6.5/10
353
4 user 6 critic

Burning Secret (1988)

While being treated for asthma at a country spa, an American diplomat's lonely 12-year-old son is befriended and infatuated by a suave, mysterious baron. During a story of his war ... See full summary »

Director:

Andrew Birkin

Writers:

Andrew Birkin (screenplay), Stefan Zweig (novel)
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5 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
David Eberts David Eberts ... Edmund
Faye Dunaway ... Sonya
Klaus Maria Brandauer ... Baron
Ian Richardson ... Edmund's father
John Nettleton ... Doctor Weiss
Martin Obernigg Martin Obernigg ... Concierge
Václav Stekl Václav Stekl ... Assistant Concierge
Vladimír Pospísil Vladimír Pospísil ... Hotel Manager
Karel Karas-Kratochvil Karel Karas-Kratochvil ... Doorman
Ivo Niederle ... Sanatorium Manager
Jarmila Derkova Jarmila Derkova ... Frau Isambard
Josef Kubícek Josef Kubícek ... Station Master
Veronika Jeníková Veronika Jeníková ... Kissing Woman
Roman Hájek Roman Hájek ... Kissing Man
Raoul Schránil ... Hotel Guest (as Raul Schranil)
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Storyline

While being treated for asthma at a country spa, an American diplomat's lonely 12-year-old son is befriended and infatuated by a suave, mysterious baron. During a story of his war experiences, the baron reveals the scar of a wound from an American soldier and thrusts a pin through it, saying "see-- no feeling." Little does the boy realize that it is his turn to be wounded. But soon his adored friend heartlessly brushes him aside and turns his seductive attentions to his mother. The boy's jealousy and feelings of betrayal become uncontrollable. Written by Paul Emmons <pemmons@wcupa.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | West Germany

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 December 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Avastahto mystiko See more »

Filming Locations:

Czech Republic See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Initially, this was a project of Stanley Kubrick for MGM. He was so enthusiastic about the novel that he hired novelist Calder Willingham to write a screenplay with him. However, Production Code restrictions hindered the realization and the project never went into fruition. In July 2018, a complete screenplay for Burning Secret written by Kubrick and Willingham was found, so time will tell if their adaptation of the novel will come to light. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Tuchman: It seems the deepest love affairs are those left unfulfilled.
Baron: Therein lies a tragedy.
Mrs. Tuchman: Not at all. To consummate love is to make it mortal.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Serial Mom (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Les contes d'Hoffmann: Barcarolle
(uncredited)
Music by Jacques Offenbach
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Insightful, sensitive treatment of a young boy discovering his nascent manhood.
21 May 2000 | by MatthewJPSee all my reviews

This film is about manhood, and a boy's (actually every boy's) journey to manhood. The scene in the dining room with the baron and the young boy explains it all. The baron recites Goethe's poem, "ErlKonig" and interprets it for the young boy-man. Schubert set this poem to music (ErlKonig, The Erl King). The poem is a dialog of a child, and his father who holds him close as they ride horseback toward their home. The child expresses fear and apprehension about what he sees on the journey. At the end of the poem, the "kind war tot" - "the child was dead" in the arms of his father. This movie is about the "death" of childhood, which must take place if a boy is to become a man. The film is filled with obvious symbolism and has a most satisfying conclusion. This is a personal favorite. If you can find a copy, buy it.


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