A Call Girl Named Rosemarie

Part comedy, part Brechtian musical, and part densely plotted drama of male folly, this stylistically fascinating 1958 film is also a biting portrait of postwar Germany's business elite. A gorgeous prostitute leaves two low-life pimps for an elegant Frenchman who promises to teach her the “international polish” that will make her a “great courtesan.” What he really wants is to deploy her as an industrial spy, but his ambitious and volatile protegee is working only for herself and secretly tape-records her mentor. Director Rolf Thiele opens with choreographed images of near-identical cars driving up a ramp, and similarly clad businessmen walking in lockstep to a meeting: the supposed leaders are quasi automatons who will prove susceptible to the prostitute's manipulations. In German with subtitles. 100 min.

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