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I sequestrati di Altona (1962)

A maddened German war criminal lives in a secluded house owned by his rich father who lets him think the war is still on 20 years after the fact. However, no deception can last forever.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Albrecht von Gerlach
...
Françoise Prévost ...
Alfredo Franchi ...
Groundskeeper
Lucia Pelella ...
Groundskeeper's wife
Roberto Massa ...
Chauffeur
Antonia Cianci ...
Maid
Carlo Antonini ...
Police Official
Armando Sifo ...
Policeman
Osvaldo Peccioli ...
Cook (as Aldo Pecchioli)
Ekkehard Schall ...
Actor
Gabriele Tinti ...
Actor
Michela Ricciardi
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Storyline

A maddened German war criminal lives in a secluded house owned by his rich father who lets him think the war is still on 20 years after the fact. However, no deception can last forever.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Shocking Story of What Happened in the Mansion Called Altona! See more »

Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

30 October 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Los condenados de Altona  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Even though he was keen to work with Sophia Loren, Kirk Douglas turned down the Maximilien Schell role. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Exterminator (1980) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Secluded and Deluded
23 June 2013 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Perhaps because I saw this film dubbed in Italian with English subtitles and missed the familiar voices of Fredric March, Maximilian Schell, and Robert Wagner I was put off somewhat. But The Condemned Of Altona just did not rise to what I was expecting. Or maybe it was Jean-Paul Sartre's view of the world.

Whatever it was his ideas just did not translate well to the big screen. Meet the family Gerlach, father Fredric March big German industrial tycoon and his children Maximilian Schell, Robert Wagner, and Francoise Prevost. Germany may have lost the war, but her natural resources and the need for an anti-Communist bulwark in the Cold War have made her richer than ever, if de-Nazified.

March has been told he's terminally ill and has six months tops. He's troubled about his choices. The younger son Robert Wagner is not fit material for a tycoon and in the patriarchal society Francoise Prevost is out of the question.

Then there's Maximilian Schell who has self secluded and deluded. He's a wanted war criminal from World War II and he's imposed an exile on himself. He believes because he knows no better that Germany is a vast rubble.

Bringing him out of his exile is Wagner's new wife Sophia Loren who's been wondering about that locked section of that Gothic manor the Gerlachs have for themselves.

As for the rest all I can say is Schell's guilt is the engine that drives the rest of the film. The best part of the film is something that could not be done on stage. Schell finally lose and seeing with his own eyes, the prosperity and the bustling night life that was Hamburg. Wonder if he went to the clubs and found some musicians from Liverpool who would shake the world soon?

I did see this on stage at Lincoln Center a couple of years after the film had been made of Jean-Paul Sartre's play with George Coulouris heading the cast as the family patriarch. As he is often on screen, Coulouris was mesmerizing in self absorption and monomania about seeing his industrial complex carrying on. By contrast March seemed dull and lifeless and this has to rank as one of his lesser films. But not to single him out alone, the whole cast was the same way with the exception of Schell. But he's got the best part of a man who had to enlist in the army after his father got him off from protecting a Rabbi to a man who committed war atrocities on the Russian front.

Sartre was saying that war itself can make people do evil things. And that the true guilty parties never saw any punishment, on the contrary like March they triumphed in defeat.

In other words, what a world.


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