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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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This film faithfully recreates the novel written in 1936 by Klaus Mann. It is a reflection of the age old temptation of Man, the story of Goethe's Faust. Karl Maria Brandauer is magnificent as Hendrik Höfgen, the obsessed "actor" who will do anything to gain wealth and fame. He first betrays the world around him, and then his inner values are swept away as he finally enters the inner sanctum of Nazi Germany. Is true theatre on stage or in the handshake that Höfgen makes in the prime minister's box behind the audience? Everything in this movie revolves around Höfgen's downward spiral into the abyss; the initial ascent to stardom was but an illusion. Mann instinctively knew that tragedy would befall his country when a pact was made between Hitler and the financial, industrial and military élites of Germany - remember the book was written nine years before that country's downfall. View the movie and read the book. Two truly artistic achievements! Thumbs up to István Szabó and K.M. Brandauer who managed to reveal everything in Höfgen's character.
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