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My Mother's Courage (1995)

 |  Drama, War  |  29 February 1996 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 150 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 8 critic

The deportation of 4000 Jews from Budapest to Auschwitz in July 1944, as told by George Tabori, and how the narrator's mother escaped it, owing to coincidence, courage and some help from ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
George Tabori ...
Elsa Tabori
SS Offizier / SS Officer
Natalie Morse ...
Robert Giggenbach ...
Cornelius Tabori
Heribert Sasse ...
Günter Bothur ...
Junger SS-Mann / Young SS Man
Buddy Elias ...
Peter Radtke ...
Mann im Rollstuhl / Man in Wheel Chair
Otto Grünmandl ...
Hana Frejková ...
Jens Harzer ...
Mann im Schlafanzug / Man in Pyjamas
István Iglódi ...


The deportation of 4000 Jews from Budapest to Auschwitz in July 1944, as told by George Tabori, and how the narrator's mother escaped it, owing to coincidence, courage and some help from where you'd least expect it. Written by Wilhelm Noeker <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | War


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Release Date:

29 February 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mama kurázsija  »

Box Office


DEM 11,500,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


[On Elsa's ad-libbed story about a letter of free conduct.]
Hungarian Nazi: Anyone could say that.
SS Officer: She isn't just anyone, this lady.
[to Elsa]
SS Officer: No one is just anyone, right? Every man is someone... You wouldn't lie to me, would you?
Elsa Tabori: No.
SS Officer: You do know what they have to do with you in case you would lie to me?
Elsa Tabori: Yes.
SS Officer: Well, then...
[to his aide]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Between production acknowledgements and the cast list: A videotaped post-war interview with Tukur's character, in which he denies to have taken part in deportations from Budapest. See more »


Referenced in The Making of 'The Producers' (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

Almost Ruined By Its Post Modern Art House Values
25 January 2005 | by (Isle Of Bute , Scotland) – See all my reviews

As I said in my review of LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL I am not a fan of holocaust movies and find them to be consistently over rewarded at film festivals . I also find them to be a poor subject for a movie for several reasons not least because how can you successfully translate so much human suffering into a movie ? The answer is you can't . But MY MOTHER'S COURAGE ( As it is known in Britain ) is a lot going for it not least because it doesn't go in for a sweeping spectacular scope in order to tell a story . This another problem with the holocaust genre - the narrative often starts before the Second World War with smiling Jewish families , the Nazis invade Eastern Europe ( 1939 in the case of Poland . 1941 in the rest of the region ) the families are deported and the story continues until liberation in 1945 giving little time to concentrate on detail . This movie is different since the main part of the running time revolves around a train journey , and it's little details like toilet facilities on the train that make MY MOTHER'S COURAGE such a human tale of suffering , narrative wise this film doesn't really concern itself with millions upon millions of murders by the Hitler regime over a period of years , it's more concerned with a day in the life of Nazi victims who are going to end up in one of their death camps hence we've got a human story that humanity can relate to more . I also wish to stay something that may possibly make me unpopular and that is the way some of the Nazis are portrayed as being decent human beings . No don't pick me up wrong , I'm not sticking up for Nazism but scene where Elsa sits in the train carriage with the German officer towards the end of the film is unique as is Elsa's monologue towards the officer

Have you worked it out yet ? I found MY MOTHER'S COURAGE beautiful , haunting and touching , far more so than say SCHINDLER'S LIST and yet I have only awarded it four out of ten ! That's because the director Michael Verhoeven has made it into an inaccesible self referential pretentious art house movie of the worst kind . The story starts off with the real life George Tabori ( Son of Elsa ) addressing the audience then walking into a film studio where this production is being made and talking with Verhoeven and the cast . I have no idea what the point of all this is but it fails to work . We also have to endure ridiculous scenes where Tabori walks into the narrative and talks addresses the audience and says " Good morning " to the Nazi guards ! I wouldn't say this totally failed attempt to out do Lars Von Triers in a bizarre post modernist contest totally ruins the movie but it comes very , very close indeed and the story would have worked much better without this ridiculous gimmick

7 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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