6.2/10
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53 user 56 critic

The Statement (2003)

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Tale of a former Nazi executioner who becomes a target of hitmen and Police investigators.

Director:

Norman Jewison

Writers:

Ronald Harwood (screenplay), Brian Moore (novel)
4 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Caine ... Pierre Brossard
Tilda Swinton ... Annemarie Livi
Jeremy Northam ... Colonel Roux
Alan Bates ... Armand Bertier
Charlotte Rampling ... Nicole
John Neville ... Old Man
Ciarán Hinds ... Pochon
Frank Finlay ... Commissaire Vionnet
William Hutt William Hutt ... Le Moyne
Matt Craven ... David Manenbaum
Noam Jenkins ... Michael Levy
Peter Wight ... Inspector Cholet
Malcolm Sinclair ... Cardinal of Lyon
Colin Salmon ... Father Patrice
David de Keyser David de Keyser ... Dom André (as David De Keyser)
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Storyline

Tale of a former Nazi executioner who becomes a target of hitmen and Police investigators.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

At the end of World War II, many of those involved in war crimes were prosecuted. Some got away. Until now.

Genres:

Thriller | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Canada | France | UK

Language:

English | German | Italian | Latin | French

Release Date:

27 February 2004 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

A Confissão See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$23,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$37,220, 14 December 2003, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$763,044, 28 March 2004
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Penultimate theatrical movie of Sir Alan Bates (Armand Bertier). See more »

Goofs

As Brossard is about to place the body of the first assassin into the car, he lifts the dead man's arms into the air in order to sit the body up. As he lets go of the arms, they do not immediately drop as they would for a dead man. Instead, they hesitate, then slowly drop to the ground. See more »

Quotes

Pierre Brossard: Pray that we meet again... in this world.
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Connections

Features Only You (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Savannah
Performed by Soldat Louis
Written by Gary Wicknam
(c) 1990 peermusic France (SACEM), c/o peermusic Canada, Inc.
(p) 1990 peermusic
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User Reviews

Watered-down Vichy
4 January 2004 | by livewire-6See all my reviews

As I considered what to say about "The Statement", I was reminded of Humphrey Bogart's famous quip to Ingrid Bergman in "Casablanca": "You wore blue, the Germans wore gray."

In "The Statement", the Nazis unfortunately are not portrayed in shades of gray, morally speaking, but only in black. Or to be more accurate, a collaborator with the Nazis, one Pierre Brossard. The entire message of the film is utterly simplistic: collaborating with the Nazis, bad; relentlessly hunting down Nazi collaborators, good.

"The Statement" plays out like a run-of-the-mill police detective story, with the 70-something lead character (played by Michael Caine) ludicrously providing most of the action/adventure sequences. This, in spite of his age and his ailing heart! Tilda Swinton and Jeremy Northam are wasted as the pursuers. There is a brief hint of a possible romantic involvement, but this is never developed beyond the merest suggestion.

However, Charlotte Rampling shines as Pierre Brossard's long-suffering, put-upon yet loyal wife. Ms. Rampling continues her string of stellar performances in the past few years. ("Under the Sand" and "Swimming Pool" are her most recent achievements.)

"The Statement" could have been a superior, even a great film, if it had taken another path. It could have examined why Pierre Brossard collaborated with the Nazis. ("Following orders" is not good enough. We've heard this before, from the Andersonville trial to Nuremberg to the My Lai massacre.) "The Statement" could also have examined whether Pierre Brossard could really have changed and turned his life around, whether he could have redeemed himself. As things stand, his guilt, his attacks of conscience and his religious faith come off as phony and self-serving, rather than genuine contrition.

Some may call me a nitpicker, but it irked me that the French characters in this film were portrayed and voiced by quintessentially English actors. (Only the Nazis speak German.) To rub salt in the wound, one sequence shows fictitious footage from a French television network -- and the caption contains a grammatical error and no French accents. This is an insult to the intelligence of the viewing audience, as if the producers had decided that moviegoers would be too stupid to spot the mistake and it was not worth correcting. Shame on the BBC for being so shoddy and careless!


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