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Castle Keep (1969)

During the Battle of the Bulge, an anachronistic count shelters a ragtag squad of Americans in his isolated castle hoping they will defend it against the advancing Germans.

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(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Maj. Abraham Falconer
...
Capt. Lionel Beckman
...
The Count of Maldorais
...
Sgt. Rossi
...
Therese
...
Cpl. Clearboy
...
Lt. Amberjack
...
Pvt. Allistair Piersall Benjamin
James Patterson ...
Elk
...
Lt. Billy Byron Bix
...
Sgt. DeVaca
...
Red Queen
Elizabeth Teissier ...
Red Queen Girl
Anne Marie Moskovenko ...
Red Queen Girl
Merja Alanen ...
Red Queen Girl
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Storyline

Toward the end of World War II, a small company of American GI's occupy an ancient castle. Their commander has an affair with the countess in resident. One guy falls in love with a Volkswagon. A baker among them moves in with another baker's wife. A group of shell shocked holy rollers wander the bombed out streets. A GI art historian tries vainly to protect the castle and its masterpieces. Written by Jim Sadur <jsadur@keyflux.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A 10th-Century castle...a 20th-Century war...and the outspoken novel come to life on the screen! See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

October 1969 (Austria)  »

Also Known As:

Das Schloß in den Ardennen  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(35 mm prints)| (70 mm prints)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Burt Lancaster intended the film to be an anti-Vietnam war allegory. See more »

Goofs

In a very typical mistake for the period, the "German" tanks are all ex-Soviet T-34-85. German tanks were simply unavailable, but no attempts were made other than painting them Grey, which was also incorrect for the period. See more »

Quotes

Sfc. Rossie Baker: [enterting brothel with loaves] Everybody should eat more bread. Feeds the heart. And remember, the heart's the second-most important organ in the human body.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Directors: The Films of Sydney Pollack (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Surreal, amusing, disturbing--and brilliant.
5 December 1999 | by (Marietta, GA, USA) – See all my reviews

War is hell and war is insane, we've been told many times before, but rather than a bitter, angry polemic, this film is a surreal, dark-humored allegory that is as light as a fairy tale at times but ends up being the movie 'Apocalypse Now' wanted to be. It's set in a time and place that lend themselves to unreality. Toward the end of World War II the Germans are defeated yet continue on with their destructive fighting. A motley group of war-weary Americans comes upon a 10th century castle somewhere in the wintry countryside of France. Their commander (Burt Lancaster) stubbornly decides to fortify the ancient treasurehouse and put up resistance to the enemy rather than passing it by, risking the castle's destruction along with a millennium's worth of acquired art.

It's impossible to imagine this movie being made even five years before it was, but by 1969 the Vietnam War had done a number on a lot of people's thinking and provided some different perspectives. A brilliant job is done by director Sydney Pollack along with writers David Rayfiel and Daniel Taradash of adapting a novel by William Eastlake into this funny, horrifying and strangely beautiful film.


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