9 user 3 critic

The Cold Room (1984)

A girl who arrives in modern day East Germany begins reliving the horrifying events that happened to a young girl in 1936.


James Dearden


Jeffrey Caine (novel), James Dearden
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
George Segal ... Hugh Martin
Amanda Pays ... Carla Martin / Christa Bruckner
Renée Soutendijk ... Lili
Warren Clarke ... Wilhelm Bruckner
Elizabeth Spriggs ... Frau Hoffman
Clifford Rose ... Moltke
Ursula Howells Ursula Howells ... Headmistress
George Pravda ... The Doctor
Lucy Hornak Lucy Hornak ... Sophie
Gertan Klauber Gertan Klauber ... Older Nazi
Stuart Wolfe Stuart Wolfe ... Young Man
Wolf Rüdiger Reutermann Wolf Rüdiger Reutermann ... Customs Officer
Judith Melischek Judith Melischek ... Young Woman
Anthony Higgins ... Erich


Seventeen-year-old Carla arrives in East Berlin to spend the summer with her estrange historian father, Hugh. She stays in an old hotel that used to be a butcher shop. She soon gets the feeling that something is wrong with her room and that it used to be bigger somehow. There she discovers an old wardrobe with a mirror in it. When she sees an image of a young girl in the mirror instead of her own, she begins suffering from violent visions about the young butcher's daughter, who lived there during the 1930s and helped a Jewish dissident hide from Gestapo in the cold room of her father's shop. However, not only was her father a violent staunch Nazi supporter and Party member but he also raped her on nightly basis. Carla slowly loses the ability to separate these horrifying visions from reality and begins to fear her own father. Hugh tries to help her but things only get worse. Is Carla slowly losing her mind or are the visions trying to tell her something?

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Not Rated | See all certifications »





English | German

Release Date:

24 March 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Prisoner See more »

Filming Locations:

East Berlin, Berlin, Germany See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



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Did You Know?


A TV movie made for the HBO network. See more »


Approximately 71 minutes into the movie, when Heir Bruckner (Warren Clarke) is driving his daughter, Christa (Amanda Pays), home after picking her up from Nazi Headquarters, they are obviously in a British car. Heir Bruckner is driving from the right-hand side of the car, not the left-hand side as it would be in Germany. See more »

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User Reviews

Flawed but kind of interesting
14 March 2010 | by lazarilloSee all my reviews

This is a somewhat ambitious movie about an adolescent English girl (Amanda Pays) visiting East Germany with her divorced American father (George Segal). The girl (who's kind of an annoying brat to begin with)becomes possessed by the spirit of a previous young female tenant of the house, who during WWII was hiding a Jewish male lover in a "cold room" behind the wall.

People say a lot of bad things about this movie. But considering it was made by the guy that wrote the piece-of-crap script for the piece- of-crap 80's movie "Fatal Attraction", I thought it was OK. It isn't very well-executed, but frankly it's a hell of a lot more ambitious than "Fatal Attraction" (which was basically a crappy re-make of "Play Misty for Me" made to cash in on 80's AIDS hysteria). George Segal is OK as the father. Unfortunately, Amanda Pays, in her first film, is simply not a strong enough actress to do this role very convincingly. (She's a very pretty girl though who later appeared most famously in the Rob Lowe movie "Oxford Blues"). The other actors all seem to be East European, perhaps ones living in Britain or whatever country they actually filmed this in. James Dearden does a pretty bad job of directing this, leaving all kinds of loose ends everywhere. Thank god though he wasn't responsible for the source material (I haven't read the book this was based on, but I'm sure it's far, far better than anything this talentless Hollywood hack could have come up with).

At times this seems almost like a children's movie. But then it also contains scenes like where the possessed protagonist has a fever dream where she experiences her forbear's experience of being raped by her father--and then she falsely tells the East German authorities SHE was raped by her own father! (Luckily a doctor inspects her and it turns out ghosts can't rupture hymens). I think if they took a few scenes like this out, this could be kind of a decent high-school horror companion piece to "The Diary of Ann Frank". As it is, it's a very flawed film, but a kind of interesting one.

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