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Fact based story about a former Greek Olympic boxer who was taken as a prisoner during World war II and placed in the Auschwitz prison camp. There he was permitted to survive as long as he ... See full summary »

Director:

Robert M. Young

Writers:

Shimon Arama (story), Zion Haen (story) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Willem Dafoe ... Salamo Arouch
Edward James Olmos ... Gypsy
Robert Loggia ... Father Arouch
Wendy Gazelle Wendy Gazelle ... Allegra
Kelly Wolf Kelly Wolf ... Elena
Costas Mandylor ... Avram Arouch
Kario Salem ... Jacko
Edward Zentara ... Janush
Hartmut Becker ... Maj. Rauscher
Burkhard Heyl Burkhard Heyl ... Aide to Rauscher
Zofia Saretok ... Momma
Grazyna Krukówna ... Sister Julie
Karolina Twardowska Karolina Twardowska ... Bemmi
Juranda Krol Juranda Krol ... Sarah
Wiktor Mlynarczyk Wiktor Mlynarczyk ... Beppo
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Storyline

Fact based story about a former Greek Olympic boxer who was taken as a prisoner during World war II and placed in the Auschwitz prison camp. There he was permitted to survive as long as he fought for the amusement of his captors. His father and brother were also held as insurance that he would continue to fight. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

prisoner | fight | prison | boxer | greek | See All (139) »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

23 December 1989 (South Korea) See more »

Also Known As:

A pokol bajnoka See more »

Filming Locations:

Poland See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$33,963, 10 December 1989, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$408,839
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Nova International Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color | Black and White (archive footage)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

This film's opening prologue states: "This film was inspired by the experiences of a young Greek boxer, Salamo Arouch, who was a prisoner in the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp during World War II." See more »

Goofs

During the movie, Arouch was rewarded for his boxing victories with a reassignment to the factory, which was considered easier work, was inside and provided more food for him. According to the real life Arouch, he was actually assigned to the camp's kitchen. He was able to take advantage of this work assignment by secretly procuring food from the kitchen for himself and his friend. See more »

Quotes

Gypsy: Listen, I'm only going to say this once. For those who can hear me tell the rest. First come the SS, our lord and masters. Then comes our block health manager, Kyr. Then come the assistants, Otto and me. Then come the rats. Then come the lice... and then come you.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Hang on to your hats
3 March 2007 | by mailbobSee all my reviews

The events depicted in the movie are well documented in historical accounts of the concentration camp experience, and according to these accounts they are not overstated in this film. Director Robert M. Young's background in making documentaries makes this docu-drama all that much more devastating. This is the holocaust, without frills, humor, or preaching. It is what it is. I wonder about other comments criticizing the film because it is too depressing. Gee, sorry if the holocaust ruined your evening. If you don't think you can take the raw experience, don't watch the film. Of course it is depressing, more than that. However, having watched it, I can say I can better understand and appreciate the creation of the state of Israel after the war. Mr. Young did an excellent job of film making on an extremely sensitive topic. Incidentally, he was co-writer on one of my all time favorite films, a 1964 low budget black and white gem, "Nothing But a Man." Also a sleeper which received extensive critical praise but not much exposure, I believe it to be hands down the best film depicting the black experience in America, particularly southern blacks in early 1960's at the apex of the civil rights movement. See my review on this site. Don't miss it.


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