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GER 1970, 85 min

Klick’s psychedelic endgame in noman’s land.


A young man, Kid (Marquard Bohm, Ali in FEAR EATS THE SOUL, THE AMERICAN SOLDIER, KARL MAY a. o.), stumbles through the Mexican Sierra, shot and half bled to death, carrying a suitcase containing the loot from a bank robbery. Passing out from heat and blood loss, he is found by Charles Dump (Mario Adorf, THE TIN DRUM, MANHUNT), a former gold miner living on the outskirts of ghost town “Deadlock” with his daughter (Klick discovery Mascha Elm-Rabben, later to appear in Schroeter’s BOMBERPILOT and SALOME or Fassbinder’s WORLD ON A WIRE).
As Dump realizes what’s in the suitcase, he tries to come up with a plan to get rid of its owner. As they are joined by Kid’s partner in crime, the sadistic killer Sunshine (Anthony Dawson, DIAL M FOR MURDER, DR. NO a. o.), the conflict triangle is perfect. Soon it’s everyone for himself in a violent endgame under the glistening sun where only one can walk away with the suitcase.

Filmed literally days after the Six-Day War in a valley cornered by the Israeli and Jordanian armies still bristling with weapons, the intensity of the shoot translated directly onto the film; a tour de force in no man's land.

DEADLOCK is a dark, nihilistic tale of greed, corruption and codes of honor. A chamber play of Beckettian proportions, it is also a psychedelic Western as gritty as they come. The film's outspoken admirors ranging from Alejandro Jodorowsky to Steven Spielberg to Quentin Tarantino, DEADLOCK never loses pace and moves along with an intensity not to be found again in German film. With a soundtrack by legendary Krautrock band CAN!


Subkultur Entertainment has re-scanned the original negative from DEADLOCK in 4K and released it for the first time on Blu-ray and UHD in May 2021! We thank Tino Zimmermann for his persistent and passionate work.
In Japan, DEADLOCK will start in May 2021, 50 years after its German theatrical release, with Only Hearts distribution in theaters. (Japanese trailer on YouTube.)


Rent or buy the movie on our Vimeo channel. For other providers, see “Watch Movie”.
Language: German, English (German and English OV)

Press reviews

Here is the most brutal, outrageous and even stomachturning gangster film seen in recent times. (Indian Express, 27.02.1973)

Awards and Festivals

- Bundesfilmpreis 1971 (Filmband in Gold, Bester Regisseur)


Director and Screenplay
Roland Klick
Mario Adorf, Anthony Dawson, Marquard Bohm, Mascha Elm Rabben, Sigurd Fitzek, Betty Segal
Director of Photography
Robert van Ackeren
Camera Assistant
Dieter Milster
Jane Sperr
Production Design
Kuly Sander
Walter Mayr
Make-up Artist
Heinz Auditor
Jürgen Koppers
Hans Walter Kramski, Karl-Heinz Reiber
Sound Mixer
Hans-Dieter Schwarz
Assistenz Director
Stefan Abendroth
Location Manager
Jakob Hameiri
Production Manager
Dieter Schönemann
Roland Klick
Produced by
Roland Klick Filmproduktion
Theatrical Release


CAN Soundtrack, Interview with Roland Klick (1997, 8 min), Documentary DIE CHANCE about the casting of the leading actress (45 min), Original Theatrical Trailer, Portrait about Roland Klick by Peter W.Jansen (1985, 13 min), Audio commentary by Roland Klick and Ulrich von Berg
German and English original Version
88 min + 66 min Extras
Country Code
PAL / Color
Aspect Ratio
Sound Format
DD 2.0
Softbox (Set Content: 1)
Release Date
From 16 Years

Distribution Details

Screening Format
DCP (2K, 25 fps, 5.1)
Blu-ray Disc
35 mm (contact Deutsche Kinemathek)
Aspect Ratio
35mm (1:1,66), Widescreen
German and English original Version
Promotion Material
License Area
From 16 Years