The Sinner (1951 film)

The Sinner (German: Die Sünderin) is a 1951 West German romantic drama film directed by Willi Forst and starring Hildegard Knef, Gustav Fröhlich and Änne Bruck.[1]

The Sinner
Directed byWilli Forst
Produced byRolf Meyer
Written by
Music byTheo Mackeben
CinematographyVáclav Vích
Edited byMax Brenner
  • Junge Film-Union Rolf Meyer
Distributed byHerzog-Filmverleih
Release date
  • 18 January 1951 (1951-01-18)
Running time
100 minutes
CountryWest Germany

The film's sets were designed by the art director Franz Schroedter.


It is a love story between the prostitute Marina and the unsuccessful artist Alexander, who suffers from a cancer which makes him blind and ill. They are happy for a short period in Italy. Despite Marina's loving care, Alexanders health gets worse and they together commit suicide in the end.[2]


It was one of the first German films to break several taboos: nudity, suicide and euthanasia. In the Germany of the 1950s, this caused a lot of negative reactions both by politicians and the Roman Catholic Church.[2][3] The opposition reached the degree of banning the film and scandalizing it, which paradoxically made it one of the landmarks in the German film history. Despite or because of the scandal, Die Sünderin proved to be the breakthrough role of Hildegard Knef.


Notes and references

  1. Holloway, Ron (2002-02-02). "Hildegard Knef". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016-03-06.
  2. "The Scandal surrounding The Sinner [Die Sünderin] (1951)". German History in Documents and Images (GHDI). Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  3. Robert von Dassanowsky (10 October 2005). Austrian Cinema: A History. McFarland. p. 140. ISBN 978-0-7864-3733-7.
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