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The Holcroft Covenant (1985)

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



(novel), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Noel Holcroft
Johann von Tiebolt / Jonathan Tennyson
Helden von Tiebolt / Helden Tennyson
Althene Holcroft
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 duke1029@aol.com

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Release Date:

18 October 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Holkroftova pogodba  »

Filming Locations:


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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The three Nazis seen during the picture's opening sequence were all German actors. See more »


In the latter part of the film, it is said that the Covenant has cost six lives, but the body count at that time is nine. See more »


Helden: Don't speak for a moment, just listen. These precautions may seem foolish to you, but they are necessary, I promise you!
Noel Holcroft: Listen, lady, three days ago, I was forty stories in the air, over New York, in a gale force wind, hiding from an insane building contractor. Let me tell you something. I felt safer there than I do now. So any precautions you want to take are OK with me!
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Featured in Special Collector's Edition: El pacto de Berlín (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

Average as well as confusing thriller by John Frankenheimer , based upon the complex Robert Ludlum novel
3 December 2013 | by (Santander Spain) – See all my reviews

The movie's opening title card read "Berlin 1945" , these opening scenes, set during the end of World War II, were shot in black-and-white, unlike the rest of the movie which was filmed in color ; the black-and-white opener reflected newsreels of the era . The picture is set approximately exactly forty years after the end of the Second World War. It's second after the film's opener read "New York 1985". There , the son named Noel Holcroft (Michael Caine replaced James Caan ; Caan walked off the production the day before filming started) of a German General becomes part of a mysterious conspiracy to gain hidden Nazi funds . As the amount of secret money in Noel Holcroft's inheritance was US $4 billion . Under the terms of the covenant Noel have to locate the sons (Anthony Andrews , Victoria Tennat , Mario Adorf) of his father's two associates so they can jointly activate their fathers' account. As the movie's MacGuffin was a World War II era large heavy metal case, embossed with Nazi insignia, and containing the The Holcroft Covenant . Noel efforts attempting to release the hidden fund that his father humanly set up to relieve the future sufferings of Holocausto survivors .

This exciting picture packs noisy action , confuse intrigue , thrills , plot twists and enjoyable outdoors from London , Zurich, Berlin , N.Y . among others ; being appropriately photographed by Gerry Fisher . Interesting and nail-biting screenplay written by the notorious George Axelrod and Edward Anhalt ; however resulting to be confusing and slow-moving . The film was made and released about seven years after its source novel of the same name by Robert Ludlum had been first published in 1978. This is second ever feature film adaptation of a Robert Ludlum novel and the third Ludlum adaption overall for any filmed production, as Clave: omega had debuted in theaters in 1983 whilst Rhinemann exchange (1977) had been made for television in 1977. The picture was the second of three 1980s features based on Ludlum novels, the decade ended with a tele-movie titled The Bourne Identity . This was one of a number of action-thrillers of the 1980s which featured a neo-Nazi story twist element ; others included Alistair MacLean's Bear Island (1979) and River of death (1989).

The cast is frankly excellent such as Michael Caine as Holcroft , and other heirs as Anthony Andrews playing Jonathan Tennyson and Victoria Tennant as his sister Helden Tennyson . Agreeable as well as experimented support cast such as the veteran as Lilli Palmer as Althene Holcroft , Mario Adorf as Erich Kessler and Bernard Hepton as Commander Leighton . Furthermore , second and final of two movies that actor Richard Münch made with director John Frankenheimer , as the first film had been The Train (1964) . And first of three movies that actor Michael Lonsdale made with director John Frankenheimer , the later films were Ronin (1998) and Riviera (1987).

Holcroft Covenant was middlingly directed by John Frankenheimer . At the beginning he worked for TV and turned to the cinema industry with The Young Stranger (1957) . Disappointed his with first feature film experience he came back to his successful television career directing a total of 152 live television shows in the 50s . He took another opportunity to change to the big screen , collaborating with Burt Lancaster in The Young Savages (1961) and Birdman of Alcatraz (62) ending up becoming a successful director well-known by his skills with actors and expressing on movies his views on important social deeds and philosophical events and film-making some classics as ¨The Manchurian candidate¨, ¨Seven days of May¨ and ¨The Train¨ and , in addition , ¨Grand Prix¨ including great car races . Holcroft covenant rating : Mediocre film and sometime embarrassing .

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