Herr Kischott is the German for Don Quixote, but the fanciful title character was inspired by the very real struggles of the actor who plays him. Percy Adlon had long been a close friend and colleague of Rolf Illig, so when the latter began to be seen less and less at the radio station where both were freelance voice actors, Adlon was naturally concerned. He reached out to Illig, fearing some grave illness, but found his friend was suffering more an ailment of the mind than of the body.
"His long, thin figure and his tortured, lined face, but most of all his mental state, his deeply rooted solitude, made him the ideal Don Quixote," Adlon remembers. He wrote for his troubled friend the role of a retired railway employee, living alone in a small rented room, and carrying on a fantasy relationship with the news anchorwoman he watches on TV every night--with the sound muted.
A forgotten movie with a cast mostly of ordinary folks (including Marianne Sägebrecht in her first film part), HERR KISCHOTT found a new audience when it showed as part of a retrospective of Adlon's work at the Munich Film Museum in 2015. "35 years after it played on German TV," the director recalls, "the young crowd in Munich embraced it as something they could relate to: as a critique of our spoiled, loud, brainless, consumerist culture."
A film by Percy Adlon
MaIa Roth, Mario Piras, Hans Stadtmüller,
Maria Stadler, Marianne Sägebrecht,
& the youth of Plattling
Poster art by Tomi Ungerer
Written and directed by Percy Adlon
Produced by Eleonore Adlon
Produced for TV by Benigna von Keyserlingk
Director of Photography - Mike Gast
Editor - Marie-Claude Lacombre
Costume design - Georg Kuhn
Sound - Rainer Niehr
Music by Eugen Illin
A pelemele FILM GmbH production with
Shot on 16mm color film, July/August 1979, in Plattling & Straubing/Niederbayern
German, 98 min.
"A late blooming typical second movie in the shadow of a successful first."