7.2/10
5,108
20 user 48 critic

City of War: The Story of John Rabe (2009)

John Rabe (original title)
Trailer
2:08 | Trailer

On Disc

at Amazon

A true-story account of a German businessman who saved more than 200,000 Chinese during the Nanjing massacre in 1937-38.
8 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Ravi has settled in his dreary fate as indented boy-laborer in a textile plant outside Calcutta, making sure he earns and saves more then other boys to buy his release. Yet when young, ... See full summary »

Director: Florian Gallenberger
Stars: Tannishtha Chatterjee, Prashant Narayanan, Tillotama Shome
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

In 1937, Japan occupied Nanjing, the Chinese capital. There was a battle and subsequent atrocities against the inhabitants, especially those who took refuge in the International Security Zone.

Director: Chuan Lu
Stars: Ye Liu, Wei Fan, Hideo Nakaizumi
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A compelling drama that explores the different meanings of being a parent through the gritty, realistic lives of the struggling, blue-collar Porters, and the privileged Campbell family. ... See full summary »

Director: Jon Gunn
Stars: Mira Sorvino, Barry Pepper, Cole Hauser
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A Pakistani involved in a planned attack in New York City experiences a crisis of conscience.

Director: Joseph Castelo
Stars: Ayad Akhtar, Firdous Bamji, Nandana Sen
Nanking (2007)
Biography | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Through readings of historical account by actors and the testimony of survivors, the events of the Nanjing Massacre are recounted.

Directors: Bill Guttentag, Dan Sturman
Stars: Hugo Armstrong, Rosalind Chao, Stephen Dorff
Drama | Fantasy | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A boy learns the black arts from an evil sorcerer.

Director: Marco Kreuzpaintner
Stars: David Kross, Christian Redl, Daniel Brühl
Joyeux Noel (2005)
Drama | History | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

In December 1914, an unofficial Christmas truce on the Western Front allows soldiers from opposing sides of the First World War to gain insight into each other's way of life.

Director: Christian Carion
Stars: Diane Kruger, Benno Fürmann, Guillaume Canet
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A posthumous look at the last days of Guenther's life as he, his best friend, and his sister let loose on a four-day binge of alcohol, drugs, and sex.

Director: Achim von Borries
Stars: Daniel Brühl, August Diehl, Anna Maria Mühe
Honolulu (2001)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Directors: Uschi Ferstl, Florian Gallenberger, and 5 more credits »
Stars: Peter Bechtel, Daniel Brühl, Shira Fleisher
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The paths of two orphan brothers drastically change over the years, beginning when they were just boys living on the streets of Mexico City.

Director: Florian Gallenberger
Stars: Emilio Perez, Luis Fernando Peña, Chaco
Tango Berlin (1997)
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Directors: Florian Gallenberger, German Kral
Stars: German Kral, Wim Wenders
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Film offers a new take on the Rwandan genocide, through the first person experience of one woman as the horror descends.

Director: Philippe Van Leeuw
Stars: Lætitia Reva, Ruth Nirere, Aphrodice Tuyizere
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Valérie Dupres
Dagmar Manzel ...
Dora Rabe
...
Langshu
...
Prince Asaka Yasuhiko
Mathias Herrmann ...
Werner Fließ
Tetta Sugimoto ...
Nakajima Kesago
Akira Emoto ...
Matsui Iwane
Arata Iura ...
Major Ose (as Arata)
...
...
Dr. Lewis Smythe
...
Dr. Oskar Trautmann
Fang Yu ...
Hsianglin Han
Edit

Storyline

After 28 years building and managing a vast Siemens plant in Nanking, John Rabe is ordered by the new Nazi regime to close it down. Before he can pack, the Japanese army, lead unofficially by a bloodthirsty imperial uncle, lays siege to the city. Rabe accepts, as prominent representative of Japans' major European ally, to head the Western ex-pats society's plan to start and run an international zone, like worked in Shangai. Rabe however wants it to save his workers and their close ones, over 200,000, and sacrifices all his personal interests. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

History needs extraordinary heroes.


Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

| |

Release Date:

2 April 2009 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

City of War: The Story of John Rabe  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$5,199 (USA) (28 May 2010)

Gross:

$67,255 (USA) (8 October 2010)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Production - and indeed most of China - ground to a halt during some severe snowstorms during filming. See more »

Goofs

Jinling Girls' College Master of Studies Valérie Dupres never existed. The real person - Minnie Vautrin - was an American missionary who was so traumatized by the tragedy that she committed suicide in 1941. See more »

Quotes

Colonel Nakajima Kesago: He disobeyed the rules by not staying in the car.
John Rabe: He didn't stay in the car? His head was cut off!
Colonel Nakajima Kesago: It was an honorable death. A contest between two officers. Very popular in Japan.
John Rabe: What contest?
Colonel Nakajima Kesago: Who decapitates the most enemies.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
An unsung hero
15 September 2011 | by (Greece) – See all my reviews

This is the second film about the Nanking (Nanjing) massacre of 1937, to come out recently. Both feature a man whose bravery saved many thousands of lives and who was largely unknown to the wider world until very recently. John Rabe was a member of the Nazi party and had worked in Nanking as the senior executive for Siemens for many years. In the eponymous film it's suggested that he is about to return to Germany, but his departure is prevented by the sudden attack with over-powering military force, by the Japanese.

Rabe stays, and heads a committee that sets up a safety zone around the Siemens works and the main embassies. When the Japanese take Nanking, and embark on wholesale rape and slaughter, this zone keeps more than 200,000 Chinese in greater safety that elsewhere in the city.

The story is seen through Rabe's eyes mainly and focuses more on Westerners than the Japanese, although the dire impact of a member of the Imperial Family on the decisions made by the Japanese to execute unarmed soldiers, is highlighted .

Some beheadings are shown but the wide scale practice of rape and enforced prostitution is skirted around. Nevertheless, the atmosphere of menace, instant arbitrary death and fanaticism is established effectively.

The film grips and, in its own way, inspires. It is interesting to see this film and the more symbolic approach taken by Chuan Lu in 'City of Life and Death'. Both cover the same time period. Both are films that leave you pondering on human nature, its heights and its gross distortions.


6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Is it just me? sweetinjury-1
I hope friends from western world watch this film completely granwell
Finally!!! Chinese's Oskar Schindler!!! valleyboy12
Does the Chinese Release on DVD have English Subtitles? r-gordon-7
Would like to hear opinions from Japanese audience who bypassed the ban AquaExecution
German Trailer Marald

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?