With films like “In the Line of Fire,” “Air Force One,” “The Perfect Storm” and “Troy,” Petersen has used iconic American stars – Clint Eastwood, Harrison Ford, George Clooney and Brad Pitt, among others – to tell stories with a clear moral compass. And, of course, with plenty of kick-ass action.
Petersen went to Hollywood in the early 1980s after his anti-war drama “Das Boot” – the tale of a German World War II submarine crew, based on the autobiographical novel by Lothar-Günther Buchheim – was nominated for six Oscars.
But his love of the all-American movie hero goes back further to his childhood in northern Germany in the late 1940s, when Hollywood movies provided a both physical and moral escape from the wreckage of the Third Reich.
After 30 years in Hollywood, Petersen has returned to Germany to make “Four vs. The Bank,” his first German film since “Das Boot” and his first-ever big screen comedy.
The movie features Germany’s biggest stars – Til Schweiger, Matthias Schweighöfer, Jan Josef Liefers and Michael “Bully” Herbig – as a mismatched quartet that has been screwed over by their bank and decide, as a sort of mini “Ocean’s Eleven,” to plan a robbery.
“Four vs. the Bank” opens in Germany Christmas Day. Wolfgang Petersen sat down with Scott Roxborough, host of DW’s film show “KINO,” to talk history, heroes, morality and the enduring magic of the movies.
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