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A true-story account of a German businessman who saved more than 200,000 Chinese during the Nanjing massacre in 1937-38.
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ulrich Tukur ... John Rabe
Daniel Brühl ... Dr. Georg Rosen
Steve Buscemi ... Dr. Robert Wilson
Anne Consigny ... Valérie Dupres
Dagmar Manzel Dagmar Manzel ... Dora Rabe
Jingchu Zhang ... Langshu
Teruyuki Kagawa ... Prince Asaka Yasuhiko
Mathias Herrmann Mathias Herrmann ... Werner Fließ
Tetta Sugimoto Tetta Sugimoto ... Nakajima Kesago
Akira Emoto Akira Emoto ... Matsui Iwane
Arata Iura Arata Iura ... Major Ose (as Arata)
Shaun Lawton Shaun Lawton ... John Magee
Christian Rodska ... Lewis Smythe
Gottfried John ... Dr. Oskar Trautmann
Fang Yu Fang Yu ... Han
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Storyline

After 28 years building and managing a vast Siemens plant in Nanking, John Rabe is ordered by the new Nazi regime to close it down. Before he can pack, the Japanese army, lead unofficially by a bloodthirsty imperial uncle, lays siege to the city. Rabe accepts, as prominent representative of Japans' major European ally, to head the Western ex-pats society's plan to start and run an international zone, like worked in Shangai. Rabe however wants it to save his workers and their close ones, over 200,000, and sacrifices all his personal interests. Written by KGF Vissers

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Taglines:

History needs extraordinary heroes.


Certificate:

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Details

Country:

France | China | Germany

Release Date:

2 April 2009 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

City of War: The Story of John Rabe See more »

Filming Locations:

Nanjing, Jiangsu, China See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,199, 28 May 2010, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$67,255, 10 October 2010
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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

Fortuitously, a lot of 30s style housing was earmarked for demolition by the Shanghai authorities to make way for new skyscrapers. The production was able to use these leveled areas to represent the aftermath of bombing raids. See more »

Goofs

Jinling Girls' College Master of Studies Valérie Dupres never existed. The real person - Minnie Vautrin - was an American missionary who was so traumatized by the tragedy that she committed suicide in 1941. See more »

Quotes

John Rabe: To the Führer of the German people. Chancellor Adolf Hitler. My Führer. As a loyal party member and upstanding German. I turn to you in a time of great need. The Japanese Imperial troops conquered the city of Nanking on December 12, 1937. Since then I have witnessed atrocious crimes against civilians. Please help to end this catastrophe and make an appeal to our Japanese allies in the name of humanity. With a German salute.
[Rabe signs the letter]
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Alternate Versions

German TV version features ca. 45 minutes of additional footage. See more »

Soundtracks

Den Zhe Ni Hui Lai
Written by Yan Zhe Xi and Yan Kua
Performed by Tang Ye Fing
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Good but I think I prefer some of the documentaries about the topic instead.
20 January 2015 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

"John Rabe" is a very glossy and well done film about the actions of Rabe and a few other foreigners in saving as many of the residents of Nanking as they could during the Japanese invasion. The airplane attacks and look of the film were absolutely great--and the film is well worth seeing.

I am very familiar with the story of John Rabe and used to teach my world history students about him and the Japanese destruction of Nanking (I have since retired). Much of what I'd learned were from the book "The Rape of Nanking" as well as several well made documentaries. So, I am NOT the typical person watching the story for the first time--I am a bit tougher to please. Because of this, I am much more critical that average and to me, the story was flawed because it actually seemed very sanitized. In other words, while the film DID show some of the Japanese atrocities, it didn't do much--probably because it would nauseate most viewers. BUT, by doing so, it minimized the evil that was perpetrated here--making the Japanese troops seem almost normal. It's rare, but I would have included much more blood and talked much more about the rapes and murder of children. Evil must not be minimized and here it just didn't seem as sadistic and wrong as the Rape of Nanking was.


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