Hans Castorp, fresh from university and about to become a civil engineer, comes to the Sanatorium Berghof in the Swiss Alps to visit his cousin Joachim, an army officer, who is recovering ...
See full summary »
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 »
Klaus Maria Brandauer,
In the form of an animated docu-drama, the biography of Adam Jacek Winkler wonders through nearly half a century of history. A Polish refugee in Paris, Adam lived a boundless life, wanting ... See full summary »
A faithful dramatization of Virginia Woolf's novel. A lecturer, his family, the spinster Aunt Lily, an old friend, and a student, Charles Tansley, spend a summer in an isolated house in ... See full summary »
A man's story parallels Hitler's rise. Austrian Klaus Schneider, wounded in World War I, recovers in the care of Dr. Emil Bettleheim. Bettleheim discovers that Schneider possesses powers of... See full summary »
Klaus Maria Brandauer,
Joe May's sensual drama of life in the Berlin underworld is in many ways the perfect summation of German filmmaking in the silent era: a dazzling visual style, a psychological approach to ... See full summary »
Hans Castorp, fresh from university and about to become a civil engineer, comes to the Sanatorium Berghof in the Swiss Alps to visit his cousin Joachim, an army officer, who is recovering there from tuberculosis. Intending to remain at the Berghof for three weeks, Hans is gradually contaminated by the morbid atmosphere pervading the place. Wishing very much to be considered a patient like the others, he achieves his ends and stays in the sanatorium for ...seven years. During this time, he has enough time to take part in the furious philosophical debates pitting against each other Settembrini, a secular humanist, and Naphta, a totalitarian Jesuit. And to fall in love with the beautiful but enigmatic Clawdia Chauchat. When he is finally discharged in 1914 - along with all the other patients - it is only to plunge into the horrors of World War I.Written by
Luchino Visconti had planned to film this novel in the 1960's. See more »
When Castorp's Cousin is carried out by the Undertakers, one of the Sanatorium Guests starts shouting that he was a Hero, and that they "should sing Erotica". This is an unfortunate malapropism and should be "Eroica". See more »
The theatrical version is heavily cut to 153 min. The original version runs 312 min. and was shown in 3 part on television two years after the theatrical release. See more »
For me, the soul of the novel The Magic Mountain is the clash of ideas expressed in the incessant arguments between Settembrini (the champion of the enlightenment values of humanism, democracy, science) and Naphta (representing a hyper-ascetic belief in religion, war, revolution, social upheaval and the clash of God and the devil). Later in the book, Peeperkorn introduces a third view of man centered on, daresay, pagan values (emotionalism, naturalism, non-idealism and anti-intellectualism). Perhaps unavoidably, and to its detriment, the movie gives short shrift to all of these large ideas, and most lamentably, fails to capture the ferocity of the battles between Settembrini and Naphta over the soul of Hans Castorp. This makes unintelligible the climactic confrontation between the two pedagogues in the snowy field.
Dismayingly, the Peeperkorn of Mann's novel is completely unrecognizable in the movie character. In the book, he is a larger-than-life charismatic figure who draws the other residents into his circle by the elemental force of his personality. In the movie, he is a sad and fearful old man, who feigns defiance of death in several over-wrought scenes not found in the book.
The movie also completely neglects important subordinate themes, such as the lure of Eastern passivity symbolized by Hans' infatuation with Madam Chauchat and her "Kirghiz" (Asian) eyes and exemplified by the sense of timelessness he feels at the Berghof. (This is another topic on which Settembrini frequently lectures young Hans.)
I enjoyed seeing the Berghof scenes brought to life, but, overall, I did not feel this was a successful film adaptation of Mann's book.
18 of 25 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this