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Counterpoint (1968)

TV-PG | | Drama, Music, War | 21 May 1968 (Turkey)
A famous orchestra conductor is captured by the Germans in WW2, and is forced to perform at private concerts for the Nazi generals.


Ralph Nelson


James Lee (screenplay), Joel Oliansky (screenplay) | 1 more credit »




Cast overview:
Charlton Heston ... Lionel Evans
Maximilian Schell ... Gen. Schiller
Kathryn Hays ... Annabelle Rice
Leslie Nielsen ... Victor Rice
Anton Diffring ... Col. Arndt
Linden Chiles ... Lt. Long
Peter Masterson ... Sgt. Calloway (as Pete Masterson)
Curt Lowens ... Capt. Klingerman
Neva Patterson ... Dorothy
Cyril Delevanti ... Tartzoff
Gregory Morton Gregory Morton ... Jordon
Parley Baer ... Hook
Dan Frazer ... Chaminant
Ed Peck ... Prescott
Learn more

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During a December 1944 German offensive in Belgium, a USO symphonic orchestra entertaining the front-line American troops is captured by the Germans. Initially, the Germans want to execute them, in accordance with orders received from Berlin. However, the orchestra leader, world-famous conductor Lionel Evans, persuades the Germans to spare their lives, arguing that his orchestra members are just civilian non combatants. Taken to the HQ of a German tank division, Lionel Evans and his orchestra members meet the German commanding officer, General Schiller, an avid music lover. General Schiller has respect for the musicians and he's hesitating about the standing order of executing all prisoners. However, the general's second-in-command, Colonel Arndt, is a blood-thirsty, by-the-book, type of fanatical officer who wants the prisoners shot. The general requests that Evans and his orchestra perform one more time, for him personally. Evans, out of pride and patriotism, refuses. But some ... Written by nufs68

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


For every move...A COUNTER MOVE! For every attack...A COUNTER-ATTACK! See more »


Drama | Music | War


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Anton Diffring would be cast once again as a Nazi officer in the War classic, "Where Eagles Dare" the following year. See more »


Lionel Evans refers to the number of musicians in his orchestra as 70 -- the bus, although a double-decker, would not hold that many. In courtyard scenes, there are not that many seen. See more »


Lionel Evans: Ladies and gentlemen, let us practice our profession.
See more »


The Star-Spangled Banner
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User Reviews

A Very Entertaining Film! Beware the current DVD
11 June 2008 | by GunnSee all my reviews

I know the plot may be a little far-fetched, but this is still a very involving and entertaining film. It takes place near the end of World War II when most of central Europe is secure and USO troupes are busy entertaining the Allied troops. A Philharmonic Orchestra on a USO tour ends up in Belgium and encounters a pocket of Nazi soldiers. Captured, the orchestra is to be exterminated after the General (Maxmillian Schell) wangles a personal concert out of the arrogant conductor (Charlton Heston). The mind games between these two, regarding the staging of a concert is part of the fun. The music is great, adding to the tension and enjoyment of the film. It holds up very well after 40 plus years. It works both as an action film and a character study. Anton Diffring stands out in a very fine cast. Topnotch!

BEWARE the DVD: I ordered the DVD from a company I will not name nd it was of very poor quality. The film, which is in color, was dark and black most of the way through and the focus was not sharp. The sound was low-fi, fuzzy and unacceptable to my criteria. We need to wait for Universal to put out a decent print. Don't waste your money on this one!

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English | German

Release Date:

21 May 1968 (Turkey) See more »

Also Known As:

The General See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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