ong before he played the corpulent Goldfinger, German actor Gert Froebe was a scarecrow-skinny comedian. In Berliner Ballade, Froebe makes his screen debut as Otto, a feckless Everyman who tries to adjust to the postwar travails of his defeated nation. Stymied by black-market profiteers and government bureaucrats, Otto begins fantasizing about a happier life at the end of that ever-elusive rainbow. Director R. A. Stemmle doesn't have to strive for pathos: he merely places his gangly star amidst the ruins of a bombed-out Berlin, and the point is made for him. Filmed in 1948, Berliner Ballade was later released in the U.S. as The Berliner.

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