7.8/10
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26 user 31 critic

Mephisto (1981)

Unrated | | Drama | 22 March 1982 (USA)
Trailer
1:38 | Trailer
In early-1930s Germany, a passionate stage actor finds himself before a dilemma: renounce his apolitical stance and comply with the Reich's doctrine, or face oblivion. But, Faustian bargains never end well. What is the price of success?

Director:

István Szabó

Writers:

Péter Dobai (screenplay), István Szabó (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. Another 14 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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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 ... 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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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

Contrary to what is depicted in the film, Hitler was not named chancellor of Germany after the Nazis won a majority in the Reichstag. He was appointed chancellor in January 1933 without proper parliamentary confirmation, and the Nazi Party did not win an absolute majority of votes in the next election (March 1933). See more »

Quotes

Hendrik Hoefgen: What do they want from me now? After all, I am just an actor.
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Connections

Referenced in Mistress (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Lumpenlied
Music by Béla Reinitz (as Reinitz)
Lyrics by Erich Mühsam
See more »

User Reviews

 
the Devil doesn't always carry a pitchfork
8 June 2005 | by lee_eisenbergSee all my reviews

Everyone knows the story of Faust: a man sells his soul to the Devil in exchange for something. Well, as we learned in the Rolling Stones' song "Sympathy for the Devil", the Prince of Darkness doesn't necessarily appear as a mustachioed red being with a bifurcated tail. In "Mephisto", the Devil appears as an ideology-turned-governmental-system: Nazism. And in this case, the Devil doesn't request your soul, but rather a favor: that you work for it. Such is the fate of actor Heinz Hoefgen (Klaus Maria Brandauer). Hoefgen has felt shame all his life and has often worn white make-up, as if to hide behind it. But the Nazis make him feel powerful, and so he works for them; metaphorically, he sells his soul to them.

"Mephisto" proves not only the mastery of Germany's film industry, but also what a great director Istvan Szabo is (also shown in "Sunshine" and "Being Julia").


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Details

Language:

Hungarian | German | English

Release Date:

22 March 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mephisto 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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