7.7/10
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Colonel Redl (1985)

Oberst Redl (original title)
Set during the fading glory of the Austro-Hungarian empire, the film tells of the rise and fall of Alfred Redl (Brandauer), an ambitious young officer who proceeds up the ladder to become ... See full summary »

Director:

István Szabó

Writers:

István Szabó (screenplay), Péter Dobai (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Klaus Maria Brandauer ... Alfred Redl
Hans Christian Blech ... von Roden
Armin Mueller-Stahl ... Thronfolger
Gudrun Landgrebe ... Katalin
Jan Niklas ... Christoph
László Mensáros ... Oberst Ruzitska
András Bálint András Bálint ... Dr. Sonnenschein
László Gálffi László Gálffi ... Velocchio
Dorottya Udvaros Dorottya Udvaros ... Clarisse
Károly Eperjes Károly Eperjes ... Leutnant Schorm
Róbert Rátonyi Róbert Rátonyi ... Baron Ullmann
Gábor Svidrony Gábor Svidrony ... Redl als Kind
Éva Szabó Éva Szabó ... Redls Mutter
Tamás Major Tamás Major ... Baron Kubinyi
Mária Majláth Mária Majláth ... Baronin Kubinyi
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Storyline

Set during the fading glory of the Austro-Hungarian empire, the film tells of the rise and fall of Alfred Redl (Brandauer), an ambitious young officer who proceeds up the ladder to become head of the Secret Police only to become ensnared in political deception. Written by Dawn M. Barclift

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Language:

German

Release Date:

4 October 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Colonel Redl See more »

Filming Locations:

Hungary See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,357, 6 October 1985, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,357

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,059,508
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Burt Lancaster had tried to mount a version in the 50's. See more »


Soundtracks

Wiener Blut
Written by Johann Strauss
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Klaus Maria Brandauer's quiet Masterpiece...,
12 June 2012 | by Tim KidnerSee all my reviews

Unlike most people who know both films (there aren't many!), I've always preferred this 1985 film to Klaus Maria Brandauer's - and director István Szabó's Oscar winning 'Mephisto', from 1981.

'Mephisto' won an Oscar, for Foreign language film and as such, István Szabó remains Hungary's only ever Academy Award recipient. The two films have similarities, with Brandauer giving superbly nuanced yet powerful performances and both as high ranking Military Officers, German in Mephisto and Austro-Hungarian in this.

Colonel Redl is a made up character that is drawn from historical records and the story that ensues is based on John Osborne's play 'A Patriot for Me' and we follow Redl as boy, all the way through to his high-ranking officer just before the onset of the Great War. It's a compelling study of the decaying Empire that so dominated turn-of-the- century Europe and the bubbling resentments and labelling of ethnic groups within that start to make us feel us uncomfortable as the recognisable Monster that was to become becomes apparent.

It is Brandauer's calm and chilly persona that is both compelling and slightly disturbing. In Mephisto, in comparison, he is far more dramatic, even over-the-top, though the critics might say otherwise. As Redl coolly bulldozes his way through the ranks, craftily getting on the right side of everyone he needs to, his feelings toward a younger officer let slip and after the affair, his decimation from power is calculatingly abrupt and shocking, revealing a paranoid State.

There is excellent support from Armin Mueller-Stahl, recognisable from many English speaking films, usually as a German SS officer, as the doomed but supremely powerful and influential Archduke Franz Ferdinand.

The period detail is perfect as is the cinematography, looking radiantly splendid in the great halls and ballrooms, beautifully evocative in the snowy wastelands and suitably grim in the film's darker moments.

As I said, Colonel Redl certainly deserves to be as known as Mephisto - and of course, both far more than just specialist films for Art House lovers, that they seem to be casually categorised as.

My DVD was a Korean release that, once the subtitles were changed to English (from the default Korean) played like just like a 'normal' one.


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