26 user 21 critic

Kapo (1960)

Kapò (original title)
A young Jewish girl leads an escape attempt from a concentration camp.


Gillo Pontecorvo
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Susan Strasberg ... Edith, alias Nicole Niepas
Laurent Terzieff ... Sascha
Emmanuelle Riva ... Terese
Didi Perego Didi Perego ... Sofia
Gianni Garko ... Karl, German Soldier
Annabella Besi Annabella Besi
Graziella Galvani Graziella Galvani
Paola Pitagora
Eleonora Bellinzaghi Eleonora Bellinzaghi
Bruno Scipioni Bruno Scipioni
Dragomir Felba Dragomir Felba ... (as Felba Dragomir)
Mira Dinulovic Mira Dinulovic
Semka Sokolovic-Bertok Semka Sokolovic-Bertok ... (as Semca Sokolovic)
Dirjana Dojic Dirjana Dojic ... (as Dirjana Dojc)


Kapo is a black and white film that tells the story of a Jewish teenager sent to a concentration camp together with her parents. She manages to survive with the help of a Jewish doctor who gives her the identity of another woman who had died recently. Thus, Edith becomes Nicole and she is no longer a Jew, at least not in the papers. At first she is very sad about her parents' death but as time passed she realized she had to get out of that mood if she wanted to survive. So, she accepts an affair with a German officer even if she is only 14 and she starts getting privileges, becoming with time a Kapo, one of the women prisoners who were in charge with disciplining the other women. She knows it's the only way to survive but same time she lives in deep remorse even though she never shows any feelings. Written by Marina Ionescu

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


One of six million UNTOLD stories WE DARE NOT FORGET!


Drama | War


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Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Gillo Pontecorvo's favorite of his own movies. See more »


In the opening scene, Edith walks past some shops on her way back home. One of the shops look like it belongs to the booming 1950s than the more austere WWII period. There is a toy car or baby push car in the store window that shows the typical car design of the 1950s. See more »


Edith, alias Nicole Niepas: [dying words] They screwed us over, Karl, they screwed us both over.
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Referenced in Password: Susan Strasberg vs. Van Johnson (1962) See more »

User Reviews

it's a MUST SEE, as long as you don't mind questioning humanity's existence
2 September 2006 | by siddingoSee all my reviews

i'm trying to order a video of this incredible movie, & in so doing have seen the comments about it. i haven't seen this movie in about a year, but i must reply in response to the previous viewer's comments. "kapo" is the zenith of film noir, or should i say, the best of the "film nadir." it may be the darkest movie i've seen. the black & white filming certainly intensifies its starkness. when i first innocently viewed "kapo," i remember being initially surprised, then moved, then deeply disturbed. couldn't susan's choices have been any of ours born at the same wrong time, wrong place? only i may not have chosen the heroic finale that susan chose. her choices introduce that question in ourselves--would we have chosen to save others as she did? or would we have preferred to save ourselves? an eternal dilemma that cannot be answered unless we are actually put into her position--God forbid. released in 1959, 14 years after WWII was over, makes me wonder what movies will be made 14 years from now, or should i say, 14 years from when the war in iraq is over... SEE this movie.

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Italy | France | Yugoslavia


Italian | German | Russian | Polish

Release Date:

29 September 1960 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Kapo See more »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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