Sunday, April 4, 2010

Paul is Dead - German movie summary


"Paul is Dead" is a German movie by Hendrik Handloegten that was released in 2000. It won several awards in Germany, including the Studio Hamburg Newcomer Award, the Lucas Award, and the Adolf Grimme Award. [Source]

Here is my summary of the movie. Beware - it definitely contains spoilers!


In the beginning of the movie, Tobias sees the white VW Beetle from the Abbey Road album, license plate LMW 28IF, driving in the city. The driver is a British man who stops at a store. While there, he drops a cigarette pack with a number on it in the trash. Tobias picks it up and starts tailing the car.



Tobias listens to a Beatles special on the radio hosted by Allen Banks. The quiz question is: “What does John say at the end of Strawberry Fields?” Tobias goes to a music store where the owner (Roger) speaks English. Roger tells him about PID. Roger warns Tobias he is not allowed to tell anyone. He seems to be worried about the driver of the Beetle finding out.

Tobias tells his friend, Helmut, about what he has discovered. Tobias thinks that on Nov. 6, 1966, Paul left the studio after fighting with the others. He got into his Aston Martin and drove off. At the intersection of Abbey Road and Wellington, Paul got into an accident with this mysterious white Beetle. Paul was crushed and beheaded. The driver of the Beetle escaped injury. Brian Epstein kept it a secret and replaced Paul with a double.

Tobias shows his friend the height differences, the OPD (OPP) patch, the P?/violin bass on the Sgt. Pepper album cover, the grave, the hands over Paul’s head, John’s sign of the beast on Yellow Submarine, the black carnation on “Your Mother Should Know,” the Abbey Road funeral procession, Faul's being barefoot on Abbey Road (because the Mafia buries people like that), Faul smoking with his right hand, and the 28IF licence plate. Paul would have been 28 if he had lived. They also notice the man standing by the police van on Abbey Road.

Tobias and Helmut call the number on the cigarette pack, which is answered by the caretaker of their school. They stake him out, but that is a false lead.

Tobias tells his brother that Billy Shears is the name of Paul's double. Billy was a young musician from Liverpool who played with the Beatles at the Kaiserkeller in Hamburg on 6 Oct. 1960. He had a big nose, and got made fun of for it. On 17 Nov. 1960, Billy had had enough. He set fire to the room that Paul and Pete Best were staying in. The cinema burned down. Paul and Pete were arrested, and all the Beatles were deported back to Liverpool. After Paul died, Brian Epstein remembered Billy, and paid to get him a nose-job.

The radio announcer on the Beatles special talks about the Russ Gibbs' 1969 radio show that started the "rumor" that Paul was dead. Then the announcer says the story is stupid because Paul would have been 27, not 28, when Abbey Road came out. He also said John said “cranberry sauce” at the end of "Strawberry Fields Forever," and not “I buried Paul” as Roger had told Tobias.

Tobias’ brother is then at a bar and tells Roger about his brother and the PID story. Roger takes off right away. Tobias goes to Roger’s flat looking for him. He crawls in through a window. The white Beetle drives up with Roger and the mysterious British driver. Tobias hides in a closet. Roger and the British man come in the apartment, whereupon the British man starts shooting his gun at random things in the flat. Tobias panics and runs out. The two give chase after him. Tobias manages to get to his house before they catch up to him, and they drive off.

In the next scene, Tobias is at school, where they are introduced to their new English teacher - Mr. Billy Reash. "Reash" is “Shear” backwards. Reash is the mysterious British driver of the white Beetle. He is also from Liverpool. Reash walks right up to Tobias and asks him his name. When Tobias does not answer, he says, “I think I will call you ‘Paul.’” Tobias is afraid, but nothing ends up happening to him.

At the end, Tobias is awakened by his brother, who tells him John Lennon had been shot. Tobias cries, “Billy!”

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1 comment:

  1. absolutely brilliant! love this stuff.
    check out the magic square of the sun.
    all the numbers within it come to 666.

    ReplyDelete

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