IMDb > Hôtel Terminus (1988)
Hôtel Terminus
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Hôtel Terminus (1988) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 17% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Marcel Ophüls (writer)
View company contact information for Hôtel Terminus on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
November 1988 (USA) See more »
A documentary about Klaus Barbie, the Gestapo chief of Lyon, and his life after the war. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Won Oscar. Another 5 wins See more »
(2 articles)
The Look of Silence
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User Reviews:
Faces and places See more (20 total) »


  (in credits order)

Klaus Barbie ... 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
Daniel Cordier ... Jean Moulin's former Assistant
Frédéric Dugoujon ... Physician in Caluire
René Hardy ... Train Saboteur for French Underground (archive footage)
Fernand Bucchanieri ... Mayor of Solutré
Claude Bal ... Filmmaker
René Tavernier ... Poet and Resistance Fighter

Bertrand Tavernier ... Filmmaker
Karl-Heinz Müller ... Gestapo Chief, Toulouse
Harry Steingritt ... Gestapo Bodyguard, Lyon
Serge Klarsfeld ... Maitre / Attorney-at-law and Historian
Albert Rosset ... National Front Leader in Lyon
Gilbert Wolf ... Resistance Fighter
Roger Maria ... Resistance Fighter
Armand Zuchner ... French Police Officer, retired
Nicole Gompel ... Plaintiff, André Gompel's daughter
Françoise Hemmerlé ... Writer, Resident of Lyon
Léon Landin ... Freedom Fighter, F.T.P.-M.O.I.
Erhard Dabringhaus ... C.I.C. Control Officer, retired
Michel Thomas ... Language Teacher, US Counter-Intelligence Agent, retired
Daniel Cohn-Bendit ... Former Student Leader
Günter Grass ... Writer
Wolfgang Gustmann ... Veteran of the Waffen SS Office
Herr Knittel ... Spokesman for Bavarian Ministry of Justice
Karl Polke ... Former C.I.C. Informer
Robert Taylor ... Sgt., Army Counter-Intelligence, retired
Leni Taylor ... Taylor's Wife
Allan A. Ryan Jr. ... Formerly US Dept. of Justice Officer
Earl Browning ... Sgt., Army Counter-Intelligence, retired
Paul Paillole ... Col. - Former Chief of French Intelligence
Jacques Delarue ... Historian
Benjamin Shute ... Former Intelligence Director, H.I.C.O.G.
Ivo Omrcanin ... Croatian Exile
Elisabeth Holtzman ... District Attorney of Brooklyn, NY
Georges Neagoy ... Former C.I.A. Agent
Gustavo Sánchez Salazar ... Bolivian Secretary of the Interior
Gastón Velasco ... Bolivian Businessman
Mirna Murillo ... Bolivian Journalist
Peter McFarren ... Associated Press Correspondant in Bolivia
Álvaro De Castro ... Barbie's Bodyguard
Joachim Fiebelkorn ... Adventurer
José Antonio Santos-Chichizola ... Former Peruvian Judge
Albert Brun ... Agente France Presse Correspondant in Perú
Beate Klarsfeld ... Researcher of Nazi Crimes
Ita Halaunbrenner ... Witness for the Prosecution
Alexandre Halaunbrenner ... Ita Halaunbrenner's Son
Monique Halaunbrenner ... Ita Halaunbrenner's Daughter
Ladislas De Hoyos ... TV Anchorman
Guido Vildoso ... Former President of Bolivia
Werner Guttentag ... Publisher in Bolivia
Régis Debray ... Advisor to the French President
Paul Schmitt ... Prison Warden - Montluc

Jacques Vergès ... Maitre / Attorney-at-law
Jacques Derogy ... Investigative Journalist

Claude Lanzmann ... Himself
Ute Messner ... Barbie's Daughter, Librarian in Austria
Françoise Croizier ... Housewife in Santa Cruz
Roger Roucou ... Restaurant Owner
Christian Bourillot ... Restaurant Owner
Marie-Louise Vettard ... Restaurant Owner
Chantal Vettard ... Marie-Louise Vettard's Daughter in Law
Judith Miller ... New York Times Correspondant
Richard Bernstein ... New York Times Correspondant
Milton Dank ... Historian
Lluís Bassets ... El País Correspondant
Françoise Stoll ... French Student
Isabel Hilton ... The Independent Correspondant
Jean-Marie Le Pen ... Leader of the National Front
Pierre Truche ... Lyon Public Prosecutor in Barbie's trial
Alfred Streim ... Federal Prosecutor of Nazi Crimes in Germany
Sorj Chalandon ... Libération Reporter in Lyon
Julien Favet ... Farm Worker at Izieu
Roland Rappaport ... Maitre / Attorney-at-law
Sabina Zlatin ... Former Supervisor of Children's Home at Izieu
Alain Finkielkraut ... Philosopher

Alain Jakubowicz ... Maitre / Attorney-at-law
André Castelnau ... Journalist

Jeanne Moreau ... Narrator

Directed by
Marcel Ophüls 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Marcel Ophüls  writer

Produced by
Bernard Farrel .... associate producer
Hamilton Fish .... executive producer
John S. Friedman .... executive producer
Peter Kovler .... executive producer
Marcel Ophüls .... producer
Cinematography by
Reuben Aaronson (director of photography)
Pierre Boffety 
Daniel Chabert 
Michael J. Davis 
Paul Gonon 
Hans Haber 
Lionel Legros 
Wilhelm Rösing 
Film Editing by
Albert Jurgenson 
Catherine Zins 
Production Management
Bernard Farrel .... production manager
Sound Department
Michael Busch .... sound
Philippe Mouisset .... sound
Michel Trouillard .... sound editor
Anne Weil .... sound editor
Camera and Electrical Department
Olivier Durand .... assistant camera
Laurent Machuel .... assistant camera
Beatrice Mizrahi .... assistant camera
Madelyn Most .... b camera operator
Editorial Department
Brigitte Bernard .... assistant editor
Sophie Brunet .... assistant editor
Thérèse Giraud .... assistant editor
Other crew
Dieter Riefart .... assistant to director

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
267 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

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 »
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11 out of 12 people found the following review useful.
Faces and places, 8 April 2003
Author: manuel-pestalozzi from Zurich, Switzerland

I have always been fascinated by history as a subject and just cannot understand why so few people show any interest in it. I have no illusions, Marcel Ophüls' long documentary about the life and times of Klaus Barbie, a brutally efficient German police chief in occupied France in World War Two, will hardly convert anyone into an avid historian. But I think it is a collective testimony that will outlive the present and could be used in history classes in a number of countries all over the world. Today and tomorrow.

The director, who throughout the movie appears as an interviewer, is an angry man. He acts accordingly and knows what he wants from the faces he encounters during the making of Hôtel Terminus. And he has an almost uncanny talent to get from the interviewed what he wants. But it feels real and I am positive that Hôtel Terminus is a frank and biased documentary. Its main aim is to convey information about facts and human nature. No one will ever be able to use it for any kind of indoctrination.

Basically, the movie is a biography of Barbie, from the beginnings in provincial Germany up to his trial in the late eighties in Lyon. Ophüls visits – apparently within a very short stretch of time - the places where Barbie lived: in Germany, France and Bolivia. He talks to people there. Some have to say something about Barbie and what he did, some have not – or do not want to. A wide range of statements and non-statements is artfully woven into a tissue that shows how concerned respectively unconcerned humanity as a whole can be about past events, however terrible they are. Shots of landscapes, short sequences of documentary footage and excerpts of local folkloric or popular tunes are cleverly inserted into that texture and give the statements additional emotional weight.

The movie is very concerned about two particular incidents. This maybe constitutes a weakness because the attention is directed away from Barbie. It probes deeply into the arrest and the disappearance of legendary French resistance leader Jean Moulin and into the abduction of the «enfants d'Isieux», Jewish children who found shelter in an isolated boarding school and were betrayed to the German forces of occupation. The point here is, that Barbie as the man held responsible for the two incidents had to count on French collaborators. There were suspicions that the French authorities were for a long time not very anxious to bring Barbie to trial as he had inside knowledge that would tarnish the official history of France during World War Two. The two «sub chapters» feel as if they were made specifically for a French audience, especially in the intricate Moulin affair it is difficult for an outsider to follow.

The most striking result of Hôtel Terminus is that it shows the brutal banality of terror in a totalitarian regime. Barbie, basically a public servant with a sadistic streak who executes orders he was given, does not really become alive as a character. Somehow he gradually vanishes further and further into the background. He does not play the chief villain in this movie but is used as an example of one of many ruthless henchmen of a tyranny. The message of Hôtel Terminus is, as I see it, that only the complicity or the indifference of the "general public" made Barbie's career and the atrocities he was capable of possible.

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