Varian's War (2001)

TV Movie  |   |  Drama, War  |  22 April 2001 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 722 users  
Reviews: 21 user | 5 critic

Varian Fry rescues more than 2,000 artists from Nazi persecution during World War II.



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3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Miriam Davenport
Colonel Joubert (as Remy Girard)
Marius Franken
Gloria Carlin ...
Bella Chagall
Joel Miller ...
John Dunn-Hill ...
Harry Bingham
Dorothée Berryman ...
Mme Fanny
Howard Ryshpan ...
Konditorei Owner


After witnessing the treatment of Jews in Nazi territory made him physically sick, cultured American gentleman Varian Fry starts en emergency rescue commission to raise funds and lobby to help intellectuals and artists, especially Jews, escape from Vichy France -where the Pétain government avoid occupation only by utter collaboration- to the US, and for lack of a better volunteer personally sets out in search of them. First lady Eleanor Roosevelt personally overcomes the reticence of the State Department. In Marseille he finds the people he specifically looked for, such as Marc Chagall, already housed by Harry Bingham, a Jewish US consulate official so he starts screening less obvious candidates and examines with Miriam Davenport and a German social democrat they pass for US clergyman Beamish how some can be rescued legally, others via a clandestine route, while colonel Joubert's State Police is at their trace... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


He changed the world forever. One person at a time. The true story of the American Schindler.


Drama | War


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Release Date:

22 April 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Au service de la liberté  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Near the beginning of the movie, Varian is holding the "Foreign Affairs" book differently depending on the camera angle. See more »

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User Reviews

Outstanding film

I saw this film last night at its advanced screening at the WorldFest Film Festival in Houston. This Canadian production is absolutely marvelous. A feel-good movie about the Holocaust is hard to come by, but this not only fits that description, it refrains from becoming a sappy and trite "let's save the world" flick. Instead, it treats its subject matter with dignity and reveals itself as a poignant film that will cause you to question your own character and faith in humanity. Not only is the story well put together (and based on a true story, at that!), but the acting is terrific, with William Hurt and Julia Ormond delivering outstanding performances. You won't miss the character of Bella Chagall, who steals every scene she's in. Even the minor characters appear to be three-dimensional rather than simple window dressing. The costuming was absolutely sensational; I don't think I've really ever bothered to look at costuming and lighting before but in this case, it's so perfect you can't help but notice. You must see this film!

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What did those rescued do to help those left behind? real_hiflyer
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