Release date1992 WriterHelmut Dietl, Ulrich Limmer (screenplay), Ulrich Limmer (story) AwardsGerman Film Award for Best Direction CastGötz George (Hermann Willié), Uwe Ochsenknecht (Prof. Dr. Fritz Knobel), Christiane Hörbiger (Freya von Hepp), Harald Juhnke (Pit Kummer), Ulrich Mühe (Dr. Wieland), Rolf Hoppe (Karl Lentz) Similar moviesGloomy Sunday, Walk on Water, The Unknown Soldier, Inside Man, Apt Pupil, The Good German
TaglineOne of the first funny german look at its past.
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Schtonk! subtitled Der Film zum Buch vom Führer ("The film accompanying the Führer's book") is a 1992 German satirical film which retells the story of the 1983 Hitler Diaries hoax. It was written and directed by Helmut Dietl.
In 1983, the German magazine Stern (Star) began to publish, with great fanfare, the alleged diaries of Adolf Hitler, which had been perceived as genuine for several years. They were soon proven to be fake using basic analysis techniques.
Co-writer and director Helmut Dietl researched the scandal for two years and was quoted as having to leave out several real events from the film because they were too outrageous. The title is a bow to Charlie Chaplin's classic The Great Dictator, in which the Tomainian dictator Adenoid Hynkel repeatedly uses "Schtonk!" as an expression of disgust – the word has no meaning in German.
Fritz Knobel (the film's alter-ego of real-life forger Konrad Kujau) supports himself by faking and selling Nazi memorabilia. He sells a portrait of Eva Braun and one volume of Hitler's alleged diaries to factory owner Karl Lenz. Lenz presents this to his guests during a "birthday party for the Führer", among whom is sleazy journalist Hermann Willié. Willié works for the magazine "HH press" (which has several word plays in it: Stern, the magazine, is located in Hamburg, which uses the license plate abbreviation HH; "HH" is pronounced "haha", and is also an abbreviation for "Heil Hitler"). Knobel writes the subsequent diaries based on what happens around him; after he meets Martha and she becomes his lover, she also becomes his inspiration for Eva Braun in the diaries. In the end, the pressure that Knobel is under to deliver the remaining volumes causes him to become a mock image of Hitler himself.
Götz George – Hermann Willié (journalist; fictional equivalent of Gerd Heidemann)
Uwe Ochsenknecht – Fritz Knobel (forger Konrad Kujau)
In 1992, Schtonk! won 3 Film Awards in Gold at the German Film Awards in the categories Outstanding Feature Film, Outstanding Individual Achievement: Actor (Götz George), and Outstanding Individual Achievement: Direction (Helmut Dietl), as well as the Best Screenplay Award at the Tokyo International Film Festival (Helmut Dietl, Ulrich Limmer).
In 1993, Harald Juhnke won the Ernst Lubitsch Award for his role as Pit Kummer.
Schtonk! was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe in the category of Best Foreign Language Film in 1993, losing to the French film Indochine in both cases.