Hokuspokus oder: Wie lasse ich meinen Mann verschwinden...?

Genre: Comedy
Director(s): Kurt Hoffmann
  1 win & 2 nominations.
100 min





The delayed flight from London,

scheduled to arrive at 10:10 pm,

is now making its final approach.

Was a Mister Graham on board?

Graham? No.

Any other London flights tonight?

- No, sir.

I see. Thank you.

No telegram?

- No, Mr. President.

No call from London?

- No, Mr. President.

Mr. Graham didn't arrive.

Are you expecting him again today?


The phantom.


Shall I chill some champagne?

- As always.

Two glasses? - Three,

in case Mr. Graham comes. - Yes.

And if he doesn't,

I'd appreciate it if you stayed up.

Of course.

Are you fearful?

- No, Mr. President.

Who might that be?

The phantom?

It's too early for that.

Open up, please.

Mr. Graham?

What's wrong?

We were worried about you.

Won't you step in?

That was my intention.

Doesn't it open?

- What?

The umbrella.

- Why?

It's raining.

- Is that so?


- What?

You didn't arrive.

I did.

- I was at the airport.

Had you been at the train station...

- You wired that you'd come by plane.

Is that so? Well...

Plans can change, as can dispositions.

Yes. Well, do come in.

What will you have?

I'll have a seat first. If I may.


- Yes.


- No!

How is London?

Splendid. I'm to say hello.

- From whom?


You spoke to her?


- She still loves you.

So she says.

I hope I didn't open an old wound.

I hate opening old wounds.

That's over.

Thank God.

Your last will is more generous

to her than she deserves.

Forget her.

- I have forgotten her.

Let's drink to that.

Now I believe you've forgotten her.

Just a moment.

So she's your new queen of hearts?


- Don't be silly.

The painting's no masterpiece,

but the way you illuminate it

like a Christmas tree

puts the woman in a favorable light.

And since the colors are hardly dry,

one would hope she's still alive.

And if she is, one should marry her.

Then you should hurry up.

Tomorrow she'll likely be

condemned to death.


- Yes. - So that is...

Agda Kierulf...

whose trial you'll attend tomorrow.

Who'd think she was a murderer?

Who's the painter?

- Her husband.

All he painted was his wife.

And why did she kill him?

You'll hear the prosecutor's theory.

Any chance of her being acquitted?

Hardly. - But she has

the world's best defense counsel.

She had. Her lawyer dropped the case

this afternoon.

Oh! Why's that?

She lies, contradicts herself,

and faints when she sees no way out.

I'm very curious as to what to expect.

Who knows

if the trial will even take place.

You'll find a new counsel.

- But not a new president.

Are you dropping the case too?

- Someone wants to... - What?

...drop me.

- I don't understand.

Well, I haven't asked you here

just to attend the trial, but...

If you'd be so kind

as to speak at my funeral...

At your...

- Yes, at my coffin.

I hope you'll find suitable words.

Of course.

Are you going to hang yourself?


- Shoot yourself?

The method of death

is not my decision.

The thing is, tonight

I'll probably be murdered.

Very likely!

Namely by me, if you continue to speak

in tongues. How do you know this?

From a man in a tailcoat.

- In a tailcoat?

He's been telling me for two weeks.

- How convenient!

14 days ago someone called and said,

"Is the President there?

I've something important to tell you.

I'll come at midnight.

I drink champagne." And hung up.

And then?

- He came at midnight.

What did he look like?

- Quite friendly.

And what did he say?

Nothing at first.

He drank, commended the champagne,

and then he told me.

- Told you what?

That I'd be murdered.

On the night of June 13th.

That would be... today.


- And by whom?

I'd find out, he said.

Did the gentleman

say he'd be coming tonight?

Yes. In order to protect me, he said.

Do you know what I think?

He's the one who wants to murder you.

Does a murderer announce his murder?

No, but I don't

associate with murderers.

Did you inform the police?

- No.

If this turned out to be a joke,

I'd make a fool of myself.

Why put up with such perilous visits?

Haven't you noticed?

- What?

The date. Tomorrow's the big day

in the Agda Kjerulf trial.

And tonight I'm to be murdered.

- Damn.

Agda Kjerulf is Danish,

and so is my nocturnal friend.

What time is it?

One minute to twelve.

Then we have one minute left.

Are you nervous?

- Me? No.

It looks like you are.

Some more light, perhaps?

No, no, it's quite cozy like this.

Did you hear that?

- No.


Luckily no one can see us sitting here

like idiots, awaiting our murderer.

I'll open the door.

- No, don't. He might shoot.

I'll get it. He's got

no reason to shoot at me. Right?

I'll go with you.

Nobody's there.


This is starting to get eerie.

Good evening.

Nobody opened up,

so I used the window.

May I introduce...

- How are you, Mr. Graham?

How do you...

- Is your name not Graham?


- Well then. How are you?

Fine, thanks.

- Splendid.

And you, Mr. President? I was worried

about your health tonight.

I feel wonderful. Have a seat.

Thank you.

How cozy. Was this dim lighting

your idea, Mr. President?

It was mine.

What did he say?

Know what I like most about this?

- No.

She's not smiling, but you can tell

she might do so at any moment.

And if she did, she'd have dimples.

Hm. Well...

You had a stormy trip, Mr. Graham?

Why didn't you come by plane?

Plans can change, Mr. President,

as can dispositions.

So you came by ship?

I did, by Jove.

The sea was so rough

that even the captain got seasick?


- Did the captain get seasick?


- There you are.

I recall a captain getting seasick

only once.

It was on a very calm sea

after a very strong punch.

Yes, Mr...

Bille. Peer Bille.

Bille? I knew Noldus Bille,

the great circus man from Copenhagen.

- My father.

Oh really!

I'll never forget his shows.

He could shoot like William Tell,

play violin like Paganini and do magic

like Houdini. Long live your father!

Thank you. Unfortunately, he's dead.

Let's drink to his memory.

Not you, Mr. President. You must

keep a clear head for tonight.

To your father, Mr. Bille.

He was a great man.

- That he was.

He improved the old trick

of cutting a woman in two.

He cut her in four.

Many a man

would like to know how that works.

Very funny!

Not you, Mr. President.

It's a sign of true friendship,

Mr. Graham,

that you've come to cheer up

your friend in his final hours.

That's what I wanted to ask you about.

- Very interesting.

What about the Kjerulf trial?

- It's taking its course.

That's interesting too.

I hear you're doing a good job.

I hear you play

cat and mouse with the defendant

in a way that diminishes her chances

with every answer she gives.

People speak highly of you,

Mr. President.

Let's get to the point.

- Gladly.

You told my friend

he'd be murdered tonight.

How so?

- It's my Christian sense of kindness.

I mean, how do you know this?

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Curt Goetz

Curt Goetz (17 November 1888 – 12 September 1960), born Kurt Walter Götz, was a Swiss German writer, actor and film director. Curt Goetz was regarded as one of the most brilliant comedy writers of his time in the German-speaking world. Together with his wife Valérie von Martens he acted in his own plays and also filmed them. He was a distant relative of the Irish writer George Bernard Shaw, with whom he was often compared. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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