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The Keep (1983)

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Nazis are forced to turn to a Jewish historian for help in battling the ancient demon they have inadvertently freed from its prison.

Director:

Michael Mann

Writers:

F. Paul Wilson (novel), Michael Mann (screenplay)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Scott Glenn ... Glaeken
Alberta Watson ... Eva Cuza
Jürgen Prochnow ... Woermann
Robert Prosky ... Father Fonescu
Gabriel Byrne ... Kaempffer
Ian McKellen ... Dr. Theodore Cuza
William Morgan Sheppard ... Alexandru (as Morgan Sheppard)
Royston Tickner Royston Tickner ... Tomescu
Michael Carter ... Radu Molasar
Phillip Joseph Phillip Joseph ... Oster
John Vine John Vine ... Lutz
Jona Jones Jona Jones ... Otto
Wolf Kahler ... S.S. Adjutant
Rosalie Crutchley ... Josefa
Frederick Warder ... Border Guard 1
Edit

Storyline

Nazis are sent to guard an old, mysterious fortress in a Romanian pass. One of them mistakenly releases an unknown force trapped within the walls. A mysterious stranger senses this from his home in Greece and travels to the keep to vanquish the force. As soldiers are killed, a Jewish man and his daughter (who are both knowledgeable of the keep) are brought in to find out what is happening. Written by Brian House

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

THEY WERE ALL DRAWN TO THE KEEP. The soldiers who brought death. The father and daughter fighting for life. The people who have always feared it. And the one man who knows its secret... THE KEEP Tonight, they will all face the evil.

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 December 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Satans borg See more »

Filming Locations:

UK See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (video) | (original cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color (Rankcolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While doing research, Michael Mann even looked at locations in Romania, which was an isolated Communist country at that time: "I found Romania fascinating. My preconception about what Romania was going to be like was all wrong. I expected some kind of Kafkaesque gray city, but of course since the war never rolled through there, it's not. It looked like Paris, cafés opened until one o'clock in the morning, and people walking around. It's a very lively, vital kind of place, and with a lot of humor, a lot of really cynical humor." (March 1984) See more »

Goofs

The writing on the wall is in a modified Cyrillic alphabet, not Glagolitic as Dr. Cuza identifies it. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Captain Klaus Woermann: [to a soldier, looking at the Keep] Your new home. How do you like it ?
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Keep Production Pays Tribute To Wally Veevers See more »

Alternate Versions

The theatrical trailer shows some deleted and extended scenes: Longer conversation between Woermann and Alexandru in which Woermann says that the keep looks like it was build to keep something in. Longer version of the scene where Molasar is talking with Dr.Cuza for the first time, also in this scene Cuza asks Molasar "What are you?" one more time. Glaeken talking with Eva asking her did she find what she was looking for and did she expect to find him. Glaeken touching Eva's face while she asks "What's happening to me?". Glaeken walking inside the Keep with his eyes turning white. Longer version of the ending where Glaeken is standing at the entrance of the keep looking over Molasar's fog. Different version of the scene (different visual effects) where Glaeken is walking towards the room where Molasar is waiting for him, in this alternate scene Glaeken's sword is covered with some glowing grey light. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Directors: The Films of Michael Mann (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Walking In The Air
(a.k.a. "Theme From The Snowman")
Composed by Howard Blake
Rearranged and Performed by Tangerine Dream
Copyright Highbridge Music 1982
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Uneven Art House Horror
3 November 2003 | by Theo RobertsonSee all my reviews

Some people mention movies like LORD OF THE RINGS and BLACK HAWK DOWN as being extremely poor stories saved by their technical truimphs and watching THE KEEP I can understand where they`re coming from . This is a visually striking atmospheric movie with a rather confused and under developed script

All the best aspects of THE KEEP are mainly to do with what`s on screen . Alex Thomson`s cinematography is awesome , check out the scene of the fishing boat sailing into the rising sun , or the full moon shining out from behind the clouds or that fantastic scene where Lutz looks into the cavern as the camera pans back for almost a full minute . Michael Mann brings an unspeakably doomladen atmosphere to the movie and manages a quite remarkable image featuring the initial appearance of Molasar . Considering the budget is only 6 million dollars the special effects are quite good for this scene featuring an image of smoke , light and a haunting soundtrack . Mind you this one of the very few instances where Tangerine Dreams synth soundtrack is successful , elsewhere in the movie it`s very inappropiate . The acting too is a mixed bag . Most of the cast are merely okay while Gabriel Byrne plays just about the most blood chilling and convincing Nazi I`ve ever seen in a movie , but Scott Glen is wooden and Ian McKellen gives an awful performance as Dr Cuza , a Jewish intellectual who seems to have all the speech patterns and mannerisms of a Hollywood producer . Having said that it is interesting to see McKellen play someone who goes through a character arc similar to the one Frodo goes through in THE LORD OF THE RINGS

Michael Mann`s treatment of the screenplay is far less successful than his directing . A gestapo death squad battle against a monster , er so who are we supposed to root for ? During the war even some hardened Waffen SS men despised these murder squads and this is echoed by the character interaction between Captain Woermann and Major Kaempffer . However it turns out Woermann has profoundly anti fascist ideals in a conversation with Dr Cuza which means he stops being a character and becomes a cliche . Was everyone in Germany at this time either a Nazi or an anti Nazi with no in between ? I just wish Mann had blurred the lines a little . It should also be pointed out that Woermann`s first words of dialogue actually do sound like they come from a Nazi stormtrooper which indicates Mann has written inconsistently for the character . Another serious error with the screenplay is that it`s never really explained who Glaeken and Molasar are . Some people have described Molasar as a Golem , but he`s not . A Golem is basically a clay statue from Jewish folklore not as is Molasar an ethereal being of great power . Of course it could be that because Molasar needs Cuza`s help he appears to Cuza as a Golem but once again this seems to confused a lot of people due to the script , and I`m puzzled as to how Glaeken fits into all this . When adapting a screenplay everything should be made clear on screen to everybody , not just to people who have read the source novel

I gave THE KEEP seven out of ten mainly due to the technical achievements ( Remember this only cost $6 million ) but a word of warning only watch this if it`s in a widescreen letterbox format . I saw this on Sky movies the other night and a poor quality scanned version was used which meant the visual impact was totally absent


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