Emil and the Detectives (1964) - Rotten Tomatoes

Emil and the Detectives (1964)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Emil and the Detectives Photos

Movie Info

Erich Kastner's oft-filmed children's story Emil and the Detectives was given the Disney treatment in 1964. Though the plot is still set in Berlin, the younger characters have been extensively Americanized, none more so than the title character (played by Bryan Russell) and aspiring teenaged detective Gustav (Roger Mobley). Travelling by bus to visit his aunt, Emil loses an envelope of money to sneak thief Grundeis (Heinz Schubert). The boy enlists the aid of a gang of young detective-story aficionados, led by Gustav, to locate the thief. This leads to a perilous adventure when it turns out that Grundeis is in league with an erudite master criminal known as The Baron (Walter Slezak), who is planning a major heist. The film waves uncertainly between pure-and-simple kiddie entertainment and a dead-serious "caper" effort; surely some of the worldly, cynical dialogue spoken by Walter Slezak went way over the heads of Disney's 8-to-14-year-old target audience. Still, the performances are lively and the Berlin locations well chosen. Emil and the Detectives wasn't as successful as Disney's previous release Mary Poppins, but it managed to make back its cost overseas.

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Eva-Ingeborg Scholz
as Frau Tischbein
Franz Nicklisch
as Desk Sergeant
Robert Swann
as Hermann
Ann Noland
as Frieda
Paul Glawton
as Traffic Policeman
Paul Glawion
as Traffic Policeman
Gerhard Retschy
as Officer Kiessling
Viktor Hospach
as Newsstand Proprietor
Egon Vogel
as Dispatcher
Georg Rebentisch
as Bus Driver
Roswitha Habedank
as Parlor Maid
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Critic Reviews for Emil and the Detectives

All Critics (5) | Top Critics (4)

[Director Peter Tweksbury] has kept the kiddies from gushing too coyly, suppressed the mugging of a comic trio of thieves, photographed the fresh Berlin setting in effective color, and juxtaposed suspense and wit with a nice, bouncing pace.

December 1, 2020 | Full Review…

The children will howl and grown-ups will look on with smiling indulgence.

December 1, 2020 | Full Review…

Slezak and his pals, known as the three skrinks, are amusing in their blundering progress and the many kids respond enthusiastically to Peter Tewksbury's direction.

December 1, 2020 | Full Review…

It is a picture that will intrigue and delight children as well as adults.

December 1, 2020 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Kids outsmart criminals in engaging detective story.

January 23, 2020 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews

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Emil and the Detectives Quotes

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