6.2/10
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52 user 55 critic

The Statement (2003)

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

Director:

Norman Jewison

Writers:

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

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The career of a Nazi officer shown as flashbacks from his trial as a war criminal.

Director: André De Toth
Stars: Marsha Hunt, Alexander Knox, Henry Travers
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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 hit men 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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Last cinema film of Frank Finlay. See more »

Goofs

When Brossard searches the killer's wallet, we can see 500 francs banknotes with the head of Pierre and Marie Curie. This kind of banknote was released in 1994 and the action takes place in April 1992. See more »

Connections

Features Only You (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Au revoir mon coeur
Written by Y. Murray / P. Zaza
Published by Parry Music, Inc. (SOCAM)
Courtesy of The Music People
Chorale "An Wasseflussen Babylon", BWV 653
Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach (as J.S. Bach)
(P) Point Classics, courtesy of Morning Music Limited
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User Reviews

 
divided loyalties, divided feelings
13 May 2004 | by chetleySee all my reviews

I rated this film a 7/10 - with some mixed feelings, because in many ways it was a downbeat film without any kind of neat "message" that would make me feel "a better person" for having seen it. But on second thought I realized that the finished film rather neatly reflects the moral complexity of Brian Moore's novel which it is based upon - and which Ronald Harwood's screenplay follows remarkably closely.

Brian Moore is one of my favorite late 20th century authors, whose work has provided the basis for several other memorable films, most notably "Black Robe." He writes in a Graham Greene-esque mode, his characters often anguished or guilty Catholics or ex-Catholics who struggle to live morally in a degraded and corrupt world. Moore himself appears to have known much about divided loyalties and twentieth century alienation. Although identified as a Canadian author, Moore was born in Ulster - and actually lived most of his later life in California and the South of France. He was clearly fascinated by questions of faith, of good and evil - and he boldly tackled these themes in "The Statement."

In France in the late 1980s and early 1990s there were several prominent cases of Vichy-era collaborators who were belatedly brought to justice by the French court system. Moore was clearly fascinated by the way in which leading members of the French governmental and bureaucratic system continued to hide unpleasant truths about their own pasts - and by the role of the Catholic Church in France in providing refuge and assistance to some individuals who had been involved in the persecution and round-up of Jews.

Michael Caine deserves a great deal of credit for taking on the role of a reprehensible character who nonetheless retains his full humanity. There's never any question in the film about his guilt - he clearly took part in the brutal murder of Jews during wartime. (He's also quite mean to dogs.) And yet he is not without a sympathetic side. It's clear that he's manipulative, but it's also easy to see why many intelligent and devout people of faith would be willing to assist him in his attempt to live "underground" hiding from justice. Caine isn't a caricatured film villain - not like Ralph Fiennes in "Schindler's List" or John Malkovich in "Ripley's Game." But in a real sense, it's all the more disturbing that he seems like "just another innocuous old man."

It was disappointing to me to see that fine performers Jeremy Northam and Tilda Swinton with so little to do in the film - other than looking bewildered as Caine's character continues to elude their grasp. On the other hand, it is quite enjoyable to watch their flirtatious glances with one another. There were many nice touches in the film showing the pleasures of French life - gourmet business lunches, for example, and the beautiful scenery of Provence. Even the supposedly seedy cafes look like they belong in a tourist brochure.


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