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Varian's War (2001)

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Varian Fry rescues more than 2,000 artists from Nazi persecution during World War II.

Director:

Lionel Chetwynd

Writer:

Lionel Chetwynd
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2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
William Hurt ... Varian Fry
Howard Ryshpan ... Konditerei Owner
Carol Shamy Carol Shamy ... The Owner's Wife
Harald Winter Harald Winter ... First Brownshirt
Susan Almgren Susan Almgren ... Eileen Fry (as Susie Almgren)
Barry Blake Barry Blake ... Drury
Noel Burton Noel Burton ... Thompson
Emma Campbell ... Clifton's Girl
Ian Finlay Ian Finlay ... Ballroom Man 1
Maitreya Friedman Maitreya Friedman ... Ballroom Woman (as Maitreya Frieman)
Alain Goulem ... Clifton
Christopher B. MacCabe ... Ballroom Man 2 (as Christopher Maccabe)
Walter Massey Walter Massey ... Sydney
Tom Rack Tom Rack ... Reinhold Neibuhr
Michael Rudder Michael Rudder ... Thomas Mann
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Storyline

After witnessing the treatment of Jews in Nazi territory made him physically sick, cultured American gentleman Varian Fry starts en emergency rescue commission to raise funds and lobby to help intellectuals and artists, especially Jews, escape from Vichy France -where the Pétain government avoid occupation only by utter collaboration- to the US, and for lack of a better volunteer personally sets out in search of them. First lady Eleanor Roosevelt personally overcomes the reticence of the State Department. In Marseille he finds the people he specifically looked for, such as Marc Chagall, already housed by Harry Bingham, a Jewish US consulate official so he starts screening less obvious candidates and examines with Miriam Davenport and a German social democrat they pass for US clergyman Beamish how some can be rescued legally, others via a clandestine route, while colonel Joubert's State Police is at their trace... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He changed the world forever. One person at a time. The true story of the American Schindler.

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA | Canada

Language:

English | French | German | Italian

Release Date:

22 April 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Au service de la liberté See more »

Filming Locations:

Montréal, Québec, Canada

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

Near the beginning of the movie, Varian is holding the "Foreign Affairs" book differently depending on the camera angle. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Outstanding film
21 April 2001 | by ItsMeWilSee all my reviews

I saw this film last night at its advanced screening at the WorldFest Film Festival in Houston. This Canadian production is absolutely marvelous. A feel-good movie about the Holocaust is hard to come by, but this not only fits that description, it refrains from becoming a sappy and trite "let's save the world" flick. Instead, it treats its subject matter with dignity and reveals itself as a poignant film that will cause you to question your own character and faith in humanity. Not only is the story well put together (and based on a true story, at that!), but the acting is terrific, with William Hurt and Julia Ormond delivering outstanding performances. You won't miss the character of Bella Chagall, who steals every scene she's in. Even the minor characters appear to be three-dimensional rather than simple window dressing. The costuming was absolutely sensational; I don't think I've really ever bothered to look at costuming and lighting before but in this case, it's so perfect you can't help but notice. You must see this film!


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