that?

The way things are going,
soon you won't be allowed over there.

If you really want her,
you'll find a way.

Want to see an angel?

Want to come over sometime?

I'm supposed to invite you.

They want to meet me?

I love you.

Hey, hey, it's halftime!

Now those two are a regular couple.

One of thousands in Berlin.

We call it
going with each other.

Together they'll find their place,
Uschi and Hans.

In this life of ours.

Where there's work, struggle...

and love.

Copyright © 2000 TITELBILD, Berlin
Subtitlers: Sabine Dörfler et al.