Max (I) (2002)

R  |   |  Drama, War  |  20 June 2003 (UK)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 6,199 users   Metascore: 56/100
Reviews: 86 user | 72 critic | 30 from

A film studying the depiction of a friendship between an art dealer named Rothman and his student, Adolf Hitler.



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2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Liselore von Peltz
Nina Rothman
David Horovitch ...
Max's Father
Max's Mother
András Stohl ...
John Grillo ...
Nina's Father
Anna Nygh ...
Nina's Mother
Krisztián Kolovratnik ...
Nina's Brother
David Cohn
János Kulka ...
Mr. Epp
Kata Pálfi ...
Mrs. Epp (as Katalin Pálfy)


Munich, 1918. German-Jew Max Rothman has returned to much of his pre-war life which includes to his wife Nina and their two children, to his mistress Liselore von Peltz, and to his work as an art dealer. He has however not returned to being an aspiring painter as he lost his dominant right arm during the war. He is approached by an aspiring painter, a thirty-year old Austrian war veteran named Adolf Hitler, who wants him to show his works. Although he doesn't think the paintings are all that original and he doesn't really like Hitler as a person, Rothman takes Hitler under his wings if only because of their camaraderie of being war veterans, and knowing that Hitler had nothing and no one to come back to after the war unlike himself. Rothman believes that Hitler has promise if only he can find his original artistic point of view. In part out of need for money, Hitler, on the urging of Captain Karl Mayr, agrees to work for the army as a political spokesman in anti-Semitic propaganda. ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Art + Politics = Power


Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| |


Release Date:

20 June 2003 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Hoffman  »

Box Office


$11,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$30,157 (USA) (27 December 2002)


$527,019 (USA) (28 February 2003)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Writer/director Menno Meyjes reports that before the script was written, Steven Spielberg's Amblin company was interested in the project. But Spielberg told Meyjes he couldn't bring himself to help make a movie he thought would dishonor Holocaust survivors. Nevertheless, he considered the script an excellent one and encouraged the director to push for its realization, but without Amblin. See more »


The family gathers to listen to the reports of the Armistice Agreement Terms (November 1918) on a radio. However, broadcasting in Germany didn't start until 1923 and was strictly experimental and limited before that. See more »


[first lines]
[George Grosz crashes and drunkenly runs stumbling in, looks around at the paintings on display, and begins to vomit]
Max Rothman: George, so glad you like it.
See more »


Referenced in The Cinema Snob: The Devil with Hitler (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

Excellent for the art-house crowd, too deep for the popcorn crowd
6 March 2005 | by (Maryland) – See all my reviews

The tag line, "Art + Politics = Power," should give people some idea of the gravity of the film. This role may have been the Oscar that slipped through Cusack's hands due to the controversy surrounding the release. The sad part is, it was started by people who had not even seen the film, and when they had seen it, they retracted their statements. The movie was very well-executed and tasteful, and it was refreshing to see Cusack lose himself in a character. He does well with complexity, and it shows here.

Noah Taylor made a particularly realistic (and as a result particularly unsettling) performance as Hitler. Definitely see this film and don't expect blockbuster two-dimensional acting and predictable plot twists. Watch with a glass of wine and a group of friends who will explore the aspects and finer points with you. It's a conversational piece if nothing else, but one that will leave you on a tangent of what-ifs for quite some time.

26 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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This film is all about 'Modernism' ... djangoman
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