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Mephisto (1981)

Unrated | | Drama | 22 March 1982 (USA)
A German stage actor finds unexpected success and mixed blessings in the popularity of his performance in a Faustian play as the Nazis take power in pre-WWII Germany. As his associates and ... See full summary »

Director:

István Szabó

Writers:

Péter Dobai (screenplay), István Szabó (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 13 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Klaus Maria Brandauer ... Hendrik Höfgen
Krystyna Janda ... Barbara Bruckner
Ildikó Bánsági Ildikó Bánsági ... Nicoletta von Niebuhr
Rolf Hoppe ... Tábornagy
György Cserhalmi ... Hans Miklas
Péter Andorai Péter Andorai ... Otto Ulrichs
Karin Boyd Karin Boyd ... Juliette Martens
Christine Harbort Christine Harbort ... Lotte Lindenthal
Tamás Major Tamás Major ... Oskar Kroge, színigazgató
Ildikó Kishonti Ildikó Kishonti ... Dora Martin, primadonna
Mária Bisztrai Mária Bisztrai ... Motzné, tragika
Sándor Lukács Sándor Lukács ... Rolf Bonetti, bonviván
Ágnes Bánfalvy Ágnes Bánfalvy ... Angelika Siebert, naiva (as Bánfalvi Ágnes)
Judit Hernádi Judit Hernádi ... Rachel Mohrenwitz, drámai szende
Vilmos Kun Vilmos Kun ... Ügyelõ
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Storyline

A German stage actor finds unexpected success and mixed blessings in the popularity of his performance in a Faustian play as the Nazis take power in pre-WWII Germany. As his associates and friends flee or are ground under by the Nazi terror, the popularity of his character supercedes his own existence until he finds that his best performance is keeping up appearances for his Nazi patrons. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Language:

Hungarian | German | English

Release Date:

22 March 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mefisto See more »

Filming Locations:

Germany See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

István Szabó: A guest wearing a tuxedo on the theater reception party near the end of the film, complaining about the unnecessary expenses of the luxurious party. See more »

Goofs

As Hoefgen leaves the Deux Magots café in Paris after meeting with his first wife, decals for contemporary credit cards - Visa, among them - can be seen on the window of the door. See more »

Quotes

[Hendrik stumbles upon some soldiers beating up a Jew]
Hendrik Hoefgen: They must be drunk.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 79th Annual Academy Awards (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Mephisto-Walzer
Written by Franz Liszt (as Liszt)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Interesting film with fine ensemble playing
7 November 1999 | by Loulou-8See all my reviews

This was a superbly acted and visually stimulating film.

The most interesting element for me was Hendrik's refusal to allow his conscience to interfere with his life's work as an actor. Being an actor, and more importantly an actor able to act in his mothertongue in his own land, is all to this man. Initially indifferent to the rise of the Nazis, unable to accept that their government will change his life, he follows them and befriends a high-ranked Nazi so that his "art" might continue. But it can never be as it was before. Yet he continues to do as he is told, to use the theatre as a propaganda medium, without questioning the consequences.

He cannot admit to himself that he has made the wrong decision and even when he is in Paris and is presented with another opportunity to escape the Nazi regime, he returns to Germany to the pursuit of his theatrical life, no matter how restricted it is.

Excellent film with a very good lead performance.


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