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Limb & Spinal Conditions: Major Films   no photo.
TitleSurburban Crocodiles (1978) (TV Film)
Alternative/Original TitleDie Vorstadtkrokodile
DisabilityLimb Paraplegia
DirectorWolfgang Becker
CastBirgit Komanns Marie Luise Marjan Eberhard Feik Martin Semmelrogge
NotesFor children Silvia writes: The Story is settled in an Ruhr area suburb. Kurt, a paraplegic boy, dreams about being a member of the children's gang "Crocodiles". But in his wheelchair he has no chance because every member has to show his braveness by doing something very dangerous. This time Hannes, a small boy, has to climb the wall of an old brickworks. Kurt, who has an excellent telescope, watches him hanging at the roof and the crocodiles running away. He saves Hannes' life and therefore Hannes takes him to the treehouse of the crocodiles. It takes some time until they accept Kurt as a member. When the treehouse is pulled down by a ranger, they search for a new hideaway at the old brickworks. There they discover the storehouse of burglars, who "work" around the suburb for some while. Kurt even knows who they are but this is a difficult situation: one of them is the elder brother of a crocodile member and the father of these boys is a very influential man. But when some Italian kids are suspected having done the burglary, the crocodiles have to do something. The screenplay was written by Max von der Gruen, a German author in the union tradition (Werkkreis Literatur der Arbeitswelt) after his own novel. It is funny, it has a lot of suspense, it is a wonderful story. The producer of the film was WDR (Westdeutscher Rundfunk) the biggest German TV and Radiostation. The director was Wolfgang Becker, the director of photography Richard Kettelhake. The children were played by non professional actors and they were really good, especially Birgit Komanns, who is a paraplegic in real life, (but certainly not a boy) and played Kurt. Except Rita Ramachers, who was the only girl in the crocodile gang, no one knew that she was a girl. The adult roles were played by nowadays very prominent German TV actors like Marie Luise Marjan (the "mother of the nation", Lindenstrasse), Eberhard Feik (Tatort), Martin Semmelrogge (Das Boot, the favourite bad guy in many TV roles) and many others. But no doubt, the children were so great and acted so naturally, the adults really had no chance ... "Die Vorstadtkrokodile" is one of the most successful productions the WDR ever made - not only in childrens movies. When it was first shown in 1978, they showed it in the afternoon children's program and a few days later in the adult program at prime time. Since today it was shown fourteen times and I am sure, they will repeat it again and again. It was sold to other countries several times, but I do not know, if it was shown in the U.K.

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