King Frederick II (aka "Frederick the Great") of Prussia is engaged in a major battle against the Austrian army at Kunersdorf, and things aren't going well. The Austrians are inflicting ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Otto Gebühr ...
Kristina Söderbaum ...
Luise Treskow
...
Sgt. Treskow
Hans Nielsen ...
Niehoff
Hilde Körber ...
Elisabeth
...
Gen. Czernitscheff
...
Oberst Rochow
Harry Hardt ...
Adjutant von Dessau
Hans Hermann Schaufuß ...
Gen. Zieten
Claus Clausen ...
Prince Heinrich (older)
Klaus Detlef Sierck ...
Prince Heinrich (younger) (as Claus Detlef Sierck)
Paul Henckels ...
Grenadier Spiller
Elisabeth Flickenschildt ...
Spiller's Wife
Franz Schafheitlin ...
Col. Bernburg
Kurt Meisel ...
Alfons
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Storyline

King Frederick II (aka "Frederick the Great") of Prussia is engaged in a major battle against the Austrian army at Kunersdorf, and things aren't going well. The Austrians are inflicting major casualties, and his army is beginning to crumble. Defeat seems inevitable when a combination of events gives him hope that he may pull victory from the jaws of defeat after all. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

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Release Date:

1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Great King  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Good old Fritz
22 December 2015 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

When Josef Goebbels wanted to make a propaganda film he didn't do things by halves. All those extras you see in one of those cast of thousands worthy of a DeMille film from Hollywood are soldiers taken from the front and probably grateful for the chance to play 18th century soldiers instead of being 20th century ones.

The Great King is about Frederick the Great whose reign was probably the height of the Hohenzollern rule in Prussia. We should be exceedingly glad that Old Fritz as his subjects called him didn't have the resources of the modern German state that was united in 1871. As it was the man was a military genius who as we see in this film managed to snatch triumph out of defeat. For a while there it looked like the upstart state of Prussia was going to be overrun by all of Europe in the Seven Years War. Prussia's nominal ally was Great Britain, but the British had a lot of far flung adventures in places like India and North America where we were fighting The French And Indian War.

Otto Gebuhr who looked a whole lot like Frederick the Great made several film appearances as him. Kind of like character actor Frank McGlyn who was always being cast as Abraham Lincoln. The film was directed by Hitler's favorite director Veit Harlan who found a role for his wife Krista Soderburg as the wife of a Prussian soldier who learns too late the value of discipline. That was a message that Hitler wanted to send loud and clear to his audience, have faith in me because I'm the 20th Century version of Old Fritz.

Even the Nazis tell in the film that part of the reason for Prussia's triumph was some court intrigue in Russia after Empress Elizabeth died. That whole story is told in both the Elizabeth Bergner and Marlene Dietrich films on Catherine the Great. Suffice it to say in the film and in real life Frederick was shrewd enough to exploit matters.

The Great King is a great film, certainly the equal of any Hollywood production even if it is propaganda for the Third Reich.


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