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Der große König (1942)

| Drama, History, War | 1956 (USA)
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)
Reviews
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 ... 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 movie contains a scene about a plan of the Habsburgers to poison King Frederic with hot chocolate. This is a not proven event. According to a legend his servant Christian Friedrich Glasow (not a french cook as in the movie) offered the king chocolate. Also unlike in the movie this event didn't kill anyone as Glasow warned the king in the last moment. It is also unknown if he actually wanted to poison him or if he was ordered to. Glasow himself died in 1757 in Spandau due to misuse of the government seal for private reasons. See more »

Goofs

Sachar Tchernyshov is 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 »

Quotes

Luise Treskow: [Luise is packing her things and takes some pictures from the wall, a picture of the young King Frederic II] I take all what is dear to me, what still remains. What you haven't burned or shot yet
King Frederick II: And this picture over there?
Luise Treskow: It can burn here. Just like he burned our windmill. That's what he made out of this country. Nice father of the country.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The closing credits show the lyrics to the poem "You black eagle" while a song with these words are sang. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Life Goes On (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Good old Fritz
22 December 2015 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

When Josef Goebbels wanted to make a propaganda film he didn't do things by halves. All those extras you see in one of those cast of thousands worthy of a DeMille film from Hollywood are soldiers taken from the front and probably grateful for the chance to play 18th century soldiers instead of being 20th century ones.

The Great King is about Frederick the Great whose reign was probably the height of the Hohenzollern rule in Prussia. We should be exceedingly glad that Old Fritz as his subjects called him didn't have the resources of the modern German state that was united in 1871. As it was the man was a military genius who as we see in this film managed to snatch triumph out of defeat. For a while there it looked like the upstart state of Prussia was going to be overrun by all of Europe in the Seven Years War. Prussia's nominal ally was Great Britain, but the British had a lot of far flung adventures in places like India and North America where we were fighting The French And Indian War.

Otto Gebuhr who looked a whole lot like Frederick the Great made several film appearances as him. Kind of like character actor Frank McGlyn who was always being cast as Abraham Lincoln. The film was directed by Hitler's favorite director Veit Harlan who found a role for his wife Krista Soderburg as the wife of a Prussian soldier who learns too late the value of discipline. That was a message that Hitler wanted to send loud and clear to his audience, have faith in me because I'm the 20th Century version of Old Fritz.

Even the Nazis tell in the film that part of the reason for Prussia's triumph was some court intrigue in Russia after Empress Elizabeth died. That whole story is told in both the Elizabeth Bergner and Marlene Dietrich films on Catherine the Great. Suffice it to say in the film and in real life Frederick was shrewd enough to exploit matters.

The Great King is a great film, certainly the equal of any Hollywood production even if it is propaganda for the Third Reich.


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