The Good German

Synopsis: Berlin, July, 1945. Journalist Jake Geismer arrives to cover the Potsdam conference, issued a captain's uniform for easier passage. He also wants to find Lena, an old flame who's now a prostitute desperate to get out of Berlin. He discovers that the driver he's assigned, a cheerful down-home sadist named Corporal Tully, is Lena's keeper. When the body of a murdered man washes up in Potsdam (within the Russian sector), Jake may be the only person who wants to solve the crime: U.S. personnel are busy finding Nazis to bring to trial, the Russians and the Americans are looking for German rocket scientists, and Lena has her own secrets.
Director(s): Steven Soderbergh
Production: Warner Bros. Pictures
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 4 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
105 min



Herzlich Willkommen in Berlin.

Who is that guy?

It's Breimer. He's a congressman.

-You're here for the peace conference?

-To write about it.

-You ever hear of The New Republic?


The uniform

is the Army's idea of a joke.

You see any action?

I was in London when Franz Bettmann

aimed his Roman candles...

... about a hundred feet away from me.

Broke all my martini glasses.

Who is Franz Bettmann?

Bettmann, Von Braun.

The Kraut brain trust,

the guys who built the V-2s.

I actually wrote a column about it.

I wish I could write.

I have some great stories I could tell.

No sense beating up on the Germans.

The Russians are the enemy now.

They're godless people. Go down

to the rail yard and see for yourself.

Anything's not nailed down, they're

taking it, sending it to Moscow.

Well, why not?

They took most of the bullets.

We've been teaching the Ivans to play

ball. Some of those fellas can really hit.

I bet you can't wait

to go home, huh, soldier?

Yes, sir. You know the Germans.

They make excellent Danish...

... but they can't bake apple pie

like my mom.

Nothing wrong with the Germans.

Plenty of good German folk

back in Schenectady.

Oh, excuse me.

Let me help you with that, sir.

I got it, Tully.

-Being helpful is all.

-You know who's driving me tomorrow?

Got my trip ticket. I'm your driver

for the duration of your stay in Berlin.

And I got you...

... a little housewarming present.

Thanks, Tully.

-See you in the morning. Say, 0800?


I wouldn't myself have sized him up that

way, you know? Just meeting the guy...

... you wouldn't think of him as a patsy.

That's what I loved about Berlin:

Even a guy who wasn't a patsy back

home turned into one. It was inevitable.

The city spread its legs.

All that ''eat, drink and be merry''

bullshit, ''seize the day. ''

It sure didn't make anyone smarter.

And the best part of it

was no one got hurt.

There was too much money around

for anybody to fall...

... without a nice soft cushion.

Occupation marks printed just for us.

Funny money.

It didn't feel like losing it

when they lost it.

The Russians, they had to spend it

before they went home.

Which was all anyone talked about:

Going home.

Everyone, even the Russians.

God, who would ever want to?

Say what you want about the war.

I would never wish

for all those millions of people to die...

... but the war was the best thing

that ever happened to me.

When you have money, then,

for the first time in your life...

... you understand it,

what money does for you.

Where before all you understood

was not having it.

Money allows you

to be who you truly are.

So you like your job?


Your job.



What are you doing

with that cigarette?

Waste not, want not.

It is a job, right?

How do you like your job?

How do you like working

in the motor pool?

What the hell does that mean?


-That doesn't even follow.

Perhaps my English.

Like you should be fucking Dwight

Eisenhower, Countess Roundheels?

-I was making conversation.

-No, you weren't.

That's what I was doing.

Don't tell me my business.

Two thousand yards of silk

in the Russian zone.

I get in and out anywhere.

The British zone, the French.

I got the vehicle. The motor pool's

the best job in the fucking Army!

I'm sorry.

I thought you were going to help me

get out of Germany.

It's gonna get harder,

not easier. Watch.

They put your name on a list,

and then that's it.

I forget sometimes

what a boy you are.

Such a boy.

-A sweet little boy.

-No, cut it out.

Does that bother you?

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Paul Attanasio

Paul Albert Attanasio (born November 14, 1959) is an American screenwriter and film and television producer, who was an executive producer on the television series House (2004–2012). He received Academy Award nominations for Quiz Show (1994) and Donnie Brasco (1997) screenplays. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "The Good German" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 23 Jan. 2021. <>.

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