7.9/10
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23 user 26 critic

Mephisto (1981)

Unrated | | Drama | 22 March 1982 (USA)
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 »

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. Another 13 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
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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:

 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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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: What do they want from me now? After all, I am just an actor.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Lumpenlied
Music by Béla Reinitz (as Reinitz)
Lyrics by Erich Mühsam
See more »

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User Reviews

 
the Devil doesn't always carry a pitchfork
8 June 2005 | by (Portland, Oregon, USA) – See all my reviews

Everyone knows the story of Faust: a man sells his soul to the Devil in exchange for something. Well, as we learned in the Rolling Stones' song "Sympathy for the Devil", the Prince of Darkness doesn't necessarily appear as a mustachioed red being with a bifurcated tail. In "Mephisto", the Devil appears as an ideology-turned-governmental-system: Nazism. And in this case, the Devil doesn't request your soul, but rather a favor: that you work for it. Such is the fate of actor Heinz Hoefgen (Klaus Maria Brandauer). Hoefgen has felt shame all his life and has often worn white make-up, as if to hide behind it. But the Nazis make him feel powerful, and so he works for them; metaphorically, he sells his soul to them.

"Mephisto" proves not only the mastery of Germany's film industry, but also what a great director Istvan Szabo is (also shown in "Sunshine" and "Being Julia").


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