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Götz von Berlichingen mit der eisernen Hand (1979)

Sir Gotz von Berlichingen, a knight who fights for God and his Emperor, is the bitter enemy of the Bishop of Bamberg, who has managed to persuade Gotz's old friend Adalbert of Weislingen to... See full summary »


, (play) (as Johann Wolfgang Goethe)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Raimund Harmstorf ...
Ulli Bauer ...
Georg - Götz's page (as Ulli Saurer)
Hans von Selbitz (as Sky Dumont)
Detlev Eckstein ...
Franz von Tautenberg
Erik Frey ...
Kaiserlicher Hauptmann
Bischof von Bamberg
Jäger Lerse
Karl Lieffen ...
Assessor Olearius
Silvia Reize ...
Elisabeth von Berlichingen
Franz von Sickingen
Ernst Stankovski ...
Sabina Trooger ...
Marie von Berlichingen
Klausjürgen Wussow ...
Adalbert von Weislingen
Adalheid - Countess von Walldorff


Sir Gotz von Berlichingen, a knight who fights for God and his Emperor, is the bitter enemy of the Bishop of Bamberg, who has managed to persuade Gotz's old friend Adalbert of Weislingen to fight for him. He allows Adalbert to kidnap him and bring him to his castle, where he tries to convince his old friend to come over from the "dark side". Complications ensue. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

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Plot Keywords:

knight | based on play | See All (2) »




Release Date:

19 January 1979 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Götz von Berlichingen  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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User Reviews

13 April 1999 | by (Toronto, Canada) – See all my reviews

This story, set in the days of the Holy Roman Empire, has the look of a very poor television production. The acting is of average TV quality. With their nicely pressed doublets and jerkins, everyone looks set for the big Mediaeval Pageant, put on for the tourists every summer at the local schloss.

"Iron Hand" was theoretically directed by Wolfgang Liebeneiner, but he seems to have been napping most of the time. More about him presently.

The dialogue is so simple, this movie would make a good subject for students in German class. "Listen, and you will understand German" as our old school training films used to say. Optimistically. Stilted acting is actually a boon when you are simply trying to follow what the knights and comely damozels are saying.

During the course of the story, our hero Götz is referred to as "mit der eisernen Faust", that is, "Iron Fist". That would certainly have made a poorer title for the English version, creating a false impression in fact. Götz is a good guy.

Supposedly, this film is based on Goethe's play, Goethe of course being the author of "Faust" (with his bargain) and "Werther" (with his sorrows). Reference works call his "Götz von Berlichingen" a "massive prose drama" and an "attempt to emulate the Shakespearean history play". His "Götz" is not much in evidence here.

In the Anglo-Saxon world, this film's director, Wolfgang Liebeneiner, is best known for his infamous Nazi propaganda film, "Ich klage an" (1941), which softened up the German public to the idea of euthanasia for psychiatric patients, and, hence, for other mental patients and surplus people in general. Liebeneiner did not receive any special preferential treatment after the war; most Nazi film directors continued working. Let's see. A director makes a Faustian bargain with Hitler during the war, so afterwards ... he gets paid to make movies about Goethe. Something in this analogy isn't working quite right.

(A production note: The costumes and weapons in "Iron Hand" came from a company based in "Rom und Florenz". Frankly I was surprised that they would have to go all the way to Italy.)

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