Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Hans Fallada's poignant Depression-era novel Klein Mann, Was Nun? was faithfully filmed in Germany in 1933. Young provincial bookkeeper Hans (Herman Thiemig) must keep his marriage to the beautiful Lammechen (Hertha Thiele) a secret, lest he be fired by his boss, who'd hoped to marry off his own daughter to Hans. When the truth is revealed, Hans is immediately sacked, whereupon he and Lammechen move to the Berlin home of Han's lusty stepmother (Ida Wuest). The old lady's larcenous lover (Fritz Kampers) tries to help out the young couple financially, but soon he's carted off to prison. Eventually, it dawns on Hans that his stepmother is running a house of prostitution, and the young couple is obliged to move out again. This time they are given shelter by a kindly street peddler, who is on hand to help out when Lammechen gives birth to Hans's child. Though the young husband is out of work again, there is some hope that conditions will improve, and the film ends on an upbeat note. An English-language version of the Fallada novel, Little Man, What Now?, was filmed the following year, with Douglass Montgomery as Hans and Margaret Sullavan as Lammechen.
accounting, con/scam, marriage, newlywed, pregnancy, stepmother