7.2/10
1,966
11 user 33 critic

Despair (1978)

In early-1930s Berlin, an elegant Russian émigré and eccentric chocolatier convinces himself that he has seen his doppelgänger, and hatches a murderous plan to trade his existence for an entirely new one. Will he get over the deep despair?

Writers:

Tom Stoppard (screenplay), Vladimir Nabokov (novel)
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3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dirk Bogarde ... Herman
Andréa Ferréol ... Lydia
Klaus Löwitsch ... Felix
Volker Spengler ... Ardalion
Armin Meier Armin Meier ... Silverman / Sergeant Brown / Foreman
Peter Kern Peter Kern ... Müller
Adrian Hoven ... Inspector Schelling
Alexander Allerson ... Mayer
Hark Bohm Hark Bohm ... Doctor
Roger Fritz Roger Fritz ... Inspector Braun
Gottfried John ... Perebrodov
Y Sa Lo Y Sa Lo ... Elsie
Lilo Pempeit Lilo Pempeit ... Secretary Schmidt
Ingrid Caven ... Hotel Manager
Voli Geiler Voli Geiler ... 1st Landlady
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Storyline

In early-1930s Berlin during the Weimar Republic and the Nazis' rise to power, the elegant Russian émigré and eccentric chocolatier, Hermann Hermann, leads a petite bourgeois life with his voluptuous and frivolous wife, Lydia. Troubled about his Jewish roots, Hermann convinces himself that he has seen his doppelgänger in the person of the unemployed vagabond, Felix, going as far as to hatch a murderous plan, intent on trading his very existence for an entirely new one. Now, Hermann's desire for transcendence is gnawing at him. Will he get over the full-blown mental breakdown, and the profound despair? Written by Nick Riganas

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Taglines:

A "hysterical" comedy

Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Trivia

This movie has been restored with the restoration version released in 2011. See more »

User Reviews

Strange brew
4 June 2003 | by m67165See all my reviews

This movie is disturbing. The main character seems to be going a bit crazy. And the political climate of the country looks no better. We know that the war is coming, and will be terrifying. The people in this movie seem to have a strange hunch about all this terrible possibilities just around the corner. They probably feel there's no hope of stopping the process. They decide to get drunk. To enjoy the last days of a dying world. But the guy might not be going totally crazy after all. He has a plan.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

West Germany | France

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 September 1978 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Despair See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

DEM6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,623, 16 February 2003

Gross USA:

$8,144

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$8,144
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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