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Mephisto (1981)

 -  Drama  -  22 March 1982 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 6,354 users  
Reviews: 21 user | 24 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
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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

Plot Keywords:

nazi | faustian | success | power | actor | See All (48) »

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

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

Goofs

As Hoefgen crosses a street, a car passes in front of him. The crew is reflected in the car's window. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #22.53 (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Mephisto-Walzer
Written by Franz Liszt (as Liszt)
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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