6.5/10
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Max (2002)

R | | Drama, War | 20 June 2003 (UK)
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A film studying the depiction of a friendship between an art dealer named Rothman and his student, Adolf Hitler.

Director:

Menno Meyjes

Writer:

Menno Meyjes
3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Cusack ... Max Rothman
Noah Taylor ... Adolf Hitler
Leelee Sobieski ... Liselore von Peltz
Molly Parker ... Nina Rothman
Ulrich Thomsen ... Captain Mayr
David Horovitch ... Max's Father
Janet Suzman ... Max's Mother
András Stohl András Stohl ... NCO
John Grillo ... Nina's Father
Anna Nygh Anna Nygh ... Nina's Mother
Krisztián Kolovratnik Krisztián Kolovratnik ... Nina's Brother
Peter Capaldi ... David Cohn
Yuliya Vysotskaya ... Hildegard
János Kulka János Kulka ... Mr. Epp
Kata Pálfi Kata Pálfi ... Mrs. Epp (as Katalin Pálfy)
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Storyline

Munich, 1918. German-Jew Max Rothman has returned to much of his pre-war life which includes to his wife Nina and their two children, to his mistress Liselore von Peltz, and to his work as an art dealer. He has however not returned to being an aspiring painter as he lost his dominant right arm during the war. He is approached by an aspiring painter, a thirty-year old Austrian war veteran named Adolf Hitler, who wants him to show his works. Although he doesn't think the paintings are all that original and he doesn't really like Hitler as a person, Rothman takes Hitler under his wings if only because of their camaraderie of being war veterans, and knowing that Hitler had nothing and no one to come back to after the war unlike himself. Rothman believes that Hitler has promise if only he can find his original artistic point of view. In part out of need for money, Hitler, on the urging of Captain Karl Mayr, agrees to work for the army as a political spokesman in anti-Semitic propaganda. ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Art + Politics = Power

Genres:

Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Hungary | Canada | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 June 2003 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Hoffman See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$30,157, 29 December 2002

Gross USA:

$539,879

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$660,763
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

To help get this controversial movie financed, producer/star John Cusack took no salary for acting in the lead role. See more »

Goofs

When Captain Mayr invites Adolf Hitler to speak in front of the Nationalist Socialist Party, he mentions that they number "500 men or so". The party actually only had around 50 members at this time and Hitler was given the number 555 when he became a member simply because the numbering system started at 500. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[George Grosz crashes and drunkenly runs stumbling in, looks around at the paintings on display, and begins to vomit]
Max Rothman: George, so glad you like it.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: The Devil with Hitler (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Happy Birthday
(uncredited)
Written by Mildred J. Hill and Patty S. Hill
See more »

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User Reviews

Excellent performances, phenomenal anti-war film, but not perfect.
7 March 2003 | by cweeks262See all my reviews

These are stellar performances by John Cusack and Noah Taylor. The story draws you in such that when the movie abruptly ends, you want to see and hear more. What were Hitler's influences? Was he a product of his environment? Without a doubt, Hitler was an angry man when returning from WWI to nothing. Many were in the same boat. Anti-semitism was alive and well long before Adolf took it and carried it to the extent that he did. And Hitler, like many others, found solice in nationalism.

One criticism of this movie was its depiction that Hitler had developed his emotional oratory skills at a young age. The historical accounts (Shirer's Rise and Fall of the Third Reich) seemed to indicate that he didn't really find his speaking voice until later. This was 1918 and Hitler is only 29 or 30 years old.

Also, the scene where Taylor riles up an auditorium full of Germans with an anti-semitic speach didn't fit with the rest of his portrayal of a timid, weak-minded, lost-soul, young Hitler. This scene seems to defy the rest of the image of Hitler we are given.

This is not to criticize Noah's portrayal. It is absolutely stunning. He had to have spent hours watching footage of Hitler in action.

This movie leaves you wanting more information. What else made him become the monster presented in the textbooks?

It is unfortunate that the Academy could not pay more attention to the performances in this movie, as both Taylor and Cusack both deliver. I believe that Hollywood has a fear of treading anywhere close to this subject matter except to deliver stereotypical portrayals of the historical people and events.


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