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Invincible (2001)

 -  Drama | War  -  17 January 2002 (Germany)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 3,174 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:

| | |

Language:

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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jouko Ahola, who plays the strongman, is an actual strongman and actually lifted the weights as seen 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 (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Ombra mai fù
(1738)
from the opera "Serse"
Music by George Frideric Handel (as G.F. Händel)
Sung by Emmi Leisner
(recorded 1927)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Hypnosis and Power
23 February 2013 | by (Cincinnati, OH, United States) – See all my reviews

Werner Herzog's Invincible tells the story of a Polish blacksmith in Nazi Germany who in his provincial integrity thinks he can protect his people after becoming the star at the Palace of the Occult in Berlin, which is overseen by a sinister man who dreams of becoming the Nazis' Minister of the Occult. Much of the movie's uncanny appeal comes from the contrast between the simple-mindedly innocent blacksmith-come-strongman and Tim Roth's wicked Hanussen, who trickles with studied malice. Standing between them is a young woman under Hanussen's mental force, who the strongman loves. The movie is supposedly based on a true story. I can conceive of various ways it could've been told unspectacularly, but Herzog has turned it into a movie in which we mostly have no clue what could possibly happen next.

The movie has the evocativeness of a German silent film, bold in its expressionism and moralistic insistence. Its casting is critical, and intuitively right. Tim Roth is a menacing deceiver, posing as a man with extrasensory abilities, using hocus-pocus and theatrics as he hustles for position within the rising Nazi majority. There's a scene where he hypnotizes the strongman's love interest, and as he stares dauntlessly toward us, I wondered if it was feasible to hypnotize us as well. As for the untrained actor playing the strongman, the camera can look as closely as you like and never see anything insincere.

Herzog always works to push us into the mythic and the mysterious. And here, there are shots of a stark, craggy seashore where the stones are covered with thousands of bright red crabs, all clambering away on their crustaceous errands. As with similar imagery in most of Herzog's other films, there can be no exact interpretation of this. And like most of his other films, Invincible is a unique experience. Herzog has gotten outside the tropes and confines of conventional movie storytelling, and confronts us where our sense of trust and belief keeps its skeletons.


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