14 user 18 critic

Das Schloß (1997)

When a land surveyor arrives at a small snowy village, local authorities refuse to allow him to advance to the nearby castle. Increasingly complicated bureaucratic obstacles arise.


Michael Haneke


Franz Kafka (novel), Michael Haneke (adaptation)
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Ulrich Mühe ... K.
Susanne Lothar ... Frieda
Frank Giering ... Artur
Felix Eitner Felix Eitner ... Jeremias
Nikolaus Paryla Nikolaus Paryla ... Vorsteher
André Eisermann ... Barnabas
Dörte Lyssewski Dörte Lyssewski ... Olga
Inga Busch Inga Busch ... Amalia
Norbert Schwientek Norbert Schwientek ... Bürgel
Hans Diehl Hans Diehl ... Erlanger
Birgit Linauer Birgit Linauer ... Pepi
Branko Samarovski Branko Samarovski ... Herrenhofwirt
Ortrud Beginnen Ortrud Beginnen ... Brückenwirtin
Otto Grünmandl Otto Grünmandl ... Brückenwirt
Johannes Silberschneider ... Lehrer


When a land surveyor arrives at a small snowy village, local authorities refuse to allow him to advance to the nearby castle. Increasingly complicated bureaucratic obstacles arise.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Mystery


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Did You Know?


The same year, Michael Haneke released Funny Games (1997) with the same lead actors than this film. See more »


K.: I had an unpleasant encounter with this Schwarzer the day I arrived. He telephoned a deputy warden by the name of Fritz and was told I'd been taken on as Land Surveyor. How do you explain that?
Vorsteher: It's very simple. There's no fixed telephone connection with the Castle and no switchboard to direct our calls. If you call someone at the Castle from here, all the telephones in the lower offices ring - or rather they would ring if nearly all of them weren't turned off. Now and then an overly tired ...
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Version of Zamok (1994) See more »

User Reviews

The Castle
12 January 2012 | by MartinTellerSee all my reviews

I'm crazy about Kafka. THE TRIAL is my favorite by Welles, and Juracek's homage Joseph KILLIAN is brilliant as well. So the thought of Haneke directing The Castle seemed like a promising idea. And he gets some of it right. The story is very faithful... obviously certain omissions are necessary, but the gist of it is there, and the scenes generally play out as they do in the novel. The long scenes juxtaposed with abrupt time cuts do a good job of evoking the unusual rhythms of Kafka. And Haneke knows better than to try to make K. an entirely sympathetic character. But it doesn't feel quite right. I have mixed feelings about the aesthetic. The drab palette is appropriate, but I couldn't help thinking that black and white would have suited the material better. And the voice-over felt entirely unnecessary to me. The novel is told in the third person voice, but it feels first person. Having some narrator chime in every few minutes didn't add anything. And it just didn't seem absurd enough. Perhaps it's a book that doesn't condense well, because you don't get the sense of K.'s epic, labyrinthine struggle. But it's a good effort.

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Germany | Austria



Release Date:

October 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

O Castelo See more »

Filming Locations:

Steiermark, Austria

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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