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Max (2002)

R | | Drama, War | 20 June 2003 (UK)
1:30 | Trailer

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



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 »


Nina Rothman's pointework and ballet silhouette in the scene in her studio is far too modern for 1918; indeed, such "over-the-box-placement" was not a common feature in pointework even thirty years later. 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

There is no future in the future
7 February 2003 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. What a phenomenal script! Dealing with the absolute most controversial subject possible, Menno Meyjes (writer and director), provides a fascinating look at the early years of history's most despised figure. "What if" Hitler's art had won over his politics? So much of history would have changed, one can only imagine. As a matter of fact, how about a script showing what could have been? This one teases us with the fork in the road. Noah Taylor is absolutely chilling as a frustrated Hitler, just back form WWI and struggling to find his place in a crippled Germany. John Cusack, as art dealer Max Rothman, is tremendous in what is truly his first role as an adult (no wise-ass or chick flick here). Comparing the two and how they deal with post-war syndrome is enthralling. So similar, yet so different. I doubt this film gets made without Cusack and I doubt it will find much of an audience due to the fear of many to this day to even entertain the thought of Hitler as a human being. Trust me, this is not a sympathetic view of Hitler, merely a glimpse into his formation. Molly Parker has a nice turn as Cusack's wife. Where has she been? More than 20 film credits and I don't recognize her! It is always a pleasure to see Leelee Sobieski ("Joy Ride") although she has very little to do in this one. Wonderful script, mediocre direction and two fabulous performances make this one worth seeing ... although, sadly, very few will.

31 of 37 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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