The Hooligans | Chicago Reader

The Hooligans

This 1956 film set in postwar Germany is a moderately engaging mix of crime caper and juvenile delinquency melodrama. A well-behaved 18-year-old hangs out with his gang leader brother, unaware that the brother is planning an ill-advised mail-truck heist. While echoing Rebel Without a Cause, it's more sexually explicit, and the brothers' authoritarian father is a Germanic contrast to the weak-kneed, feminized dad in Rebel. The gang leader's 15-year-old girlfriend (played with fiery verve by Karin Baal) turns out to be the nastiest of the bunch. But the kids' antisocial antics are relatively predictable, and Georg Tressler's direction, which offers bland compositions where something more noirish is called for, does little to enhance the drama. In German with subtitles. 97 min.

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