Mephisto (1981)

Unrated  |   |  Drama  |  22 March 1982 (USA)
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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 ... See full summary »



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Won 1 Oscar. Another 12 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Barbara Bruckner
Ildikó Bánsági ...
Nicoletta von Niebuhr
Rolf Hoppe ...
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 ...


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




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Release Date:

22 March 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mefisto  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


SEK 1,925,462 (Sweden)

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


István Szabó:  A guest wearing a tuxedo on the theater reception party near the end of the film, complaining about the unnecessary expenses of the luxurious party. See more »


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 »


[Hendrik stumbles upon some soldiers beating up a Jew]
Hendrik Hoefgen: They must be drunk.
See more »


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


Im Grunewald
Written by Franz Meissner
See more »

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User Reviews

Mephisto is magnificent
23 July 2006 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

What can one say about this film apart from it being totally brilliant? Klaus Maria Brandauer is ideally cast in the role of Hendrik Hoefgen. The character of Hoefgen is a thinly disguised version of the famous German actor and Director of the Prussian State Theatre in Berlin, Gustav Grundgens. Grundgens compromised with the National Socialist authorities under Hitler to retain his role in the theatre. Others left as they did not want to be associated with the Third Reich and all its horrors. Marlene Dietrich was one such person. Grundgens remained. This film is a classic for any drama student as it shows the state of theatre in Germany before the rise of the Third Reich in Germany. It very clearly depicts theatre pre-1918 and also the early and important work of Bertolt Brecht. The thuggery of the Nazi German regime is clearly exposed with all the filth who polluted the upper echelons of society down to the working man. This is a brilliant piece of film making. Don't miss it as it is gripping drama.

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