12 user 9 critic

Coup de Grâce (1976)

Der Fangschuß (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, War | 17 November 1976 (France)
A countess' unrequited love for an army officer leads to disaster.


Marguerite Yourcenar (novel), Geneviève Dormann (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
2 wins. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Matthias Habich ... Erich von Lhomond
Margarethe von Trotta ... Sophie de Reval
Rüdiger Kirschstein ... Conrad von Reval
Marc Eyraud Marc Eyraud ... Dr. Paul Rugen
Bruno Thost Bruno Thost ... Chopin
Henry van Lyck ... Borschikoff
Hannes Kaetner ... Michel
Franz Morak Franz Morak ... Grigori Loew
Frederik von Zichy Frederik von Zichy ... Franz von Aland
Mathieu Carrière ... Volkmar (as Matthieu Carrière)
Valeska Gert ... Tante Praskovia
Alexander von Eschwege Alexander von Eschwege ... Blankenberg
Maria Guttenbrunner Maria Guttenbrunner ... Mutter Loew
Stephan Paryla Stephan Paryla ... Sergeant


A countess' unrequited love for an army officer leads to disaster.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | War


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #192. See more »


Sophie de Reval: May I come in?
Erich von Lhomond: Of course. Thank you. It's quite late, Sophie.
Sophie de Reval: I'll just smoke a pipeful. Why did you come to Kratovice of all places, Erich?
Erich von Lhomond: Where should I have gone?
Sophie de Reval: You could have stayed in Paris or Berlin. No one forced you to fight in this war.
Erich von Lhomond: I'm an officer and useless in Berlin.
Sophie de Reval: What are you defending here? Your mother lost everything before the war.
Erich von Lhomond: Perhaps I like lost causes. In any case I've always fought for them.
Sophie de Reval: At least you've none of Konrad's illusions.
Erich von Lhomond: Konrad's beliefs are truer than ...
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Featured in Portrait of Valeska Gert (1977) See more »

User Reviews

Dull, dull, dull, dull. And, also very DULL! Did I mention it was dull?!
15 January 2007 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

The film begins in Latvia just after WWI. Being a history teacher, I knew that multinational troops occupied much of Russia during this time. There was serious concern about the spread of Bolshevism and the troops were there ostensibly to protect their nations' interests. However, some times they flew missions or had armed conflicts with the Communist army, as the nations involved really wanted to see the so-called "Whites" win. However, the Whites were deeply factionalized--some wanting the return of a czar, some wanting a republic and some wanting something in between. Because of these mixed goals and a lack of a real commitment by the foreign armies, the whole expedition was doomed and left the USSR after only a year or two. However, what I did NOT know was that German troops were also involved. This surprised me, as they had just lost WWI and weren't in the best shape to be mounting such an expedition.

This is the backdrop for the film, but it's also about a pro-Communist rich lady and her ill-fated love for a childhood friend who is among the German troops. She throws herself at him repeatedly but in each case he rebuffs her. So, she then sublimates these desires by various affairs. While none of this sex is all that graphic, this and the underlying reason the man isn't interested make this a rather adult film and one I wouldn't show to younger audiences.

While the setting for this film is interesting, the overall film is as gray and lifeless as any I have seen. I don't recommend it unless you are an amazingly patient person or you are really into overrated German films. I especially warn away anyone who suffers with depression, as it will no doubt make it worse. The simple fact is that there are so many better German films out there waiting to be seen--such as MOSTLY MARTHA, DAS BOOT, MOTHER KUSTERS GOES TO HEAVEN, WINGS OF DESIRE or ALI, FEAR EATS THE SOUL (among others).

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France | West Germany


German | French

Release Date:

17 November 1976 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Coup de Grâce See more »

Filming Locations:

Austria See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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