Life Begins at Eight

Life Begins at Eight (German: Das Leben beginnt um acht) is a 1962 West German drama film directed by Michael Kehlmann and starring O.E. Hasse, Johanna Matz and Helmut Wildt.[1] It is an adaptation of the 1940 play The Light of Heart by Emlyn Williams, previously adapted into a 1942 Hollywood film Life Begins at Eight-Thirty.[2] The action is moved from the play's setting of London to Berlin.

Life Begins at Eight
Life Begins at Eight.jpg
Directed byMichael Kehlmann
Written byHorst Budjuhn
Based onThe Light of Heart
by Emlyn Williams
Produced byUtz Utermann
StarringO.E. Hasse
Johanna Matz
Helmut Wildt
CinematographyKurt Hasse
Edited byGertrud Hinz-Nischwitz
Music byPeter Sandloff
Distributed byUFA
Release date
4 January 1962
Running time
100 minutes
CountryWest Germany

The film's sets were designed by the art directors Hans Berthel and Johannes Ott. Completed in late 1961, it premiered at the Marmorhaus in Berlin early in the New Year.


A former stage star, struggling with the decline of his career and a drinking problem, lives with his daughter Cattrin. A young composer falls in love with her and manages to secure her father some work. However his demons ultimately overwhelm him and he commits suicide, freeing his daughter to live her own life.



  1. ^ Bock & Bergfelder p.197
  2. ^ Goble p.838


  • Bock, Hans-Michael & Bergfelder, Tim. The Concise CineGraph. Encyclopedia of German Cinema. Berghahn Books, 2009.
  • Goble, Alan. The Complete Index to Literary Sources in Film. Walter de Gruyter, 1999.

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