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directed by: Dominik Graf
produced by: Bernd Eichinger
starring: Peter Behrens, Gert Kalle Krawinkel, Stephan Remmler, Ralf Wolter, Sunnyi Melles
Running time 99 minutes
About the Film:
Peter Behrens, Gert Kalle Krawinkel and Stephan Remmler formed the German 80ties cult band TRIO. Their biggest hit was the minimalistic "Da Da Da", which was released in over 30 countries and sold more than 3 million singles in Europe alone. Worldwide sales of this single amounted to 13 million units. In Canada, "Da Da Da" received double-platinum and in Brasil platinum.
They are citizens of our country, normal people like you, or me. One morning they wake up and make an eerie discovery. They are no longer themselves and things will change forever. This film tells the story of their crazy adventure.
There is a Professor for computer science and mathematics. His wife is unfaithful, but that concerns him little. First of all, her lover is his best friend, and secondly, he is about to formulate a complex mathematical theory. Beyond that, there is no reason why anyone should wish to do him harm. Then one morning as he awakes from a deep sleep, Professor Stephan Remmler finds himself in a strange and hostile surrounding. The room has barred windows, competent, friendly medical personnel address him with "General" and respond to his insistent protests with calm, friendly "Certainly, General". No doubt, this is a mad house. No doubt also that he is being mistaken for someone who he is not. Stephan's irritation is only negligibly soothed by the observation that two other patients are sharing his destiny: the businessman Kralle Krawinkel, and Peter Behrens, unemployed, tight- lipped and always in love.
Under the pressure of modern psychology's torture instruments, the three play along with the game. They click their heals when the supervising doctor enters, give a snappy salute and behave like three South American Generals of German background, as is expected of them. Time will reveal sooner or later what is going on.
Meanwhile an aircraft is approaching the European continent. Sitting inside are three Generals from a small South American country - as one might expect with an uncanny resemblance to our three friends. These three officers are laughing with joy, for they are about to solve a problem that has cost them sleepless nights, namely in the possession of hundreds of millions of dollars in Switzerland and how to conceal their identity so that they needn't fear vengeful revolutionaries at home who would deny them their right to a well earned retirement.
The solution to the problem? The officers plan an assassination on themselves during their unofficial stay in Germany. The victims should, of course, not be themselves, but rather the three doubles. Everyone will regard the Generals as dead; nobody will pursue them any longer. Proud and confident, the three Generals land in Germany. But while they are being received with military honors at the airfield, their doubles, Stephan, Kralle and Peter succeed in escaping from the sanitarium. They are already accustomed to their new freedom as a convoy of the General's black sedans approaches them. The security guard at the wheel suddenly sees three Generals too many and jams on the brakes. The following vehicles run into the back of each other, smoke flares are launched and total chaos breaks out.
In the end the real Generals are taken for their doubles and brought to the sanitarium. Stephan, Kralle and Peter on the other hand are accepted as the authentic Dictators as they take their places in the sedans. Naturally, the real Generals quickly realize what has gone wrong and what is awaiting them. Of course it soon becomes obvious to Stephan, Kralle and Peter which way the wind is blowing, namely from the direction of Switzerland, where the treasury vaults are located - and as they have been dragged into the game without being asked, they are determined to grab the jackpot and take it with them.
At the same time there is still the hired assassin, a patient and calculating character who, now confronted with two times three generals, is slowly getting all mixed-up. Unsurprisingly, a female is also on hand who plays a constructive role in adding further complications to the overall confusion. For sure, the story has an end, a happy end in fact, in which the villains are duly punished and the deserving so rewarded to satisfy the most demanding of moralists. Just what the reward consists of and how it comes about should not yet be divulged in these lines...