section Hommage Jack Garfein

The Strange One

  • Jack Garfein
  • US
  • 1957
  • 100 Min

At the fictional Southern Military College in the southern United States, cadets get caught in a moral dilemma. In his film noir, Jack Garfein breaks numerous taboos. The story about a sadistic military student who loves to humiliate new cadets can be understood as an allegory for the way the power structure functioned under National Socialism.

Jack Garfein had already successfully directed "The Strange One" on stage before the film came into being. In this film noir, based on the novel and play "End as a Man" by Calder Willingham, he broke with several conventions that applied in the US film industry at the time and were laid down in the so-called Hays Code. Scenes with homoerotic connotations are part of the film which, by no means only for this reason, was subsequently censored. All of the actors and crew involved in the work, produced by Sam Spiegel, hail from the Actors Studio, the place where Garfein taught acting. The tale, which centres around protagonist Jocko de Paris (Ben Gazzara), an individual who loves to humiliate, bully and manipulate new cadets and thus embodies evil and dehumanisation, can be understood as an allegory of National Socialism.
Text: Stefanie Borowsky
English: Peter Rickerby

On 16.6. at 15:00 at Filmkunst66 Helene Pivette, former assistant to Jack Garfein, will be present for a film talk after the film.


original title The Strange One

international title The Strange One

german title Stirb Wie Ein Mann

JFBB section Hommage Jack Garfein

  • director Jack Garfein

country/countries US

year 1957

duration 100 Min