German Movies at the Askwith Media Library in the UGLi

German Movies at the Askwith Media Library in the UGLi

How can I find these? Are other movies available?

1. The Askwith Media Library is on the 2nd floor of the UGLi. If you're a University of Michigan student, you can check movies out and watch them at home (perhaps with friends or a date).

2. This list is just a rather arbitrary, "mainstream" selection from the hundreds of German DVDs available at Askwith. Click here to see an older Word document with a more intellectually oriented, annotated selection compiled by Lecturers and GSIs in the German department.

3. To see the entire collection of German movies at Askwith:

  • go to MIRLYN
  • choose "Advanced Search"
  • write "German" in the "Word(s) anywhere" box
  • choose "German" from the "Language" menu
  • choose "Visual Materials (all)" from the "Format" pull-down menu
  • choose "Askwith Media Library" from the "Location" pull-down menu
  • click "Search"!

More info about this list.

  • All of the films listed should have German subtitles, unless otherwise noted.
  • All of the DVDs should play on American DVD players. If you find that this is not the case for a movie from this list, please email Hartmut!
  • Click on the IMDB (Internet Movie Database) or Amazon links next to each title to find plot summaries, reviews, user comments, etc.
Dramas Second World War and the Holocaust
Comedies and Romantic Comedies Action/Adventure/Mystery/Crime/Horror
Classics (Pre-World-War II) Classics (Post-World-War II)
Hollywood Classics Dubbed in German  


The Lives of Others (Das Leben der Anderen) (Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, 2006) IMDB Amazon Winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film

Nowhere in Africa (Nirgendwo in Afrika) (Caroline Link, 2001) IMDB Amazon Winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film

Run, Lola, Run (Lola rennt) (Tom Tykwer, 1998) IMDB Amazon

Good Bye Lenin (Wolfgang Becker, 2003) IMDB Amazon

The Baader Meinhof Complex (2008) IMDB Amazon

The Edge of Heaven (Auf der anderen Seite) (Fatih Akin, 2007) IMDB Amazon

Head-On (Gegen die Wand) (Fatih Akin, 2004) IMDB Amazon Warning: There is some truly gruesome violence in this movie.

Solino (Fatih Akin, 2002) IMDB

Mostly Martha (Bella Martha) (2001) IMDB Amazon

Das Experiment (2001) IMDB Amazon Imagines the famous Stanford Prison Experiment in a German context. Stars Moritz Bleibtreu (Manni from Lola rennt).

The Edukators (Die fetten Jahre sind vorbei) (2004) IMDB Amazon Cast includes Daniel Brühl from Good Bye Lenin.

The White Ribbon (Das weiße Band) (Michael Haneke, 2009) Very dark (even darker, and also available at Askwith: Funny Games, by the same director). Strange events happen in a small village in the north of Germany during the years just before World War I. Signs point to a ritual punishment. The abused and suppressed children of the villagers seem to be at the heart of this mystery. Listed in MIRLYN only under the English title ==> here are the call numbers: VIDEO-D 52410-D (DVD) VIDEO-B 55272-B (Blu-ray).

The Princess and the Warrior (Der Krieger und die Kaiserin) (Tom Tykwer, 2000) (IMDB Amazon. Slower, more melancholy movie by the director of Lola rennt, but still about fate and true love, and again starring Franka Potente.

It's a Jungle Out There (Nach fünf im Urwald) (1995) IMDB Amazon Franka Potente's (Lola from Lola rennt) first starring role.

Beyond Silence (Jenseits der Stille) (1996) IMDB Amazon Directed by Caroline Link, who directed the Oscar-winning Nirgendwo in Afrika (see above).

Bagdad Cafe (Out of Rosenheim) (1987) IMDB Amazon In English, but a great story about an encounter between German and American culture. Stars Marianne Sägebrecht, CCH Pounder, and Jack Palance (!)

What to Do in Case of Fire (Was tun wenn's brennt) (2001) IMDB Amazon

The Miracle of Bern (Das Wunder von Bern) (2003) IMDB Amazon About Germany winning the soccer World Cup in 1954.

Maybe, Maybe Not (Der bewegte Mann) (1994) IMDB Amazon Comedy in which heterosexual Axel, having been thrown out by his wife for one more sexual escapade, ends up being taken in by two homosexuals, Norbert and Walter, who promptly begin competing for his favors. This leads to a number of comical misunderstandings, which play with heterosexual and homosexual stereotypes. Huge box office hit in Germany at the time. NOTE: The version at Askwith does not have subtitles. Another version (hopefully with subtitles?) is on reserve at the Language Resource Center.

Summer Storm (Sommersturm) (2004) IMDB Amazon

Vision: From the Life of (Aus dem Leben von) Hildegard von Bingen (2009) IMDB Amazon

Second World War and the Holocaust

The Counterfeiters (Die Fälscher) (Stefan Ruzowitzky, 2007) IMDB Amazon Winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film

The Tin Drum (Die Blechtrommel) (Volker Schlöndorff, 1979) IMDB Amazon Winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film

Der Untergang (Downfall) (2004) IMDB Amazon

Das Boot (Wolfgang Petersen, 1981) IMDB Amazon

Europa, Europa (Hitlerjunge Salomon) (1990) IMDB Amazon

The Harmonists (Comedian Harmonists) (1997) IMDB Amazon

Aimée und Jaguar (1999) IMDB Amazon

The Nasty Girl (Das schreckliche Mädchen) (1990) IMDB Amazon

Jacob the Liar (Jakob der Lügner) (1975) IMDB Amazon Original on which the remake with Robin Williams was based.

The Bridge (Die Brücke) (1959) IMDB Amazon About a group of boys pointlessly defending a bridge during the final days of World War II.

Sophie Scholl: Die letzten Tage (2005) IMDB Amazon

Triumph of the Will (Triumph des Willens) (1935) IMDB Amazon Probably the most famous of the propaganda movies Leni Riefenstahl made for the Nazis. The library also has the very interesting documentary The Wonderful Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl.

Comedies and Romantic Comedies

Kebab Connection (2004) IMDB Amazon

Im Juli (Fatih Akin, 2000) IMDB Amazon

No More Mr Nice Guy (Wir können auch anders) (1993) IMDB Amazon

Talk of the Town (Stadtgespräch) (1995) IMDB Amazon

Go Trabi Go (1991) IMDB Amazon Lowbrow road movie:)

Der Schuh des Manitu (2001) IMDB Amazon Record-setting box office hit in Germany, but the low-brow humor is hard to translate into English (and may not always be worth the effort...). To appreciate the parody, you may need to watch some of the old Karl May movies about Winnetou and Old Shatterhand, which Askwith also has, under the title "Karl May DVD collection."


North Face (Nordwand) (2008) IMDB Amazon

23 (1998) IMDB Amazon Directed by Hans-Christian Schmid, who made Nach fünf im Urwald.

Funny Games (1997) IMDB Amazon Warning: this is a rather gruesome horror movie.

Anatomy (Anatomie) (2000) IMDB Amazon Gruesome horror film set in medical school, starring Franka Potente (Lola from Lola rennt)

Classics (Pre-World-War II)

(1931) IMDB Amazon

The Blue Angel (Der blaue Engel) (1930) IMDB Amazon

Metropolis (1927) IMDB Amazon

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Das Kabinett des Doktor Caligari) (1920) IMDB Amazon

Nosferatu (Nosferatu, Eine Symphonie des Grauens) (1922) IMDB Amazon If you watch this, you MUST also watch Shadow of the Vampire, a 2000 movie starring John Malkovich as Murnau (the director of Nosferatu) and Willem Dafoe as Max Schreck, providing an unexpected explanation as to why Schreck was able to play the role of the vampire Nosferatu so realistically.

The 3 Penny Opera (Die 3 Groschen-Oper) (1931) IMDB Amazon

Classics (Post-World-War II)

Wings of Desire (Der Himmel über Berlin) (Wim Wenders, 1987) IMDB Amazon You might want to watch an episode or two of the old detective show Columboin order to appreciate Peter Falk's role as "himself" (the actor who played Columbo) in this movie. If you enjoy Wings of Desire, you may want to watch the sequel, Faraway, So Close!, which Askwith also has. And/or you may want to watch Wenders' English-language classic Paris, Texas, starring Harry Dean Stanton (whom you might know from the cult movie Repo Man) and Nastassja Kinski (also available from Askwith).

Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (Angst Essen Seele auf) (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1974) IMDB Amazon

The Marriage of Maria Braun (Die Ehe der Maria Braun) (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1979) IMDB Amazon

The Legend of Paul and Paula (Die Legende von Paul und Paula) (1973) IMDB Amazon A popular hit in the former DDR, where viewers appreciated its wild, romantic, sad imagination in a time when the state wanted movies to focus on "socialist realism." Read a few reviews before watching it - it can be hard for a contemporary viewer to appreciate, but when you get into it, it's a beautiful movie.

Nosferatu the Vampire (Werner Herzog, 1979) IMDB Amazon Remake of Murnau's silent classic, which is listed above (Pre-World-War II Classics).

Aguirre, the Wrath of God (Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes) (Werner Herzog, 1972) IMDB Amazon If you watch just one crazy, baffling, "artsy" movie, maybe this should be it. If it gets you interested, you may want to watch the documentary My Best Fiend, which Askwith also has, about the stormy relationship between Herzog and his brilliant and exceptionally difficult star, Klaus Kinski.

Fitzcarraldo (Werner Herzog, 1982) IMDB Amazon

The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser [a.k.a. Every Man for Himself and God Against All] (Jeder für sich und Gott gegen alle) (Werner Herzog, 1974 ) IMDB Amazon

The Murderers Are Among Us (Die Mörder sind unter uns) (1946) IMDB Amazon

Heimat, a Chronicle of Germany (Heimat - eine deutsche Chronik) (Edgar Reitz, 1981-2) IMDB Amazon Addictive mini-series (11 episodes of varying lengths) chronicling 3 generations of a family from a small town in Germany. If you find yourself wanting more, Askwith also has the follow-up series, Die zweite Heimat.

Young Törless (Der junge Törless) (Volker Schlöndorff, 1966) IMDB Amazon

The Scarlet Letter (Der scharlachrote Buchstabe) (Wim Wenders, 1973) IMDB

The Castle (Das Schloss) (Michael Haneke, 1997) IMDB Amazon Haneke also directed Funny Games (under Action/Horror above)

Hollywood Classics Dubbed in German

The Adventures of Indiana Jones [i.e. The complete Raiders of the Lost Ark Trilogy] (Die Abenteuer von Indiana Jones) Note: Raiders of the Lost Ark = Jäger des verlorenen Schatzes.