A documentary about Klaus Barbie, the Gestapo chief of Lyon, and his life after the war.

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Himself
Marcel Ophüls ...
Himself
Johannes Schneider-Merck ...
German Import-Exporter, Barbie's Neighbour in Lima
Raymond Lévy ...
Billiard Player in Lyon
Marcel Cruat ...
Billiard Player in Lyon
Henri Varlot ...
Billiard Player in Lyon
Pierre Mérindol ...
Journalist from Lyon
Johann Otten ...
Farmer, School Friend from Barbie's native village
Peter Minn ...
Wehrmacht Major, retired, Barbie's high school friend
Claude Bourdet ...
Resistance Leader
Eugene Kolb ...
Lt., C.I.C. Control Officer, retired, Barbie's former Superior
Lise Lesèvre ...
Member of the French Underground
Lucie Aubrac ...
Resistance Leader
Raymond Aubrac ...
Resistance Leader
Simone Lagrange ...
Auschwitz Survivor
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Storyline

This full-length documentary deals with the life, career and trial of Nazi SS officer Klaus Barbie, known as the Butcher of Lyons. Virtually all aspects of his life are covered. His childhood and schooling in Germany; his early military career; his role in the head of intelligence in Lyons; his post-war employment by the US military; his life in Bolivia; his return to Europe; his trial and conviction. Interviewed are friends, enemies, associates, heroes and traitors. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

lyon | trial | bolivia | post war | gestapo | See All (32) »


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Details

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Language:

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Release Date:

November 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hotel Terminus: The Life and Times of Klaus Barbie  »

Box Office

Gross:

$341,018 (USA)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Marcel Ophüls deliberately chose not to show any Holocaust footage as he felt that audiences had become too used to gruesome imagery of that nature. See more »

Connections

Featured in Siskel & Ebert: The Best Films of 1988 (1988) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Nazi story

I saw "Hôtel Terminus" as part of a cycle of films dealing with Second World War, its protagonists and its effects. This was the last in the series in chronological order, but the first I saw: it was the only one dealing with modern consequences of that war. The film is what some people call a "talking heads", referring to documentaries made primarily of interviews. I did not know the term and heard it for the first time in the late 1980's in the Havana Film School. Students used it in a derogatory way. But as we all know, some talking heads are good. This one is, and a very good one. I am supposing that most everybody knows that Klaus Barbie was a Nazi agent, a torturer, then an anti-Communist spy for the CIA, that he escaped from Europe with the help of the Catholic Church and that he finally dealt with gun traffic in South America. He was caught, sent to France and judged in Lyon. In four hours and a half, Marcel Ophüls (who is not a very nice subject on camera), not only reconstructs Barbie's life, but he covers so much ground that it's noteworthy how his editors were able to maintain one's attention in so many persons, facts, dates and abundant references in the testimonies. I have been told that the film worked as an alert for the resurgence of neo-Nazis and the so-called "ordinary fascism". Well, it should be seen every now and then, because it seems that as long as there are human beings there will be totalitarians, traitors and assassins, and as long as there is a group of nations that want to control the world, there will be new holocausts. We all know that because of all the Klaus Barbies we have seen in power. This one won the Oscar as Best Documentary.


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