7.9/10
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23 user 27 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

Hungary's official submission to the 1982's Oscar in the Best Foreign Language Film category. See more »

Goofs

Contrary to what is depicted in the film, Hitler was not named chancellor of Germany after the Nazis won a majority in the Reichstag. He was appointed chancellor in January 1933 without proper parliamentary confirmation, and the Nazi Party did not win an absolute majority of votes in the next election (March 1933). See more »

Quotes

Hendrik Hoefgen: What do they want from me now? After all, I am just an actor.
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Connections

Referenced in Mistress (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Ich wollte, meine Liebe ergösse sich
Composed by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (as Mendelssohn)
Lyrics by Heinrich Heine (as Heine)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Mephisto or Faust?

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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