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The Aryan Couple (2004)

 -  Drama | War  -  13 October 2006 (UK)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 783 users   Metascore: 29/100
Reviews: 25 user | 15 critic | 13 from Metacritic.com

A WWII Drama about a German/Jewish industrialist who, in order to ensure his family's safe passage out of Germany, is forced to hand over his business to the Nazis.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Joseph Krauzenberg
...
Rachel Krauzenberg
...
Hans Vassman
...
Ingrid Vassman
...
...
Edelhein
...
Eichmann
...
Dressler
Nolan Hemmings ...
Gerhard
Austen Palmer ...
Kurt Becher
...
Second Sentry
...
Jolanda
...
(as Arkardiy Golubovich)
...
Adjutant
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Storyline

In 1944, in Hungary, the wealthy Jewish industrialist Joseph Krauzenberg is forced by the Reichführer Heinrich Himmler to deliver his 3,000 employee factory; his palace with his collection of antiques and arts; a large amount in gold; and his house to the Reich. In return, the Nazis would send his big family that is arrested in Gestapo safe and sound to the neutral Switzerland and then to Palestine. Himmler schedules a dinner with Krauzenberg and his wife Rachel Krauzenberg to sign the contract and orders the butcher Eichmann to not do harm to the imprisoned Jews relatives of Krauzenberg. Himmer also send the SS Edelhein to check the security of the palace and the two German house servants of Krauzenberg, Hans Vassman and his beautiful pregnant wife Ingrid Vassman. Hans and Ingrid are actually the Jews David and Leila Steinberg and members of the resistance. When the Krauzenberg couple concludes the negotiation with Himmler, Ingrid discloses to the couple that Hans and she are Jews. ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

jew | servant | nazi | industrialist | couple | See more »

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Sign and you're safe

Genres:

Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for violence, disturbing images and thematic elements | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

13 October 2006 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

The Couple  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(uncut)

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

The Swiss flags at the border and at "Rheinau" station are those used only up to the 18th century. From 1848 onward, the now familiar cross was universally used as the national flag. See more »

Quotes

Himmler: Sign, and you're safe.
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User Reviews

 
Pay To Live: Another Aspect of the 'Jewish Problem' in Nazi Germany
13 February 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Despite the fact that there have been many good films about the Holocaust, the Nazi manipulated genocide of the Jews in World War II, there is enough room for a new perspective to that hideous period in history to make THE COUPLE a welcome addition to the repertoire. Written by Director John Daly based on a story by Kendrew Lascelles this film reveals a little known bit of history that shows that the Nazis allowed the wealthy Jews to 'buy their freedom and lives' at enormous losses. And the key Nazi, at least in this story, is none other than Himmler.

Joseph Krauzenberg (Martin Landau) is a very wealthy German Jewish industrial tycoon whose fortune is mirrored in his palaces that are more like museums of great art. But in the year 1944 his important steel mills and other major industries are needed by the Nazis and so a plan is hatched to offer Krauzenberg, his wife Rachel (Judy Parfitt) and his considerable family the opportunity to escape death by allowing them to leave Germany for Switzerland and ultimately for Palestine. The only servants the Krauzenbergs maintain are the Vassmans - Ingrid (Caroline Carver) and Hans (Kenny Doughty) - an Aryan couple who in reality work for the Underground and are actually Jews under strong cover.

Eichmann (Steven Mackintosh) and Himmler (Danny Webb) are perpetrating the plan to gain all of the wealth and lands and homes and art of the Krauzenbergs and they attend a dinner party at the Krauzenberg palace to sign the final papers. One of the other officers Edelhein (Christopher Fulford) is the most repulsive of the group and despite the fact that Ingrid Vassman is pregnant, Edelhein pursues her as a perfect foil for implanting his precious seed in the 'Aryan beauty' to populate the new Germany. As the night of transaction occurs Krauzenberg visits his large family being held by Eichmann in the Gestapo and reassures them that all will be safe. The Vassmans love the Krauzenbergs and ultimately confess that they are Jewish and wish to escape to Palestine with the Krauzenbergs. In a fast paced finale the trials and tribulations of the final plan are worked through in a somewhat surprising way.

THE COUPLE is beautifully photographed (the film was shot in Poland despite the fact that the Krauzenberg estates were in Hungary) and the mood of evil is always present in the night scenes with the requisite searchlights penetrating the darkness. Laudau and Parfitt are strong as are Webb, Mackintosh and Fulford. Neither Caroline Carver nor Kenny Doughty is up to the task of making the Couple credible. But the overall impact of the film is the focus of the evil that drove the Nazi machine, even with this slight bit of human kindness that was bestowed on the Krauzenberg family at such an awful cost. Grady Harp


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