24 user 10 critic

Steppenwolf (1974)

1:12 | Trailer
In the bourgeois circles of Europe after the Great War, can anything save the modern man? Harry Haller, a solitary intellectual, has all his life feared his dual nature of being human and ... See full summary »


Fred Haines


Hermann Hesse (novel), Fred Haines





Cast overview:
Max von Sydow ... Harry Haller
Dominique Sanda ... Hermine
Pierre Clémenti ... Pablo
Carla Romanelli Carla Romanelli ... Maria
Roy Bosier Roy Bosier ... Aztec
Alfred Baillou Alfred Baillou ... Goethe
Niels-Peter Rudolph Niels-Peter Rudolph ... Gustav
Helmut Förnbacher ... Franz
Charles Regnier Charles Regnier ... Loering
Eduard Linkers ... Mr. Hefte
Silvia Reize ... Dora
Helen Hesse Helen Hesse ... Frau Hefte
Sunnyi Melles ... Rosa (as Judith Melles)


In the bourgeois circles of Europe after the Great War, can anything save the modern man? Harry Haller, a solitary intellectual, has all his life feared his dual nature of being human and being a beast. He's decided to die on his 50th birthday, which is soon. He's rescued from his solipsism by the mysterious Hermine, who takes him dancing, introduces him to jazz and to the beautiful and whimsical Maria, and guides him into the hallucinations of the Magic Theater, which seem to take him into Hell. Can humor, sin, and derision lead to salvation? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Takes You Out of Your Mind...Into Madness See more »




R | See all certifications »

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Did You Know?


[first lines]
Harry Haller: The day went by just as days go by. I killed it in accordance with my primitive and withdrawn way of life. I worked for an hour or two, had pains, took some opium and lay in a hot bath for two hours. Was glad when the pains consented to disappear. All in all it wasn't exactly a day of rapture. Perhaps the time is come to follow the example of Adalbert Stifter: a fatal accident while shaving...
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Referenced in The American Nightmare (2000) See more »

User Reviews

Some good and bad.
8 October 2014 | by alantate09See all my reviews

This movie communicates only bits and pieces of what the book itself does. It doesn't show well the actual character of Haller at all and, not understanding his personality well, the rest of the film doesn't pass on the original message very well except through occasional one line sum-ups of an idea by a character. This movie includes tons of lines taken directly from the book but I found that the movie uses some of the weaker lines at times while leaving out most of the best. I found the first half of this movie to be utterly boring however the second half was moderately well done. I like the feel to the second half although I barely made it through the first. That said I give this 5 stars because of the nice surrealism (really psychedelic more than just surreal) and I found the film to be overall very poor considering the material its based. I don't particularly like some of the acting selections either. Overall if you just read this book or ever have for that matter I would say don't watch this film because it leaves me with much less feeling than the book did and really calmed down some of the feelings racing in me for days after reading the book. If you've never read the book I would say watch the film but know that the book is a masterpiece and this film is not. But like I said if your into psychedelic feels to films this has plenty to offer there. All that said I believe my review is biased because of comparing it to the book and had I never read the book some of the ideas presented in the film would have really hit home. But that's not hard to do when your script is pretty much taken directly from the book. I think being disappointed is what I feel. I also particularly dislike the scene with the war against machines where in the book the attorney or whatever he was was (I forget) wasn't treated the same as in the film. I think the last few sentences of Gustav and his conversation in the book really hit at what was being said in that section and that the film didn't.

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Release Date:

11 November 1988 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

Steppenwolf See more »

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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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