Oscar Movies: Schtonk (1992)

Germany (Bavaria Film GmbH Production)

In this slapstick political satire, written and directed by Helmut Dietel, the protagonist is Fritz, a life-long forger of Nazi memorabilia.

We learn that Fritz got his start as a boy, selling items of clothing that Hitler wore.  His new scam is to sell “original” portraits by Hitler of his mistress Eva Braun to those who collect Nazi art.

In the course of the tale, which is sharply uneven in humor and observation, he runs into a journalist who works for a tabloid-style magazine (modeled on “Der Stern”), and the two concoct a scam which will benefit both of them, make headline news for the journalist and cash for the forger.

To that extent, Fritz fakes “Hitler’s Diaries,” which become a household word before the scam is uncovered.

The text is based on an actual news story.  The film’s title derives from Chaplin’s 1940 landmark satire, “The Great Dictator,” which the comedian used to refer to Hitler.

Oscar Nominations: 1

Foreign Language Film

Oscar Awards: None

Oscar Context:

The winner of the Foreign Language Film Oscar was the French melodrama, “Indochine,” starring Catherine Deneuve.


Running time: 115 Minutes.

Directed by Helmut Dietl.

Released on March 12, 1992.



Götz George as Hermann Willi’e

Uwe Ochsenknecht as Fritz Knobel

Christiane Hörbiger as Freya von Hepp

Rolf Hoppe as Karl Lentz

Dagmar Manzel as Biggi

Veronica Ferres as Martha