The Holcroft Covenant (1985)

R  |   |  Action, Crime, Drama  |  18 October 1985 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 1,854 users  
Reviews: 23 user | 11 critic

The son of a German General becomes part of a mysterious conspiracy to gain hidden Nazi funds.



(novel), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Noel Holcroft
Johann von Tiebolt / Jonathan Tennyson
Helden von Tiebolt / Helden Tennyson
Althene Holcroft
Mario Adorf ...
Erich Kessler / Jürgen Mass
Ernst Manfredi
Bernard Hepton ...
Commander Leighton
Richard Münch ...
Oberst (as Richard Munch)
Carl Rigg ...
Anthony Beaumont
Frederick Leger (as Andre Penvern)
Andy Bradford ...
Hartman (as Andrew Bradford)
Lt. Miles
Alexander Kerst ...
Gen. Heinrich Clausen
Michael Wolf ...
Gen. Erich Kessler
Hugo Bower ...
Gen. Wilhelm von Tiebolt


Noel Holcroft is a foreign-born American citizen working in New York as an architect. In Geneva he meets with a respected Swiss banker who tells him he has been designated to be executor of a huge 4 1/2 billion dollar trust fund designed to make reparations for the war crimes of the Nazis. Holcroft's father, who committed suicide in 1945, was a key Hitler financial advisor who became conscience-stricken about German war atrocities, turned against the Fuehrer, and covertly diverted Nazi funds to a secret Swiss account. Under the terms of the covenant Holcroft must locate the sons of his father's two associates so they can jointly activate their fathers' account. They battle the sinister forces seem to be trying to prevent them from signing the document as it is believed that it will be used to establish a Fourth Reich. Written by

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Release Date:

18 October 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Holkroftova pogodba  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


This 1985 movie featured a character called Herr Oberst (Richard Münch) whose codename was "Oberst" which is a German word which translates from the German language as "Colonel". Coincidentally, released also in 1985 was the German film Colonel Redl (1985) whose original title was "Oberst Redl". See more »


The letter Manfredi gives Holcroft, despite being 40 years ago, looks brand new. See more »


Noel Holcroft: You know what I think, don't you? I think I should get a gun. There are a lot of crazy people about, and they're all attracted to me.
See more »

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User Reviews

Tis a Pity He's a Bore
19 February 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Michael Caine as a German-American? Gimme a break! This whole project is so desperately flawed that even Lilli Palmer cannot save it, though her performance as Caine's mother is the best in the film. You know something is wrong when you see the opening credits: there are just too many screenwriters, and even Edward Anhalt is in there. How many rewrites can a succession of people do to save a doomed script? Clearly not enough. This is an excellent yarn, taken from a Robert Ludlum book which must have been a gripping story. But what a mess they have made of it. John Frankenheimer was an excellent director who was what one could call 'uneven'. In other words, he did not always deliver an acceptable result, and here he fails. He tries and tries, but it is no use. Anthony Andrews gives a better than expected performance, manages to avoid being arch, and with his blonde appearance convinces us that he is a German with an Iron Cross for a heart. Victoria Tennant, such an under-valued actress, does a fine job. Michael Lonsdale is wholly convincing as a quietly dominant Swiss banker who never needs to raise his voice because money speaks for him. It all could have been so good, but when you decide to cast a London cockney as an American architect whose father was a Nazi general, well please ... Michael Caine has never been anything other than Michael Caine. You could call that being true to himself or you could call it lack of talent. Certainly when he is called upon in this film to cry, you know it is glycerine drops, and the idea of a barrow boy crying, come on. The trouble was that in the 1970s Michael Caine was the only 'bankable' British star, which certainly gave too much power to his agent, Dennis Sellinger. And I guess this carried over into the eighties. But by then he was a shadow of the chirpy cricket of the East End that rode the wave of the revolution in class consciousness right to the top. Talk about perfect timing, Caine became the icon of a social movement. But somebody forgot to tell him how to act. Later in life, Caine finally picked up the skills along the way, and dozens of movies were his RADA, so he ended up a good actor in the end. But this was 1985, when he was still hopeless at being anyone but the same Michael Caine we saw last time, and the time before, and the time before. And that is a bore. Yes, tis a pity.

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