Directed by Gustav Frölich (1951)
Gustav Frölich (Erich Holsten)
René Deltgen (Robert Torreani)
Inge Landgut (Marianne, secretary)
Lisa Stammer (Isabella, exotic dancer)
Carl de Vogt (prisoner)
The movie opens with a scene in a lawyer's office. Old Torreani has died and has left everything to his son, Robert Torreani. We then see a dissolute and disreputable Robert Torreani who drinks, lies around in bed and plays cards in some vaguely South American locale. A man, Erich Holsten, packs some equipment onto a moving truck and then asks for $500 from the owner. He goes back to his room which he shares with Torreani and finds him playing cards with a girl. Holsten gives him money, and Torreani gets into a big card game. He is caught cheating and is shot.
A letter arrives annoncing that the elder Torreani is dead and his son needs to claim his inheritance. As Torreani is dying, he tells Erich Holsten to impersonate him and claim the inheritance. Holsten alters his passport and goes to Berlin. There he finds that the inheritance is a rundown variety theatre.
He sees a young secretary, Marianne, trying to get some of the acts to perform. She goes to the stage director's office but he refuses to do anything. Holsten introduces himself at Torreani and fires the man. Holsten thanks Marianne for her help, but she is quite cool toward him because he has been gone for so long.
Holsten gives a talk to the employees while Marianne talks on the phone with a man with a seal act. Holsten plays pool with a magician who realizes Holsten is not Torreani.
Holsten moves into the luxury suite above the theatre. He unpacks a model of a bicycle trapeze act and we realize that his stage equipment was what was being sold at the beginning of the movie. He is visited by an official who says that Torreani owes money on debts for the threatre.
Holsten makes all the acts rehearse and cleans up the theatre and plans to have a grand reopening. An exotic dancer arrives at the theatre with an older woman and quickly hides when he turns around. She announces she is Isabella and asks him for Torreani. When he says he is Torreani, she asks if he has a brother. She seems quite confused when he says he doesn't.
Holsten practices a high-wire act with a bicycle. Marianne watches and is very worried about him. Meanwhile, the man with the seal act wants Marianne to marry him. It is obvious that she is in love with Holsten.
Isabella dances and Holsten does his high-wire act. Afterwards in his suite, Isabella accuses him of not being Torreani and wants to blackmail him. She throws a glass of champagne in the fireplace and they dance. Marianne is waiting at a restaurant with the rest of the cost, but Holsten never shows. The man with the seal act proposes to Marianne and she accepts.
The theatre is sold out because of Holsten's high wire act. The real Torreani returns and he and Holsten greet each other as friends. Later Isabella sees him and gets hysterical and gets her gun. He takes it away from her and they become lovers. Torreani and Holsten get into an argument about the show, and Torreani makes it clear that he is going to take over the theatre. Holsten admits to Marianne that he is not Torreani.
We see Torreani's body lying dead in Holsten's suite. The police arrive and arrest Holsten. They find the real killer and Holsten and Marianne are united at the end of the film.
Metropolis lives! Gustav Frölich, the original Freder in Metropolis, directs and stars in this film. He also had Erich Kettelhut create the sets and shot the film in UFA Babelsberg, where Metropolis was shot. Unfortunately, this is no Metropolis, but a rather ordinary krimi.
Copies of this film may be obtained at www.germanvideo.com.