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Despair (1978)

7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 1,286 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 29 critic

Germany in the early 1930s. Against the backdrop of the Nazis' rise, Hermann Hermann, a Russian émigré and chocolate magnate, goes slowly mad. It begins with his seating himself in a chair ... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Herman
Andréa Ferréol ...
Lydia
Klaus Löwitsch ...
Felix
...
Ardalion
Armin Meier ...
Silverman / Sergeant Brown / Foreman
Peter Kern ...
Müller
Adrian Hoven ...
Inspector Schelling
Alexander Allerson ...
Mayer
Hark Bohm ...
Doctor
Roger Fritz ...
Inspector Braun
...
Perebrodov
Y Sa Lo ...
Elsie
Lilo Pempeit ...
Secretary Schmidt
Ingrid Caven ...
Hotel Manager
Voli Geiler ...
1st Landlady
Edit

Storyline

Germany in the early 1930s. Against the backdrop of the Nazis' rise, Hermann Hermann, a Russian émigré and chocolate magnate, goes slowly mad. It begins with his seating himself in a chair to observe himself making love to his wife, Lydia, a zaftig empty-headed siren who is also sleeping with her cousin. Hermann is soon given to intemperate outbursts at his workers, other businessmen, and strangers. Then, he meets Felix, an itinerant laborer, whom he delusionally believes looks exactly like himself. Armed with a new life insurance policy, he hatches an elaborate plot in the belief it will free him of all his worries. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

20 September 1978 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Despair - Eine Reise ins Licht  »

Box Office

Budget:

DEM 6,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The lead central character portrayed by Dirk Bogarde had the same first and last name: "Hermann Hermann". In the source "Despair" ("Otchayanie") Russian novel by Vladimir Nabokov, the character does not have a repeated name, and is not called Hermann Hermann, but Hermann Karlovich. In the earlier classic Vladimir Nabokov filmed adaptation, the James Mason character in Stanley Kubrick's Lolita (1962) also had a double name: "Hubert Hubert". See more »

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User Reviews

Strange brew
4 June 2003 | by See all my reviews

This movie is disturbing. The main character seems to be going a bit crazy. And the political climate of the country looks no better. We know that the war is coming, and will be terrifying. The people in this movie seem to have a strange hunch about all this terrible possibilities just around the corner. They probably feel there's no hope of stopping the process. They decide to get drunk. To enjoy the last days of a dying world. But the guy might not be going totally crazy after all. He has a plan.


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