81 user 43 critic

The Night of the Generals (1967)

In 1942, a Polish prostitute and German Agent is murdered in Warsaw. Suspicion falls on three Generals, and Major Grau (Omar Sharif) of German Intelligence seeks justice which ends up taking decades.


Anatole Litvak


Joseph Kessel (adapted for the screen by), Paul Dehn (adapted for the screen by) | 3 more credits »
1 win. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter O'Toole ... General Tanz
Omar Sharif ... Major Grau
Tom Courtenay ... Corporal Hartmann
Donald Pleasence ... General Kahlenberge
Joanna Pettet ... Ulrike
Philippe Noiret ... Inspector Morand
Charles Gray ... General von Seidlitz-Gabler
Coral Browne ... Eleanore von Seidlitz-Gabler
John Gregson ... Colonel Sandauer
Nigel Stock ... Otto
Christopher Plummer ... Field Marshal Rommel
Juliette Gréco ... Juliette (as Juliette Greco)
Yves Brainville Yves Brainville ... Liesowski
Sacha Pitoëff ... Doctor (as Sacha Pitoeff)
Charles Millot ... Wionczek


In 1942 Warsaw, a Polish prostitute is murdered in a sadistic way. Major Grau (Omar Sharif), an Agent from German Intelligence who believes in justice, is in charge of the investigation. An eyewitness saw a German General leaving the building after a scream of the victim. A further investigation shows that three Generals do not have any alibi for that night: General Tanz (Peter O'Toole), Major General Klaus Kahlenberge (Donald Pleasence), and General von Seidlitz-Gabler (Charles Gray). The three avoid direct contact with Major Grau and become potential suspects. As Major Grau gets close to them, he is promoted and sent to Paris. In 1944 Paris, this quartet is reunited, and Major Grau continues his investigation. Meanwhile, a plan for killing Adolf Hitler is plotted by his high command, a romance between Ulrike von Seidlitz-Gabler (Joanna Pettet) and Lance Corporal Kurt Hartmann (Sir Tom Courtenay) is happening and Inspector Morand (Philippe Noiret) is helping Major Grau in his ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A unique manhunt across the capitals of Europe... across three decades up to today! See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Valentine Dyall dubbed at least three small part players. Robert Rietty dubbed at least one. Harry Fowler dubbed Pierre Mondy. Other roles were dubbed by Cec Linder and Roger Delgado. See more »


About 47 minutes in, the scene in the Volkswagen factory office sweeps across a promotional photo of a red 1967 Volkswagen 1600 on a horse racing track. See more »


Liesowski: But what happens if the murderer really is a general?
Major Grau: What happens? Well, justice is blind, my dear Inspector. Justice cannot see the red stripe or the gold braid, but justice can sometimes hear the cry of a murdered woman.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits are a montage of a Nazi general's clothing and decorations. See more »

Alternate Versions

The UK cinema version was heavily edited for an 'A' (PG) certificate and removed nearly all the references to the victims being whores, as well as shortening the bed scene between Hartmann & Ulrike, the police interrogation of the suspected sex offenders, and editing some of the dialogue describing the murders. Later releases were upgraded to a 15 certificate and were fully uncut. See more »


Referenced in What's My Line?: Chris Noel & Tony Randall (1967) See more »


(from Tannhaeuser) (uncredited)
Music by Richard Wagner
See more »

User Reviews

Sensational and intriguing thriller about a Nazi officer investigating brutal crimes
28 December 2010 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Franco-British co-production includes a phenomenal casting as Omar Sharif and Peter O'Toole stars this intense thriller set in WWII about a Nazi general who turns series-killer . A Nazi intelligence official (Omar Sharif) goes after three Nazi generals (a formidable trio formed by Peter O'Toole, Donald Pleasence, Charles Gray) who can be involved in the grisly killing of a Polish whore . Meanwhile , it happens historical facts as the Warsaw uprising and the 20th July Plot (1944) in which appears as collaborator Field Marshall Rommel (Christopher Plummer) .

This terrifying and sinister story turns out to be a big budgeted whodunit set in Nazi-occupied Poland and Paris full of big stars , thrills , emotions and too tense at times. Peter O'Toole and Omar Sharif give terrific performances as maniac general and upright investigator respectively . Tom Courtenay gives the best acting as a disillusioned German Corporal and Philipe Noiret is top-notch as Police Inspector who works for both sides. The splendid cast includes Joanna Pettet who contributes the most controlled interpretation , John Gregson , Coral Browne, Gordon Jackson and the French singer-actress Juliette Greco singing a wonderful song . The best scenes result to be when general O'Toole is watching paintings have been selected and requisitioned from private collections by the Reichsmarshall Herrmann Goering , then he observes the ¨Decadent Art¨ as Touloise Lautrec (Le Divan) , Renoir (Nudes), Gauguin (On the beach) Soutine, Degas (The tub) and Vincent Van Gogh (self-portrait ) , when he suddenly bursts on real crazy.

Well adapted for the screen by Joseph Kessel from the best-seller novel by Hellmut Kirst with additional dialogue by Paul Dehn -Planet of Apes- and based on an incident written by James Hadly Chase. . Marvelous musical score by Maurice Jarre conducting the New-Philharmonic Orchestra-London . Excellent title sequence and spectacular production designed by Alexandre Trauner . Finely photographed on location in Poland and at studios De Boulogne-Paris . Glamorous and glimmer cinematography in Technicolor by extraordinary cameraman Henry Decae . This dark motion picture of epic proportions is stunningly produced (along with Sam Spiegel) and realized by Anatole Litvak (Snake pit , Sorry wrong number , Mayerling , Anastasia). This steam-roller based partially on fact has a high-rating : Better than average , though may be little slow for some tastes. Well worth watching .

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UK | France


English | Italian | Spanish | French

Release Date:

24 February 1967 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Night of the Generals See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)| Mono (Westrex Sound Recording)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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