Everything You Never Knew You Wanted to Know About Berlin
Did you know that when on 26 April 1945 the Red Army reached UFA film studios in Oberlandstraße in Tempelhof, the crew busy filming the comedy “Sag die Wahrheit” (Tell The Truth) refused to leave the set?
They stayed until all came to an inevitable halt as electric power was cut off. The lights went out. Both literally and metaphorically speaking.
However, the film was “resurrected” several months after the end of the war. When “Sag die Wahrheit” was first filmed in early 1945 and the Red Army was literally ante portas), three-quarters of the film material was ready.
As soon as the situation allowed it, a new film production company, Studio 45 (it replaced the old Terra Films whose project it originally was) took over. However, although Western Allies as well as several other involved parties decided the film should be finished, they demanded some adjustments (new crew, adjusted script).
Eventually, the script was “updated” and new actors hired (only two of the old crew remained). The film was launched in 1946 as the first German post-war film with a Western-Allies licence.
The reception from the critics was far from positive (such silly, trivial story in so hard times) but the audience loved it. Not the first and not the last time in the history of motion pictures when the two opinions should be so radically different. However, what makes the choice of this particular film so disputable is the comparison with the greatest “competition”: with the Soviet-occupied Berlin. Their first post-war film production was Wolfgang Staudte’s Mörder Sind Unter Uns or „The Murderers Are Among Us“.
You can see the 1946 film “Sag die Wahrheit” here (unfortunately, the quality is not particularly good):