6.9/10
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5 user 2 critic

Der große König (1942)

King Frederick II (aka "Frederick the Great") of Prussia is engaged in a major battle against the Austrian army at Kunersdorf, and things aren't going well. The Austrians are inflicting ... See full summary »

Director:

Veit Harlan

Writer:

Veit Harlan (screenplay)
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1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Otto Gebühr ... King Frederick II
Kristina Söderbaum ... Luise Treskow
Gustav Fröhlich ... Sgt. Treskow
Hans Nielsen Hans Nielsen ... Niehoff
Hilde Körber ... Elisabeth
Paul Wegener ... Gen. Czernitscheff
Otto Wernicke ... Oberst Rochow
Harry Hardt Harry Hardt ... Adjutant von Dessau
Hans Hermann Schaufuß ... Gen. Zieten
Claus Clausen Claus Clausen ... Prince Heinrich (older)
Klaus Detlef Sierck Klaus Detlef Sierck ... Prince Heinrich (younger) (as Claus Detlef Sierck)
Paul Henckels ... Grenadier Spiller
Elisabeth Flickenschildt ... Spiller's Wife
Franz Schafheitlin Franz Schafheitlin ... Col. Bernburg
Kurt Meisel ... Alfons
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Storyline

King Frederick II (aka "Frederick the Great") of Prussia is engaged in a major battle against the Austrian army at Kunersdorf, and things aren't going well. The Austrians are inflicting major casualties, and his army is beginning to crumble. Defeat seems inevitable when a combination of events gives him hope that he may pull victory from the jaws of defeat after all. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Germany

Language:

German

Release Date:

1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Great King See more »

Filming Locations:

Döberitz, Brandenburg, Germany See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Tobis Filmkunst See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The filming of the movie started in 1940, still during the Hitler-Stalin-contract. After Germany attacked the Soviet Union in June 1941 the portrayal of the Russian army was reworked and the scene had to be reworked to make them more negative. Especially the character of Sachar Tchernyshov was changed to more negative cliches, being portrayed as a greedy but simple-minded Russian while the actual Tchernyshov was the leader of a corp with 15000 men, which Czar Peter III of Russia gave to the Prussian King. See more »

Goofs

In the letter to Count von Finckenstein the king wrote that at the battle of Kunersdorf he had 48000 men and had less than 3000 men left. Eventhrought those are actual words from his letter to Finckenstein, Prussia actually had 49900 men at the beginning and lost 6000 men by death (including the injured men there were 19000 men lost). See more »

Quotes

King Frederick II: Yes, I have the gout. But not in my head.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits are shown below the monogram of Fredericus Rex. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Das Leben geht weiter (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Jackboots galore

'Der Große König' ('The Great King') was a Nazi propaganda film which won the 1942 Coppa Mussolini prize as the best foreign film released in Italy that year. One assumes that Mussolini's film critics were not completely objective. And yet this movie has excellent production values and a gripping story which (despite its too-long running time) still make it an appealing film for those of us who aren't Nazis.

This film recounts the travails of Prussian king Friedrich the Second during the battle of Kunersdorf, when his army were decimated by the Austrian forces. Just when defeat seemed certain, Russia's czar Peter the Great sent reinforcements.

When this movie was made, the early victories of Hitler's army were long past ... and it was now starting to look as if Germany might lose the war after all. 'The Great King' was clearly made to inspire German audiences to continue the struggle against overwhelming odds. Despite its odious Nazi agenda, this film is still eminently watchable. The battle scenes are impressive, and Otto Gebühr gives a fine performance in the lead role as Friedrich. There's also a splendid turn by Paul Wegener as the leader of the Russian forces. Wegener was a stiff and very mannered actor, but he manages to turn those traits to his advantage here.

Gustav Fröhlich, best known for playing the idealistic youth in 'Metropolis', gives a splendidly earnest performance here as Sergeant Treskow, who violates orders to give a crucial command to his men ... with disastrous results. The propaganda message here is that good Germans shouldn't take the initiative and think for themselves: instead, they should follow the orders of their wise leaders who know what's best for them.

Even though this movie is Nazi agitprop, the Third Reich imagery isn't crammed down our throats here the way it is in 'Triumph of the Will'. You can enjoy this movie without feeling any urge to goose-step. But the story could have been told more effectively in a shorter running time. I'll rate 'Der Grosse Konig' 6 points out of 10.


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