Whether you watch English language films or German language, longtime actor Jürgen Prochnow probably looks familiar. He has been a dictator in 1997’s Air Force One, the bad guy in 1987’s Beverly Hills Cop II, and as a duke in 1984’s Dune. But Prochnow is an accomplished and respected actor in his home country, too. He has had starring roles in important and memorable German language roles.
So this month let’s learn German with the films of actor Jürgen Prochnow (Die Verlorene Ehre der Katharina Blum, Das Boot, Der Bulle und das Mädchen)!
About Jürgen Prochnow
Jürgen Prochnow was born in Berlin on June 10, 1941. The son of a telecommunications engineer, the family moved to Düsseldorf in the early 1950s. Prochnow’s parents aspired for him to work in a bank. However, the young man had a different vision for his life. He decided to pursue acting.
Initially, he dipped his toe into the world of drama at the Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus working as an extra and with lighting. Then, in the mid-1960s he studied acting at the Folkwanghochschule.
Since 2003, Prochnow has had United States citizenship.
Die Verlorene Ehre der Katharina Blum
In the story, Katharina is a young woman who meets a young man, Ludwig (portrayed by Prochnow), and the two instantly connect. But when the police show up, it becomes clear that Ludwig is a highly sought after man. He is accused of being a terrorist and a bank robber. The police grow suspicious of Katharina.
When the tabloid press gets wind of Katharina spending time with Ludwig, they too become suspicious of her. Throughout the film, Katharina is chased by both the police and the press. The pressure and stress are unbearable and no one seems to listen when she tries to tell the truth.
While the film opens with an assurance that the story is not based on facts or actual people, it can not be ignored that it resembles real life. In particular, the story puts the focus on the German tabloid newspaper Bild.
One of Prochnow’s most notable roles, in English or German, is in Das Boot. The 1981 film version of Lothar-Günther Buchheim’s 1973 novel of the same name transports the audience to World War II. The story follows a German submarine, or U-boat, as they patrol during the Battle of the Atlantic.
Within the tight confines of the submarine, there is nowhere to go and tensions run high. And that is before you even consider that the crew of the submarine are in the middle of a war. The film keeps viewers on the edge of their seats with thrilling action.
Jürgen Prochnow portrays the captain of the U-boat, an experienced sailor who does not always agree with the way the war is being run. Musician-slash-actor Herbert Grönemeyer stars as a war correspondent who is embedded with the crew and unprepared for what he is about to experience.
Der Bulle und das Mädchen
Prochnow stars as a tough no-nonsense cop (der Bulle) in the 1985 action and crime thriller movie Der Bulle und das Mädchen. Actress Annette von Klier stars as “the girl” that the title promises.
When The Girl runs into some trouble after being harassed by some rough men, The Cop steps in to protect her as a sort of bodyguard. After The Cop tangles with some other police officers, the duo unexpectedly ends up on the run.
Practice practice practice! Discover other great German-language films! See previously featured actors, actresses, directors, and filmmakers.
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