7.4/10
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56 user 62 critic

Before the Fall (2004)

Napola - Elite für den Führer (original title)
In 1942, Friedrich Weimer's boxing skills get him an appointment to a National Political Academy (NaPolA) - high schools that produce Nazi elite. Over his father's objections, Friedrich ... See full summary »

Director:

Dennis Gansel

On Disc

at Amazon

8 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Max Riemelt ... Friedrich Weimer
Tom Schilling ... Albrecht Stein
Jonas Jägermeyr Jonas Jägermeyr ... Christoph Schneider
Leon A. Kersten Leon A. Kersten ... Tjaden (as Leon Alexander Kersten)
Thomas Drechsel Thomas Drechsel ... Hefe
Martin Goeres ... Siegfried Gladen
Florian Stetter ... Justus von Jaucher
Devid Striesow ... Vogler
Joachim Bißmeier Joachim Bißmeier ... Anstaltsleiter
Michael Schenk ... Sportlehrer
Justus von Dohnányi Justus von Dohnányi ... Gauleiter Heinrich Stein (as Justus von Dohnàny and Justus von Dohnányi)
Claudia Michelsen ... Frau Stein
Julie Engelbrecht ... Katharina (as Julie Marie Engelbrecht)
Johannes Zirner ... Torben Send
Alexander Held Alexander Held ... Friedrichs Vater
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Storyline

In 1942, Friedrich Weimer's boxing skills get him an appointment to a National Political Academy (NaPolA) - high schools that produce Nazi elite. Over his father's objections, Friedrich enrolls, seeing this as his ticket out of factory life to university and a good salary. During his year in seventh column (fifth form), this innocence is altered as Friedrich encounters hazing, cruelty, death, and the Nazi code. His friendship with Albrecht, the ascetic son of the area's governor, is central to this education; a night in the forest hunting for escaped Russian POWs brings things to a head. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Men Make History. We Make The Men.

Genres:

Drama | Sport | Thriller | War

Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Germany

Language:

German

Release Date:

13 January 2005 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Before the Fall See more »

Filming Locations:

Hamburg, Germany See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,036, 9 October 2005, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$144,065, 21 May 2006
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| |

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The underwater shots of the lake scene toward the end of the film were done in a test basin with warm water and artificial ice. See more »

Goofs

During Friedrich's glider flight, his helmet is securely strapped at the start but is shown unstrapped a few seconds later. He kept both hands on the glider's yoke. See more »

Quotes

Albrecht Stein: [reading from his essay] "As childish as it sounds, the winter time and the sight of freshly fallen snow always fill us with inexplicable joy. Perhaps because as children, we associated it with Christmas. I always imagine myself the hero who killed dragons, rescued virgins, and freed the world from evil. As we went out yesterday to find the prisoners, I felt like that little boy who wanted to save the world."
Vogler: Albrecht, stop.
Albrecht Stein: But as we returned, I understood that I am part of the evil that I ...
[...]
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Connections

Featured in Smagsdommerne: Episode #2.10 (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

 
extremely touching film
23 November 2005 | by singinuallSee all my reviews

I saw this film once, and needed to return once more to see it again. This film touched my heart in a way that very few others have. Max Riemelt and Tom Schilling give one of the most convincing and stellar performances I have ever seen. Their chemistry on screen is such that the audience becomes fully engaged in their emotion and in their situation. Their heart-wrenching performance is illuminated by director Dennis Gansel's artistic genius. There are breathtaking shots of German landscape and scenery. There are angles and shots throughout the movie that remain very close to you long after the movie is finished. The story is a very vivid reminder of the horrors that man is capable of producing. This German film is a reminder of that horror, but also reminds us that there is innocence within that horror. If anything, this film depicted young men who were stripped of their innocence. Some gave in to the horror, while our heroes fought against it. For those who are lovers of the German language, you will hear no finer dialogue and range of speech than in this incredible work. I urge anyone and everyone to see this film.


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