Set during the fading glory of the Austro-Hungarian empire, the film tells of the rise and fall of Alfred Redl (Brandauer), an ambitious young officer who proceeds up the ladder to become ... See full summary »
Set during the fading glory of the Austro-Hungarian empire, the film tells of the rise and fall of Alfred Redl (Brandauer), an ambitious young officer who proceeds up the ladder to become head of the Secret Police only to become ensnared in political deception. Written by
Dawn M. Barclift
"Colonel Redl" (German, 1984): Starring Klaus Marie Brandauer, directed by Istvan Szabo. This is the second film of a trilogy. (The first, "Mephisto", the third, "Hanussen" I do not own, but will try to find for rental.) Here we are in Germany again, but before WWI. A young man decides that the only way to raise himself from his peasant roots is to enter the aristocratic military world and is willing to do anything to get in, stay in, and advance in. This he does, but there's always The Price. He slowly loses those things and people which held any meaning or joy for him. He finds himself an amateur in a world that is completely Darwinian, and long-practiced in the art of manipulation. Like "Mephisto", the ladder climber seems to reach spectacular heights, only to be tossed down when it most serves those who were never out of control. These films of Szabo start light, start fluffy, and slowly change into foreboding, evil, hopeless stories with NO optimism towards the human spirit, organized groups of humans, or Time being a teacher. They are very insightful essays on these subjects.
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