On Saturday, 27.4.2019, the Filmmuseum München and the Stiftung Deutsche Kinemathek in cooperation with our partner moviemax GmbH movies & more will show two rediscoveries of German cinema of the 1960s: two genre films “The Dead of Beverly Hills” (German title: “Die Tote von Beverly Hills“) and “Serenade for Two Spies” (German title: “Serenade für zwei Spione“) by Michael Pfleghar, filmed in CinemaScope in the USA.
“The Dead of Beverly Hills” is a game with realities about the murder of a mysterious beautiful woman. In “Serenade for Two Spies” Hellmut Lange has to snatch a super weapon from a gang as Euro Agent. Both detective stories “The Dead of Beverly Hills” at 6 p.m. and “Serenade for Two Spies” at 9 p.m. celebrate their premiere at the Filmmuseum in the presence of the actress Heidelinde Weis and Michael Pfleghar jr..
Die Tote von Beverly Hills (1964)
…a man named C.G. finds the naked body of 17-year-old Lu in the woods of Beverly Hills. Her diary shows that she was by no means a young innocent woman, but a nymphomaniac. The work is a record of erotic adventures. Among her lovers were an opera singer, a rich painter, an examining magistrate, an altar boy and an emigrated Czech archaeologist. But is there also the name of the murderer?
“The fear of death is unreasonable, because as long as we live, it is not yet there, and when it finally comes, we are already gone,” says Curt Goetz, Spiritus rector of the German pre-war humor. And he has written a lot in his life, including the erotic novel “Die Tote von Beverly Hills,” which Michael Pfleghar filmed in 1964.
Detective Ben follows all traces. These finally lead him to Las Vegas, where the Tiddy Sisters are on stage every evening. – Michael Pfleghar’s feature film debut after the satirical novel by Curt Goetz.
In the movie “Die Tote von Beverly Hills” the following actresses and actors are involved: Heidelinde Weis, Klausjürgen Wussow, Horst Frank, Wolfgang Neuss, Alice Kessler, Ellen Kessler, Walter Giller, Bruno Dietrich, Ernst Fritz Fürbringer, Peter Schütte and Herbert Weißenbach. Michael Pfleghar, Peter Laregh and Hansjürgen Pohland were responsible for the script.
Michael Pfleghar, who years later was to enliven television entertainment with Klimbim, staged the story about the murder of the girl with visible joy in the dissolution of all sense structures: The logic is consistently ignored, characters suddenly appear and disappear just as quickly, absurd ideas and ludicrous dialogues alternate, primeval German actors such as Klausjürgen Wussow, Horst Frank or the Kessler twins stroll through Californian landscapes, underscoring the contrast between the petty bourgeoisie stink of the Adenauer era and Hollywood’s high-society fuss. One event is Heidelinde Weis, who became a movie star through the role of the man-killing Lu.
To cut a long story short: “Die Tote von Beverly Hills” is probably the most daring German film of the 60s, it is a cinematic treasure that virtuously combines realistic and surreal stylistic devices, thus anticipating the spirit of the Zucker brothers (Die nackte Kanone) and Helge Schneider.
Serenade für zwei Spione (1965)
An international weapons trafficker gang in the USA has stolen the prototype of a laser rifle from a German laboratory. FBI agent Cormoran is scheduled to retrieve the ultra-modern and highly effective weapon. But there are some signs that he has defected to the enemy. Since Agent 007 is currently on another mission, the intelligence chief has to resort to his second best man, the previous number 006. And so the German secret agent John Krim gets the order to bring the gun back into his hands, to find evidence for Cormoran’s betrayal and finally to eliminate the colleague.
Krim’s journey takes him across the ocean, where he experiences hair-raising adventures in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Two women get in his way and Crimea can’t be sure if he can trust them or if they don’t work for the other side.
Actresses and actors n the film “Serenade for Two Spies”, which was shot mainly in Spain as well as in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and San Francisco, are Hellmut Lange, Tony Kendall, Heidelinde Weis, Barbara Lass, Wolfgang Neuss, Mimmo Palmara, Annie Giss and Mimmo Palmara. Michael Pfleghar and Klaus Munro were responsible for the script.
Director Pfleghar uses every possible opportunity to demonstrate that he had intended a wacky persiflage on the James Bond films in his second feature film.
“Serenade for Two Spies” is a mischievous knee fall before the genre cinema and before an intellectually relaxed reception of it, a knee fall before a cinema as it has never been tradition in Germany and tragically will never be, carried out with such fervour that he compensates this loss almost single-handedly.
How would the hero John Krim say alias 006? “I always knew I could do it better than those Americans. Just didn’t have a chance to prove it!”
The first release on DVD of “Die Tote von Beverly Hills” via UCM.ONE will take place on DVD and VoD portals in summer 2019. “Serenade für zwei Spione” will be released once digital scanning and restoration work is complete.