Hôtel Terminus (1988)

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Reviews: 19 user | 20 critic

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



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Marcel Ophüls ...
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


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 (29) »




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Release Date:

November 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hotel Terminus: The Life and Times of Klaus Barbie  »

Box Office


$341,018 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


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 »


Featured in Zomergasten: Episode #6.2 (1993) See more »

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User Reviews

French self-indulgence strikes again
21 January 2014 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

This is a French documentary about the sadistic Gestapo commander in Lyon, who captured Jean Moulin, the leader of the French Resistance, during WWII, and tortured and deported a load of other people along the way. Fascinating premise, too bad the result is as exciting as reading a phone-book. Seriously, all you get here is an uninterrupted strain of random people talking in the most monotone and grammatically convoluted way, with no context and no emotion whatsoever. Every single person interviewed, but particularly the director, M. Ophuls, are such boring self-indulgent drags. They seem to enjoy just listening to themselves instead of trying to engage the audience by conveying something other than an exaggerated love for their own mother tongue. Take for instance this question posed to Moulin's former secretary by Ophuls while the camera focuses on himself: "But isn't it incredibly arrogant to try to form an opinion to presume to judge the fragility of the behavior of people who were submitted to torture, or who have... who have, been submitted to torture or, or who have been threatened to be tortured?" Of course in French this takes almost twice the time to spell out. And then it cuts away to him (Ophuls) posing another question to another guy, always in that same overstretched, convoluted and elliptic fashion. The first 30 minutes are spent contrasting the testimonies of different people who disagree as to who was the whistle-blower for Moulin's arrest. But it's so horribly BORING. They might as well be neighbors arguing over who let the garbage bin open for stray dogs to make the sidewalk dirty, when in fact they are discussing matters of life and death. Very, very poor result for such a fascinating premise. I had high expectations for this documentary and was completely disappointed.

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