Famous orchestra conductor is captured by the Germans in WW2, is forced to put on private concerts for the Nazi generals.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The War Lord (1965)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A knight in the service of a duke goes to a coastal villiage where an earlier attempt to build a defensive castle has failed. He begins to rebuild the duke's authority in the face of the ... See full summary »

Director: Franklin J. Schaffner
Stars: Charlton Heston, Richard Boone, Rosemary Forsyth
Will Penny (1967)
Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Aging cowboy Will Penny gets a line camp job on a large cattle spread and finds his isolated cabin is already occupied by a husbandless woman and her young son.

Director: Tom Gries
Stars: Charlton Heston, Joan Hackett, Donald Pleasence
History | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

United States has just acquired Louisiana from France. An expedition led by Lewis and Clark is sent to survey the territory and go where no white man has gone before. Are they able to ... See full summary »

Director: Rudolph Maté
Stars: Fred MacMurray, Charlton Heston, Donna Reed
Julius Caesar (1970)
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

The growing ambition of Julius Caesar is a source of major concern to his close friend Brutus. Cassius persuades him to participate in his plot to assassinate Caesar but they have both ... See full summary »

Director: Stuart Burge
Stars: Charlton Heston, Jason Robards, John Gielgud
Adventure | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The Leiningen South American cocoa plantation is threatened by a 2-mile-wide, 20-mile-long column of army ants.

Director: Byron Haskin
Stars: Charlton Heston, Eleanor Parker, Abraham Sofaer
Khartoum (1966)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In the Sudan, in 1884-85, Egyptian forces led by a British general defend Khartoum against an invading Muslim army led by a religious fanatic, the Mahdi.

Directors: Basil Dearden, Eliot Elisofon
Stars: Charlton Heston, Laurence Olivier, Richard Johnson
Diamond Head (1962)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Rich Hawaiian pineapple grower and US Senatorial candidate Richard Howland tries to control everything and everyone around him, including his headstrong sister, Slone. Howland learns the ... See full summary »

Director: Guy Green
Stars: Charlton Heston, Yvette Mimieux, George Chakiris
Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

In 1944, two American spies, posing as priests, infiltrate German occupied Rome to relay information to HQ but can only communicate via pigeons due to the imposed radio silence.

Director: Melville Shavelson
Stars: Charlton Heston, Elsa Martinelli, Harry Guardino
Major Dundee (1965)
Adventure | War | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In 1864, due to frequent Apache raids from Mexico into the US, a Union officer decides to illegally cross the border and destroy the Apache, using a mixed army of Union troops, Confederate POWs, civilian mercenaries and scouts.

Director: Sam Peckinpah
Stars: Charlton Heston, Richard Harris, Jim Hutton
The Hawaiians (1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The intertwined lives of two kindred souls with ambition begins when Captain Whip Hoxworth discovers that Nyuk Tsin has been smuggled aboard as part of cargo on The Carthaginian, which he ... See full summary »

Director: Tom Gries
Stars: Charlton Heston, Tina Chen, Geraldine Chaplin
Skyjacked (1972)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A crazed Vietnam vet bomber hijacks a Boeing 707 in this disaster film filled with the usual early '70s stereotypes, and demands to be taken to Russia.

Director: John Guillermin
Stars: Charlton Heston, James Brolin, Yvette Mimieux
Adventure | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A disgraced merchant marine officer elects to stay aboard his sinking cargo ship in order to prove the vessel was deliberately scuttled and, as a result, vindicate his good name.

Director: Michael Anderson
Stars: Gary Cooper, Charlton Heston, Michael Redgrave


Cast overview:
Lionel Evans
Gen. Schiller
Kathryn Hays ...
Annabelle Rice
Victor Rice
Col. Arndt
Linden Chiles ...
Lt. Long
Sgt. Calloway (as Pete Masterson)
Curt Lowens ...
Capt. Klingerman
Neva Patterson ...
Cyril Delevanti ...
Gregory Morton ...


Famous orchestra conductor is captured by the Germans in WW2, is forced to put on private concerts for the Nazi generals.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Action waits at trigger-point!


Drama | War


See all certifications »





Release Date:

20 October 1967 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

The Battle Horns  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Charlton Heston wanted Anne Heywood or Jessica Walter for the Kathryn Hays part. See more »


Symphony No.5
Music by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conducted by Lawrence Foster
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Unusual Thriller; an Adventure With Characters and Atmosphere
11 July 2005 | by See all my reviews

This is perhaps not a great movie; but as many viewers have attested over the years, it is a very memorable attempt at entertainment. The context of this dramatic film is WWII. People do strange things in wartime, I suggest; but once one accepts the physical presence of a fine orchestra led by a pompous but talented man in harm's way, where he can be coveted, captured and coerced by a civilized Nazi officer and menaced by an SS type, everything else falls into place. The other elements in the plot about an orchestra leader "not playing, for time" to save the lives of his orchestra's members and two US soldiers who have been caught in the same zone with no escape are these: a traitor in the orchestra; a relationship between the leader and a cellist; his relations with her husband, his concertmaster, the SS officer's desire to exterminate them, and the desire of the Nazi captor to have them play something just for him in the midst of wartime--these are unusual attributes for a 'war film, I assert. Those who missed the main point of the film, that the ethics of emergencies are different than those of normative times, thus missed why the movie was made. There are examples, in history such as "Playing For Time": for instance, of musicians and Jewish ones and females being kept alive to play for Nazi officers; the clever part here is that writers James Lee and Joel Oliansky 'fictionalized' the idea by providing interesting additions to the basic situation, which are: the aforementioned affair, the danger that brings out the characters more strongly, the need NOT to play, and the additional element of a traitor in their midst, the two US types and the often-used but effective distinction between civilized Germans serving Hitler's Nazi war'machine' and SS types enjoying their unlimited power to do harm to anyone they single out during that war. The change in the leader's character during the film is that he must remain true to himself and also prioritize what he does for the good of the group, no easy task. And the music is wonderful, the atmosphere so good even naysayers have remarked on it. As to the acting, it is far better than the mumbling and often ludicrous submediocrity that has characterized Hollywood unprofessionalism since 1973. The film was directed by Ralph Nelson. The good cast included Charlton Heston as the monomaniacal maestro, Maximilian Schell and Anton Diffrimf as the German contestants for the lives of the orchestra's members, Leslie Nielse and Kathryn hays as the other members of the love triangle, plus Neva Patterson, Cyril Delevanti, Gregory Morton, Parley Baer, Ed Peck, Peter Masterson, Curt Lowens and many more. Original music for the film was composed by Bronislau Kaper; cinematography was done by Russell Metty. Art direction was done by Carl Anderson and Alexander Golitzen, set decoration by John McCarthy Jr. and George Milo with costumes by Burton Miller The film is well-=aced, the dialogue above average, many scenes well-thought out; and the music alone is worth the price of admission. Anyone who does not enjoy this film and believe in its essential logic is perhaps an opponent of realistic behavior, actions that consist of dealing with the unusual sometimes, and with something other than rock-and-roll level cardboard types characterized by what is wrong with them and not by anything higher. Worth seeing more than once.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Availability j-m-engel
Uncredited Cast regisblb
Counterpoint is Now Available!! mimimeme
Discuss Counterpoint (1967) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: