Friedrich Dürrenmatt, who wrote the screenplay, did not agree with the hopeful end of this crime classic and later wrote “The Promise”. Our film tip
The tramp Jacquier (Michel Simon) finds the body of a little girl in the woods. When he calls the police, they consider the case to be closed – Jacquier himself is said to be the perpetrator. The peddler confesses under pressure and shortly thereafter kills himself in his cell. But Commissioner Matthäi (Heinz Rühmann) doubts his guilt. He believes the murder is linked to two other children who previously died. On his own he continues to investigate and comes up with a radical plan: He wants to use Annemarie, his housekeeper’s daughter, as a decoy. And in fact, shortly afterwards, she meets the businessman Albert Schrott (Gert Fröbe) in the forest …
The screenplay for “It happened am hellichten Tag” (1958) was written by Hans Jacoby, who often worked with Heinz Rühmann. The story and template come from the writer Friedrich Dürrenmatt. It was the first German feature film by the Hungarian director Ladislao Vajda. However, Dürrenmatt was dissatisfied with the end of the film, which was too hopeful for him. Therefore, he later wrote his own version of the story with “The Promise”, which he called the “Requiem for the detective novel”. Here the inspector loses his mind due to the unsuccessful manhunt. In 2001 Sean Penn moved the novel to the USA and filmed it with Jack Nicholson in the leading role.
“It happened in broad daylight” runs at 8:15 p.m. on arte.
April 19, 2021 // Matthias Jordan