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Castle Keep (1969)

During the Battle of the Bulge, an anachronistic count shelters a ragtag squad of Americans in his isolated castle hoping they will defend it against the advancing Germans.

Director:

Sydney Pollack

Writers:

William Eastlake (based on the novel by), Daniel Taradash (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Burt Lancaster ... Maj. Abraham Falconer
Patrick O'Neal ... Capt. Lionel Beckman
Jean-Pierre Aumont ... The Count of Maldorais
Peter Falk ... Sgt. Rossi
Astrid Heeren ... Therese
Scott Wilson ... Cpl. Clearboy
Tony Bill ... Lt. Amberjack
Al Freeman Jr. ... Pvt. Allistair Piersall Benjamin
James Patterson ... Elk
Bruce Dern ... Lt. Billy Byron Bix
Michael Conrad ... Sgt. DeVaca
Caterina Boratto ... Red Queen
Olga Bisera Olga Bisera ... Baker's Wife (as Bisera)
Elizabeth Teissier ... Red Queen Girl
Anne Marie Moskovenko Anne Marie Moskovenko ... Red Queen Girl
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Storyline

Toward the end of World War II, a small company of American GI's occupy an ancient castle. Their commander has an affair with the countess in resident. One guy falls in love with a Volkswagon. A baker among them moves in with another baker's wife. A group of shell shocked holy rollers wander the bombed out streets. A GI art historian tries vainly to protect the castle and its masterpieces. Written by Jim Sadur <jsadur@keyflux.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Where soldiers talk like soldiers. And fight like hell! See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 September 1969 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Das Schloß in den Ardennen See more »

Filming Locations:

Novi Sad, Serbia See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (35 mm prints)| 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Van Gogh's famous painting Sternenacht can be seen hanging in the castle; the painting has been in the New York MOMA since 1941. See more »

Goofs

When the tank pursues the bazooka team into the church, a close-up of the bazooka's muzzle immediately before it fires clearly shows that the tube is hollow and the weapon is therefore not loaded. See more »

Quotes

Lt. Billy Byron Bix: [leading singing]
Sfc. Rossie Baker: Hey, you're waking everybody up! Go back to your outfit!
Lt. Billy Byron Bix: [singing subsides] Excuse me?
Sfc. Rossie Baker: You're waking everybody up, go back to your outfit.
Lt. Billy Byron Bix: We have no outfit. We've withdrawn. We don't believe in fighting.
Sfc. Rossie Baker: Well who believes in fighting?
Lt. Billy Byron Bix: We believe in God. That frightens you, doesn't it? All you believe in is fornication, and killing.
Sfc. Rossie Baker: What?
Lt. Billy Byron Bix: We're conscientious objectors!
Sfc. Rossie Baker: You mean, you conscientiously object to fornicating?
[...]
See more »

Connections

References Battleship Potemkin (1925) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A history teacher's nightmare!
23 May 2012 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

If you love surrealistic and existential films, you may enjoy "Castle Keep". There is lots of strange dialog and bizarre plot elements--such that it will probably confuse the average viewer--but the artsy may enjoy it. As for me, I am a retired history teacher and it just made me irritated, as the terminally stupid might just think this film is a documentary and people really talked and acted like this! The film is nominally about a group of American soldiers who are making a stand at a Belgian castle--waiting for the inevitable attack from the Germans around the time of the Battle of the Bulge (December, 1944). However, as they are waiting for this throughout most of the film, you see LOTS of little scenarios that seem very random--and have little, if anything, to do with the WWII era. There's the wife of the castle who sleeps with various men because her husband is impotent and he wants a son, there's an art historian(!) who gives lectures to men who have zero interest--but who LOVE to hang out at a brothel filled with 1960s-style prostitutes, a guy who is in love with a VW and predicts it's the car of the future, a guy who wants to do nothing but bake--so he hangs out in town and bakes bread, a group of religious freaks who are pretty much guaranteed to offend and folks talking about the meaning of life. It's all a lot of stupid nonsense if you ask me--especially since folks often dress and act like folks from the hippie 1960s (especially the ladies) and the music is very appropriate for a counter-culture 1960s film--thought this is supposed to be 1945! Some folks might think this is all clever--I think it's just dumb--and rather boring. The film only heats up near the end when the fighting starts, but that isn't enough and the film seems like a waste of some talented actors. Well worth skipping.


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