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Mephisto (1981)

Unrated  |   |  Drama  |  22 March 1982 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 6,757 users  
Reviews: 21 user | 25 critic

A German stage actor finds unexpected success and mixed blessings in the popularity of his performance in a Faustian play as the Nazis take power in pre-WWII Germany. As his associates and ... See full summary »

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 12 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Barbara Bruckner
Ildikó Bánsági ...
Nicoletta von Niebuhr
Rolf Hoppe ...
Tábornagy
...
Hans Miklas
Péter Andorai ...
Otto Ulrichs
Karin Boyd ...
Juliette Martens
Christine Harbort ...
Lotte Lindenthal
Tamás Major ...
Oskar Kroge, színigazgató
Ildikó Kishonti ...
Dora Martin, primadonna
Mária Bisztrai ...
Motzné, tragika
Sándor Lukács ...
Rolf Bonetti, bonviván
Ágnes Bánfalvy ...
Angelika Siebert, naiva (as Bánfalvi Ágnes)
Judit Hernádi ...
Rachel Mohrenwitz, drámai szende
Vilmos Kun ...
Ügyelõ
Edit

Storyline

A German stage actor finds unexpected success and mixed blessings in the popularity of his performance in a Faustian play as the Nazis take power in pre-WWII Germany. As his associates and friends flee or are ground under by the Nazi terror, the popularity of his character supercedes his own existence until he finds that his best performance is keeping up appearances for his Nazi patrons. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Language:

| |

Release Date:

22 March 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mefisto  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

SEK 1,925,462 (Sweden)
 »

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

Based on the novel "Mephisto" by Klaus Mann, which obviously portrays his former brother-in-law Gustaf Gründgens. Therefore, it was banned in Germany until 2000. See more »

Goofs

As Hoefgen leaves the Deux Magots café in Paris after meeting with his first wife, decals for contemporary credit cards - Visa, among them - can be seen on the window of the door. See more »

Quotes

Hendrik Hoefgen: Am I not the most dreadful villain you have seen?
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 79th Annual Academy Awards (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Gräfin Dubarry
Music by Karl Millöcker (as Millöcker)
Sung by Magda Kalmár
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Before "The Truman Show", "Mephisto" asks its audience, what is good entertainment?
10 January 1999 | by (Sydney, Australia) – See all my reviews

Another disturbing film about the complicity of ordinary people in fascism, which explores similar territory to "Cabaret", "The Conformist", "The Leopard" and "The Remains of the Day". It argues that fascism demonstrates how difficult it is to separate one's public and private roles and beliefs from politics. The title character, an actor, starts to realise how his "make believe" public role has very real, tragic consequences. In this sense, the film has merit beyond its superb acting and other technical features: it subverts the liberal pieties of Hollywood drama which resolve all conflict within the confines of the existing social system. It undercuts the banality of much film criticism which says it is "just entertainment" with "no subtext"- as if produced in a social/historical vacuum with no point of view. In short, the film argues that artists, like everyone else, have to take some responsibility and assume a critical role or risk being haunted, like Mephisto, by the awareness that they have become pawns in a dangerous game.


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