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Das fliegende Klassenzimmer

German Movies > 2000-2005

The 2003 version of Das fliegende Klassenzimmer is the third German Verfilmung since 1954. (See information about the earlier versions below.) The latest screen adaptation of the Erich Kästner "Flying Classroom" story was released in January 2003. It is available on German (PAL, Region 2) DVD from the German-Hollywood DVD Store.

Das fliegende Klassenzimmer (2003)
Regie/Director: Tomy Wigand
Drehbuch/Screenplay: Hermine Kunka, Henriette Piper
Kamera/Cinematographer: Peter von Haller
Color, Running time: --
Darsteller/Cast: Hauke Diekamp, Anja Kling, Piet Klocke, Sebastian Koch, Ulrich Noethen, Theresa Vilsmaier.

Producer Peter Zenk has recently adapted three other Kästner stories for the screen, including the 2001 Emil und die Detektive. German actor Ulrich Noethen (Comedian Harmonist, Das Sams) is cast in the lead role as the headmaster. Since the producers did not want to use familiar actors for some of the children, casting their roles was more challenging and required casting sessions with over 1000 young would-be actors. Twelve-year-old newcomer Hauke Diekamp landed the role of Jonathan in the 5 million euro production filmed in Leipzig and Munich.

DVD: Klassenzimmer (2003) is available on German (PAL, Region 2) DVD from the German-Hollywood DVD Store.


Das fliegende Klassenzimmer (1973)
Regie/Director: Werner Jacobs
Drehbuch/Screenplay: Franz Seitz (under pseudonym of Georg Laforet)
Kamera/Cinematographer: Wolfgang Treu
Color, Running time: 92 minutes
Darsteller/Cast: Joachim Fuchsberger, Diana Körner, Hans Putz, Wolfgang Jarczyk, Alois Mittermaier, Daniel Müller.

The 1973 remake (das Remake!) was panned by critics, but did well at the box-office. In an effort to update the film/story from the 1950s, the script added elements that were not in Kästner's original novel. For one thing, the role of teachers had changed in the intervening 20 years, so the teachers are less idealized than they were in the 1954 version. Other changes include the addition of a love story and an actual jet trip for the students at the end of the film.

DVD: Klassenzimmer (1973) is available on German (PAL, Region 2) DVD from the German-Hollywood DVD Store.


Das fliegende Klassenzimmer (1954)
Regie/Director: Kurt Hoffmann
Drehbuch/Screenplay: Erich Kästner
Kamera/Cinematographer: --
B&W, Running time: 92 minutes
Darsteller/Cast: Paul Dahlke, Paul Klinger, Peter Kraus, Peter Vogel, Erich Kästner.

Some people think this black-and-white classic is still the best screen version. The students of a Gymnasium (academic high school) class are feuding with a neighboring Realschule (secondary school). But they also help renew the friendship between their teacher and an old friend, plus cure a fellow student of a phobia. This version is very close to Kästner's original story (he wrote the screenplay and narrates) and reflects the 1950s period in which it was made. Its Christmastime setting also makes it appropriate for that time of year.

DVD: Klassenzimmer (1954) is available on German (PAL, Region 2) DVD from the German-Hollywood DVD Store.

MORE > For more about the author, see: Erich Kästner, the Unknown Famous Author.


German Movies > 2000-2003 | 1997-1999 > Index

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