Engel aus Eisen

Angels of Iron
Berlin in the summer of 1948. During the Soviet blockade of the city’s western sectors, inter-sectoral law enforcement is spotty at best. A youth gang led by 17-year-old Werner Gladow takes advantage of the situation. Guided by former state executioner Gustav Völpel, who has connections on the police force, Gladow organises armed robberies and styles himself the Al Capone of Berlin – to the great admiration of his mother and his girlfriend Lisa. But then the young gangster commits murder and, when the Blockade ends, so does his summer of anarchy… This was the directorial debut of writer Thomas Brasch, who had left East Germany and gone to the West. The high-contrast black-and-white film noir is rife with echoes of the expressionism of Germany’s Weimar-era cinema. Underlaid by the continuous drone of American supply planes, newsreel commentary and a speech by West Berlin mayor Ernst Reuter, Angels of Iron depicts a split city on the frontline of the Cold War, with the young, fun-loving post-war generation standing in for the rebellious punks of the 1980s. In 1982, Thomas Brasch said, “crime is the elemental expression of revolt”.
by Thomas Brasch
with Hilmar Thate, Katharina Thalbach, Ulrich Wesselmann, Karin Baal, Ilse Pagé, Peter Brombacher, Klaus Pohl, Hanns Zischler, Horst Laube, Jürgen Flimm, Kurt Raab, Hermann Killmeyer
Federal Republic of Germany 1980 German 105’ Black/White DCP: Deutsche Kinemathek Rating R 16


  • Hilmar Thate
  • Katharina Thalbach
  • Ulrich Wesselmann
  • Karin Baal
  • Ilse Pagé
  • Peter Brombacher
  • Klaus Pohl
  • Hanns Zischler
  • Horst Laube
  • Jürgen Flimm
  • Kurt Raab
  • Hermann Killmeyer


Director Thomas Brasch
Screenplay Thomas Brasch
Cinematography Walter Lassally
Editing Tanja Schmidbauer, Stefan Arnsten
Music Christian Kunert
Sound Lothar Mankewitz
Production Design Nikos Perakis
Costumes Ingrid Zoré
Make-Up Ursula Drews
Producers Heinz Angermeyer, Joachim von Vietinghoff

Additional information

DCP: Deutsche Kinemathek