Little Man, What Now? (1933 film)

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Little Man, What Now?
Little Man, What Now%3F (1933 film).jpg
Directed by Fritz Wendhausen
Written by
Produced by Robert Neppach
Cinematography Ewald Daub
Edited by Herbert Selpin
Music by Harald Böhmelt
Distributed by Europa-Filmverleih
Release date
  • 3 August 1933 (1933-08-03)
Running time
100 minutes
Language German

Little Man, What Now? (German : Kleiner Mann – was nun?) is a 1933 German drama film directed by Fritz Wendhausen and starring Hermann Thimig, Hertha Thiele and Viktor de Kowa. It is an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Hans Fallada. The original concept for the film was to take a naturalistic approach, the same way the novel did, with Kurt Weill composing the music. Fallada had already remarked in 1932, after falling out with the producers and script writers, that the film had little to do with his novel, and that the script writers "would take a different approach," [1] which they did. The Nazi Film Review Office insisted on extensive cuts, including all scenes featuring the Comedian Harmonists.


It was shot at the Johannisthal Studios in Berlin. The film's sets were designed by the art directors Willy Schiller and Otto Guelstorff. Location shooting took place around Swinemünde. [2] It was well received by contemporary critics, many of whom considered it the best German film of 1933. A separate American film adaptation of Fallada's novel, Little Man, What Now? , was released in 1934. [3]


The young accountant Hans Pinneberg lives in the provinces with his wife, who he affectionately calls “Laemmchen”. He has to keep his marriage to beautiful young Emma a secret because his boss plans to marry him off to his daughter. When the truth comes out, Hans is released. Now Hans' stepmother in Berlin has to help. She and her shady lover try to support the young couple by providing Hans and his wife with an apartment in their house. But Hans ends up in prison. When he is released, it dawns on him that his stepmother runs a brothel. Hans and Lammchen leave their apartment to stay with a street vendor friend of theirs. This time there seems to because for cautious optimism.



  1. Illustrierter Film-Kurier, 29. September 1932, Vereinigte Verlagsgesellschaften Franke & Co., Berlin 1932.
  2. Klaus p.101
  3. Sadoul & Morris p. 195