Die Legende von Paul und Paula (1974) from Tuna

Die Legend von Paul und Paula (1974) would be nothing more than a dated drama, except for where and when it was made. It is an East German film done during a brief period of artistic freedom, and one of the most popular ever in the DDR. Viewed through our eyes, it is a rather pedestrian story of a woman who kicks out her cheating husband, then falls for a neighbor who himself is in an unhappy marriage with a cheating spouse. Paula wants him to herself, but he has a sense of duty, and worries about his son.


Angelica Domröse shows her breasts, and pokes through several of her outfits. Heidemarie Wenzel, as Paul's wife, also shows her breasts, and an unknown actress who is caught by Paula with her first husband also shows her breasts. 
What made this film so daring was a theme that you should sometimes follow your heart and dare to dream. Paula was a lower class single mother who worked in a supermarket, while Paul was a petty government official. She was the dreamer, he full of the notions of work ethic, loyalty to the state, etc, that were expected of him. His wife was the daughter of a seedy carnival owner, beautiful but a complete gold digger, and promiscuous by nature. There were a few innovative moments I really enjoyed, such as the morning after Paula first sleeps with Paul. She is still in a satisfied and romantic fog, and forgets to put her work shirt on before opening the pop bottle recycling window to the usual crowd of men. In another scene, she is asked to help at the registers due to a huge rush of angry shoppers. She starts singing a dirty song, and soon the entire store joins in.

DVD info from Amazon.

  • widescreen format

If the context interests you, I am sure you have already decided to look for it. If not, the story itself is not compelling enough to win anyone over. It is in German, with sub-titles.

The Critics Vote

  • no English reviews online

The People Vote ...

  • with their dollars: a mammoth success in the old East Germany with 3.2 million admissions.


IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a C.

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