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Invincible (2001)

PG-13  |   |  Drama, War  |  17 January 2002 (Germany)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 3,291 users   Metascore: 55/100
Reviews: 63 user | 49 critic | 19 from Metacritic.com

A Jewish strongman performs in Berlin as the blond Aryan hero Siegfried.

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Title: Invincible (2001)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Herschel Steinschneider / Erik Jan Hanussen
...
Zishe Breitbart
Anna Gourari ...
Marta Farra
...
Master of Ceremonies
Jacob Wein ...
Benjamin Breitbart
Gustav-Peter Wöhler ...
Alfred Landwehr (as Gustav Peter Woehler)
...
Herbert Golder ...
Rabbi Edelmann
Gary Bart ...
Yitzak Breitbart
Renate Krößner ...
Mother Breitbart
Ben-Tzion Hershberg ...
Gershon
Rebecca Wein ...
Rebecca
Raphael Wein ...
Raphael
Daniel Wein ...
Daniel
Chana Wein ...
Chana
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Storyline

The film is based on the true story of Zishe Breitbart, a Jewish blacksmith's son from Poland who becomes a sensation in Weimar, Berlin as a mythical strongman. His employer Hanussen dreams of establishing an all-powerful Ministry of the Occult in Hitler's government. Yet as Hitler's hold on power grows more sure, and Berlin erupts in a ferment of anti-Semitism, Zishe must decide how he will use his strength. Plagued by nightmares, he takes counsel from a local rabbi. He becomes convinced that he has been chosen by God to warn his people of the grave danger they face. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sexual content and thematic elements | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

| | |

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Release Date:

17 January 2002 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Invencible  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$14,293 (USA) (20 September 2002)

Gross:

$80,636 (USA) (18 October 2002)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| | (DVD edition)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After two minutes of the hypnosis scene, the cinematographer started to weave and his head sunk back. Herzog grabbed him and put him softly back to the camera where he continued. Not only that, but Roth was actually able to hypnotize the young woman as well, again Herzog stating that one "cannot act waking up from hypnosis" like we see in the film. See more »

Goofs

The real Marta Faria was a talented strong-woman in her own right; she could wrap a steel bar around her arm and once supported the front legs of a large elephant on her shoulders. She was not the slender pianist seen in the movie. See more »

Quotes

Hanussen: No jew should be as strong as you are.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Thanks to The People of Kuldiga and The People of Vilnius See more »

Connections

Follows Hanussen (1955) See more »

Soundtracks

Piano Concerto No.3 in C-minor
(1800 ?)
Written by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performed by Anna Gourari with the Orchestra of the Beethovenhalle Bonn
Conducted by Anthony Bramall
See more »

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User Reviews

 
If not a great movie, it is a good one, stirring up questions of Good vs. Evil
9 July 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Of the filmmaker Werner Herzog, I've heard and read strange things about him and his films. That two of his works, Aguirre: The Wrath of God, and Fitzceraldo, are two of the most bizarre modern European films. That he once ate a shoe from a bet with Errol Morris, and made a documentary about it. That he once said (and I'm paraphrasing) "some people make movies with their minds and hearts, I make them with my (expletive)." So, when I saw this film at the rental store, Invincible, and the image of Tim Roth in a truly Gothic pose on the cover, I expected it to be a dark, brooding film about pre-war, pre-dictator Hitler Germany. In a way it is, and in a way its not. Although the film is rated PG-13, I would imagine that for the die-hard Herzog fans this is like his family film, or at the least kids might not be too freaked out to watch it. Surprisingly, Herzog brings a fable out of a true story, about how each side of the coin is a certain way, black or white, and whichever role you choose defines you, though there can be an exception.

There was one sequence, however, where I saw that Herzog brilliantly had a kind of surreal, one-of-a-kind filmed scene that I expected amongst the more typical dramatic scenes. It involves a dream of Zishe's (played by near unknown Jouko Ahola in a mostly one-note performance) where he walks around on a rocky beach. He is surrounded by bright red crabs, and steps around on the rock trying not to knock them down or get snipped by their claws. But he does so casually, with the searing Hans Zimmer/Klaus Blaudet music in the background. This dream occurs again towards the end of the film, as his younger brother leads him by the hand through the crabs on the rocks, somehow giving him strength. These are powerful scenes in a movie that could've been even more powerful.

Take Tim Roth's performance- it towers above all the others because most (aside from Udo Kier whom I recognized) are non-professionals. It's to Herzog's credit that he makes these people in Poland shtetels and in Berlin to be believable, but he's not a great director of them like the neo-realists in Italy were. And because Roth, as this brooding, tragic anti-hero witnesses what happens with his strongman from Poland, is so good and subtle at his role, he out-acts pretty much anyone else in the film. Watching him is fascinating, especially when he's quiet and subtle, or in the scenes when he's on stage performing his acts. It shows how versatile he can be in this film. I just wish it was the same for the others. (strong) B+


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