Bachelor of Hearts (1959)

Film details

Alternative titles

  • Mit Dem Kopf Durch Die Wand Alternative


In his first term at Cambridge University, Wolf Hauser, a German exchange student, is offered up as a human sacrifice during the Poppy Day Rag. An unsuspecting victim of the exclusive undergraduate Dodo Club (under their rules they must perform one improbable task a term), he is drenched with paraffin, set alight and hurled into the River Cam. After this spectacular initiation into university life, Wolf becomes an accepted member of the Dodos' circle, though not, of course, a Dodo. Out of college after hours, Wolf and Hugo, one of the most colourful Dodos, are caught but Wolf gives himself to cover Hugo's escape. Next term Wolf settles down to work. He is impervious to the Dodo's blandishments but his friendship ripens with attractive undergraduate Ann Wainwright. This term the Dodo's task (it's always set by the Club's immediate Past President) is to bath in Girton College for Ladies - and produce a bath plug to prove it. The six Dodos hold a draw to decide who must perform the feat, though the one finding the black cross in his envelope must not reveal the fact to the others. Ann, leaving a jazz club with Wolf, returns to Girton after hours. When Wolf - trying to help her back to her room - climbs into the college, it appears to him that most of the bathrooms are occupied by men. In fact, all six Dodos have drawn a black cross and are merrily taking a bath. They are discovered and the police are called, but all except Hugo - and Wolf - manage to escape. This time Hugo gives himself up and allows Wolf to get away. In Wolf's third and last term, the Dodos learn that their task is to shun female company until midnight on the last night of term; and they are forbidden to explain why to their girlfriends. By a series of selected teas and a carefully adjusted diary, Wolf dates all six girlfriends and even takes them all to the May Ball which ends the Cambridge year. Meanwhile, he learns he has passed his exam with honours. When the Dodo's ban is lifted at midnight Wolf is relieved of his escort duties. As the Ball ends, Wolf and Ann glide slowly down the Cambridge Backs in a punt. Ann expectantly waiting for a kiss which never comes. Exhausted by hard study and his hectic social life, Wolf is blissfully asleep.

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