Fact based story about a former Greek Olympic boxer who was taken as a prisoner during World war II and placed in the Auschwitz prison camp. There he was permitted to survive as long as he ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Gypsy
...
Father Arouch
Wendy Gazelle ...
Allegra
...
Elena
...
Avram Arouch
Kario Salem ...
Jacko
Edward Zentara ...
Janush
...
Maj. Rauscher
Burkhard Heyl ...
Aide to Rauscher
Zofia Saretok ...
Momma
Grazyna Krukówna ...
Sister Julie
Karolina Twardowska ...
Bemmi
Juranda Krol ...
Sarah
Wiktor Mlynarczyk ...
Beppo
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Storyline

Fact based story about a former Greek Olympic boxer who was taken as a prisoner during World war II and placed in the Auschwitz prison camp. There he was permitted to survive as long as he fought for the amusement of his captors. His father and brother were also held as insurance that he would continue to fight. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

prisoner | fight | prison | boxer | greek | See All (138) »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

23 December 1989 (South Korea)  »

Also Known As:

A pokol bajnoka  »

Box Office

Gross:

$408,839 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

| (archive footage)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shortly after the film's release, Jacques "Jacko" Razona, a Jewish boxer from Salonika, sued the real life Salamo Arouch and the producers for $20,000,000 (US). Razona claimed that they had stolen his story, and that Arouch had grossly exaggerated his exploits. The case was later settled out of court. See more »

Goofs

During the movie, Arouch was rewarded for his boxing victories with a reassignment to the factory, which was considered easier work, was inside and provided more food for him. According to the real life Arouch, he was actually assigned to the camp's kitchen. He was able to take advantage of this work assignment by secretly procuring food from the kitchen for himself and his friend. See more »

Quotes

Gypsy: Listen, I'm only going to say this once. For those who can hear me tell the rest. First come the SS, our lord and masters. Then comes our block health manager, Kyr. Then come the assistants, Otto and me. Then come the rats. Then come the lice... and then come you.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Making of 'Triumph of the Spirit' (1990) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Boxing for life in a death camp
24 September 2008 | by (India) – See all my reviews

This is an exceptional tale of an extremely talented and gifted sportsman surviving an immoral, insane, racist, despotic ideology through the one thing he knows best, boxing. It's an ode to a man refusing to accept the obvious fate and fighting to stay alive in spite of the total degeneration and breakdown of all humanity around him. In a way I compare this movie to 'The Pianist' and unlike many other holocaust movies, this movie depicts the protagonist fighting back his tormentors and even bettering them as they hate him for winning every time. All this time he is like a Gladiator, fighting other men who are in same position as his, just to entertain ruthless Nazi officials while he is constantly aware that if he loose he would surely die. The movie is aptly named after Salamo's undying perseverance for life where his soul was been trampled. The death camp scenes sure hint that movies like Schindler's list and life is beautiful borrow heavily in visual style from this movie. Though the violence in the movie is more of suggestive and less graphic than its successors yet it proves quite moving due to a very convincing performance of William Dafoe (I am sure he did work hard to get in shape and develop such agility for a boxer), and to the fact that all this happened in reality. Also the soundtrack was successful in carrying the heaviness of the movie. Sure it is a seriously made movie on one of the most shameful happenings of modern human history. But at one point it can also be seen as a great boxing movie. It is like capturing the psychology of a tormented and tortured warrior, and the movie does that well.


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