Crime film

the crime film (detective story or Kriminalfilm) is a kind of the literature and the film art.

A crime film describes a crime and its pursuit and clearing-up by the government authority or a private person. The detective story divides into two differentSubgattungen up, the mystery story and the thriller.

Table of contents

Mystery stories and category development to today

the designation mystery story comes from latin (detegere „uncover “). The classical mystery story proceeds from one at the beginning of history reported crimes, often a capital crime, about a murder, the acting detective inProcess of the action clears up.

Actual crime history (thus like it to the crime came) is usually final with beginning of the action, while determination history in the detail is described. The detective penetrates with the clearing-up of the crime usually deeplyinto the personal past that suspecting and victim and examines besides its private entwinements among themselves.

Many mystery stories leave the reader in the unclear one over it, who committed the crime. The attraction for the reader or viewer lies among other things in it,the fact that it in the contest with the hero along-have a temperature to along-guess/advise can. One calls this special type also Whodunit, a Verballhornung of the question: „Who' s done it? “(dt: „Who has it done? “).

The detective becomes frequent with his determinations of one„Watsonfigur so mentioned “accompanies, which appears as a mediator between „the ingenious “investigator and the reader. By dialogues with this and to other companions out the detective and/or storyteller can state its conclusions and trains of thought, point traces and bring in indications, in addition,Need for further confusion provide. The Bypart can be occupied in most diverse kinds, it is enough by the well-known friend with the police, the hinreissenden secretary and the informer at the corner over lovers, colleagues and friends up to the intelligent computerin newer crime films.

Beside the classical Whodunit developed with the crime film gradually further telling and action patterns, surrounding fields and Subgenres. To call the espionage and Agententhriller (007, Nikita ) would here for instance be, which police film with the often usedKommissariatsthemas (Maigret, the purpurenen rivers) as well as the black series with the developed type of the Hardboiled Detectives. Also the turned sign, which may however Gaunerstück put on as contrast to the determination as topic is not forgotten.To call exemplary for instance Arsène Lupin would be, the Gentlemen ask to the cash as filming of the large English post office robbery, Leon as history of a killer as well as in sound broadcasting the row Dickie thickly thickening.

Not less excitingly cases are rarer, at the same time,outside of (meanwhile) the used ranges move, approximately in the Middle Ages (the name of the rose of Umberto Eco, brother Cadfael of Ellis Peter), in the oldChina (judge of Robert van Gulik) or in thatFuture (Jonas, the last detective as radio play, steel caves of Isaac Asimov, Minority report in the film and book). Recent category extensions of the crime film are particularly in the determination range of the pathology (Samantha Ryan) settled, during in the film since that/80's 70's, as type film Dirty Harry with Clint Eastwood could be called here, increases the Actiongenre was occupied. The span reaches from the youth range (the three question marks, the black hand, nod rattling clay/tone) up to the adult range of the red light quarter andErotikmangas.

If the origins lay in the novel and groschen booklet, crime films are to be found meanwhile in all media, by the television over the film up to the Manga and Comic (for example BlackSad as „Remake “of the black series, thickly Tracy). They are asto rate established category medium-spreading. As example is for instance the row Nestor Burma of Léo paints here to call, for television and sound broadcasting worked on, converted of Jacques Tardi skillfully in gang the Dessinée, in the Comic.


a small literature and read list

acquaintance of detectives of the classical detective novel:

Augusts Dupin (E.A. Poe), shearing LOCK of cross-beam (Arthur Conan Doyle), Hercule Poirot and measure Marple (both Agatha Christie), Lord Peter Wimsey (Dorothy L.Sayers), Father Brown (G. K. Chesterton), Nero wolf (Rex Stout).

Acquaintance literary and cinematographische representatives in the police and secret service range:

Commissioner Maigret (Georges Simenon), France, Wachtmeister Studer (Friedrich Glauser), Switzerland, supervisor„Dirty “Harry Callahan, easily of Clint Eastwood, San Francisco, Jerry Cotton and Phil Decker, FBI, crime film booklet row Germany, James bond, agent 007 of the English Secret service, of Ian Fleming, Pierre Niemans and max of Kerkerian in Jean Christophe Grangés purpurene rivers, France.

Among other things Philip

Marlowe (Raymond Chandler ) count black series for the own category of the Hardboiled Detective, SAM Spade (Dashiell Hammett) and Lew Archer (Ross Macdonald), in addition, Mike hammer (Mickey Spillane)can serve and is as type example (worth reading). The Subgenre was far spread not least by the cinema of the black series film Noir, like us cinematic classical authors with Humphrey kind of bending (the unknown face), Elliott Gould, Robert Mitchum, Alain Delon (Le Samurai) and Jean Paul Belmondo (the devil with the white waistcoat) prove.

Kriminalisten of more recent time are Inspector smelling pool of broadcasting corporations jury (Martha Grimes), supervisor Lynley (Elizabeth George,) commissioner briefly barrier other (Henning Mankell), Commissario Guido Brunetti (Donna Leon), John Rebus (Ian Rankin), Simon burner (wolf Haas), Vic Warshawski (Sara Paretsky), Irene Huss (Helene Tursten), the tiger cat Mrs. Murphy (RitaMae Brown), private detective max of winters (Felix Thijssen).


work on] of crime films in film

and television the popularity of the category to a firm kind in filmand television become to let. Apart from the filmings of successful detective stories also some crime films and thriller were produced directly for the canvas or the ground-glass plate.

Successful German Kriminalserien on the television is:

to the older „imported “series count among other things:

to thatnewer, usually US-American, crime film series counts:

crime film in the radio play

  • Dickie thickly thickening Rolf and Alexandra Becker. Classically mixture of Capone and Chicago, abgewürzt with very much humor. Radio play row.
  • Jonas, the last detective. Radio play row.
  • Professor van Dusen,the thinking machine a radio play series of Michael Koser.
  • Same' s law, partly rabenschwarzer crime film as treatment of radio plays. Seperate shipment
  • Tassilo S. Grübel six-part radio play row of Martin Walser, partly with Bruno whole in the main role films
  • Cleopatra, WDR Hörspielumsetzung of the price-crowned first novelfrom the max winter series of old master Felix Thijssen (among other things Miterfinder of the original of the TV serial the guard), crime films in the Comic Blacksad, as animal (
marvelous) Hommage

appeared to

literature to the Kriminalfilm

  • Knut Hickethier (Hrsg.), Katja Schumann et al.: Film category: Kriminalfilm. Universal library No. 18408. Reclam, Stuttgart 2005, ISBN 3-15-018408-8
  • George Seesslen: Detectives. Murder in the cinema. Bases of the popular film. Stir up, Marburg 1998, ISBN 3-89472-425-0
  • Meinolf Zurhorst: Encyclopedia of the Kriminalfilms. With more than 400 films of 1900until today. Heyne, Munich 1993, ISBN 3-453-05210-2
  • Alain Charlot: The 100 best Kriminal-Filme (OT: Les 100 boss d'oeuvre you suspense). Heyne film and - Fernsehbibliothek No. 155. Heyne, Munich 1991, ISBN 3-453-04930-6
  • John Gabree: The classical gangster film (OT: Gangster).Heyne Filmbibliothek volume 22. Heyne, Munich 1981, ISBN 3-453-86022-5
  • Marianne angel webers [talk.] et. aluminium: Quotenfänger crime film. The most popular category on the German television. Catholic Institut for medium information, Cologne 1999, ISBN 3-934311-05-9
  • Hans Gerhold: Cinema of the views. The French Kriminalfilm - oneSocial history. Fischer Cinema. Fischer, Frankfurt/Main 1989, ISBN of 3-596-24484-6



with the thriller (from English. tons thrill „drag along, bind “) are located instead of the mystery around the looked for author the endangerment of the hero in the center.Contrary to the classical mystery story the investigator in the thriller becomes the goal of the author. If it represents an inviolable person in the detective novel, it must be afraid in the thriller for its life and succeed pretty often palpable against its adversaries. Itadditional tension is produced. The thriller is coined/shaped accordingly far more by act ion and horror elements of the film category than the classical detective novel. A Happy do not end is guaranteed to no more.

There are also so-called combinations detective novel and thriller.

Origin of the crime film

as a first author of detective novels is regarded to Edgar Allan Poe (The Murders into the Rue Morgue, 1841), although these on forerunners (for example E. T. A. Hoffmann) to fall back could. Kriminalliterari courses are howeveralready in the antique literature, so for example in king Ödipus of Sophokles. As founders of the German-language Kriminalerzählung August is to be seen God-dear Meissner. As a first important German-speaking detective novelist to recent time Friedrich Glauser is considered. As one of the most important foundersthe thriller applies the Scottish author John Buchan, important thrillers wrote also Eric Ambler.

literary classification

traditional crime films in the literature enterprise were considered as depreciated Kolportage/trivial literature. The possibilities of describing psychological moments those thatCriminals propel to supply or the investigator to own conscience emergencies fall descriptions of environment, however quite offer opportunity for fastidious literature. So one can quite understand Fjodor Dostojewskis novel crime and punishment or William Raabes plugging cake as crime film. Also Friedrich Duerrenmattliterarily fastidious detective stories Theodor Fontane wrote, likewise - to Unterm Birnbaum.

Meanwhile the crime film is a recognized literature kind. Numerous literary awards are assigned for this kind. In addition masters Award and the Edgar Allan Poe Awards count in America of the Grand, in Great Britain the CWA Dagger Awards, in France of the Grand Prix de la Littérature Policière, in Germany the German crime film price and the Glauser, in Australia of the Ned Kelly Award.


VerballhornungEnglish “Who the Done It”, who Hats done. Designation of the classical operational sequence of a mystery story with the determination of the author.

black series

of novels and often black-and-white films around the lonely large city detective, independently, uncompromising, zynisch in the midst of a usually corrupt environment. Itother one puts some impacts, at the world can or wants it nothing change into the run of the determination and distributes. Alcohol it fights on its kind, weapons and death is tool, the living standard expresses itself also in the language.Also as Lone wolf, Lone Eye and/or. Private Eye designates. Further references in the read list (s.o.).

film Noir

French black series, which film Noir treats, often in place of the detective topic the gangster topic, with which resemble, minus signs.The end is often tragic and partially by the film through foreseeable. To call for instance the devil with the white waistcoat with Jean Paul Belmondo and Le Samourai last and/or. The ice-cold angel with Alain Delon.


of films and rare novels, in which the actual, rather less important action reads by plentifully daring, often and very sporty manipulation is illustrated. Apart from fights and shootings pursuit-hunted (car) and collisions rank among most frequent developments.


frequent starting point of Gangsterballaden is round Chicago around the Prohibition. Aluminium Capone and other material names serves here in the crime film than hangers. Also the middle west and the “Dust Bowl” in times of the depression and the new Dealserves (EN) since Bonnie & Clyde as popular motive. At the same time it is also starting point for police and FBI stories, similarly for instance New York, San Francisco and other well-known American large cities. Contrary to the earlier category that can apply today each larger ormore well-known crimes a cinematic and possibly also literary, partially. biographic processing from victim, author or Ermittlersicht experiences. In the newer cinema also increasingly again the comedy topic is, partially toward Galgenhumor and/or. black series/film Noir modified.

pathology and Begleitwissenschaften

in the more recent time accumulate themselves up cases, in those the accompanying science, everything in front the pathology (“here helpthe dead ones for the alive one ", wall inscription of the pathology Leipzig) and psychology, the emphasis respective crime film form. In particular during already early and often summaries of the kriminalistischen techniques (about of Vidoq and Bertillon in Paris) as literarily worked on case examples discoverable are and until today in book form are, is today the border to the remaining spheres of activity, up to the general legal topics flowing (“Nero wolf”, “CSI”)), are parts of the topic in many crime films.

Examples would about be:

  • “For all casesFitz ", heavyweighty English psychologist, TV-series
  • Samantha Ryan, English Pathologin, TV-series
  • Kay Scarpetta, Pathologin, written of Patricia D. Cornwell
  • “Citizen X”, description of the case of a Russian series murderer and the clearing-up after ten-year hunt, feature with Donald Suez ago country
  • “very close, the method Hill”, English psychologistwith specialization on series murders, TV-row at the border to the horror film (based on the novels of Val McDermid)


humor is quite more frequently than assumed in the crime film again. Partially is the serious aspect respective crime filmsby merry or at least pleasing parts loosened up, partially individual works are completely and primarily aligned to humor.

Some examples:

  • Bugsy Malone, Chicago gangster film with child occupation
  • Dickie thickly thickening, Chicago topic as radio play with very much, very much humor also in thatlinguistic rendition (wordplays, etc.)
  • dialogue forms between Roger of moorlands and Tony Curtis in the TV-series “the two”
  • “Arsenic and Spitzenhäubchen”, feature of 1944
  • “Hokuspokus or as I let man disappear mine”, feature around a murder trial, with Heinz resting man and Liselotte powder, to 1965

see also

list of the crime film series, list of the crime film authors, woman Mrs., German crime film road, crime film play


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