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  • ejrjr4 November 2006
    Hopefully, the original, German 89-minute version makes more sense than the condensed U.S. 70-minute release. Basic plot line is about a gang of criminals printing and distributing counterfeit U.S. currency in Berlin after World War 2.

    Former guards and goons at the Auschwitz concentration camp, after World War 2, abduct a former Jewish prisoner living in Berlin, who happens to be an engraver.

    Somehow, he is forced to produce perfect printing plates for either a U.S. one-dollar or one-hundred dollar bill. That is unclear because both are mentioned. Perhaps it is a translation mistake as this film was originally made in German. While the U.S. dollar was worth a great deal in 1950, I doubt a criminal gang could become rich distributing counterfeit one-dollar bills. And, I doubt anyone in Germany would have accepted a $100 bill.

    Meanwhile, an American lawyer attempts to locate the engraver and falls in love with his daughter. The lawyer gets mugged and ends up in an East German sanitarium where for unknown reason he is held prisoner. After escaping he leads the police to the criminals and rescues the daughter who is being held hostage and used as shield by the mastermind. End of story. The story gaps are as big as indicated.

    Despite a dismal script, this is an interesting movie because it was shot in Berlin during either 1951 or '52 and the city is still devastated which most people probably do not know or recall. There are many car chase scenes and many locations so this does not have a low-budget look.

    The acting is acceptable and the English-language dub is good. But, this is not a tense, crime-drama or thriller despite claims or pretensions. The script besides being pedestrian has too many contrived situations and unexplained actions. Unfortunately, the original, long version is in German.
  • I saw Die Spur führt nach Berlin last night, and it's really good. Especially people living in Berlin will have a lot of fun. For young folks like me it's interesting to see Berlin how it was 7 years after WW2, with all the ruins and the Tiergarten park without trees. For old folks it will be a journey back in time. Very amusing were the appearances of Hotte Buchholz and Günther Pfitzman, who later became big stars in Germany. The story deals with false money, old Nazis and the beginning of the cold war. We see the shadow of the war still hanging over Berlin, but the citizens start rebuilding their city. The film is shot in b/w on a technically high level, very American Style. A must for Berliners!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I don't want to say much about the story, it didn't really thrill me. It's generally about counterfeited dollars, a love affair, some (car) chases, a little bit of the upcoming cold war conflict in postwar Berlin. There are some plot holes, the acting is neither especially good nor bad, camera-work OK though. The only reason to watch this imho are the shots of postwar (West-) Berlin (with incredible clean streets by the way). I found them really interesting, especially because I have lived there for many years. - A much more recommendable, but very rare 1950ies Berlin movie is "Am Tag als der Regen kam" with classy actors like Froebe and Adorf plus a better story. Or, of course, "The Third Man" - but that's situated in Vienna.