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A Promise (2013)

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A romantic drama set in Germany just before WWI and centered on a married woman who falls in love with her husband's protégé. Separated first by duties and then by the war, they pledge their devotion to one another.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview:
... Lotte Hoffmeister
... Karl Hoffmeister
... Friedrich Zeitz
... Otto Hoffmeister
... Frau Hermann
... Anna
... Hans, the Butler
Sarah Messens ... Magda, the Maid
... Engineer
Caroline Donnelly ... Funfair Lady
Peter Kern ... Funfair Photographer
Andrew McIlroy ... Pastor
Christelle Cornil ... Post Office Employee
Gordon Wilson ... Hotel COncierge


Young Friederich has humble origins, but rises to the attention of his new boss, Karl. As he volunteers to tutor his employer's son, he gets more and more attached to Karl's young wife Lotte. She refuses however to betray her husband even when they learn Friedrich must go to Mexico for two years to supervise a mining project for Karl. Friedrich and Lotte swear to one another they will stay true to each other, but the oncoming war keeps them apart for far longer than expected. Written by ETB

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for a scene of sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]




Release Date:

16 April 2014 (France)  »

Also Known As:

A Promessa  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Karl Hoffmeister: Why deny oneself a pleasure while one is still alive?
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Referenced in Honest Trailers: Die Hard (2015) See more »


Fidelio Acte II - O Namenlose Freude
(Ludwig van Beethoven)
Leonore: I. Nielsen - Florestan: G. Wonbergh
Nicolaus Esterhazy Sinfonia conducted by M. Halasz
Kapagama / Naxos Rights US, Inc
© PD
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

So beautiful, but oh so boring
9 May 2017 | by See all my reviews

It's no wonder that the film's budget was nearly $11 million. "A Promise" is truly gorgeously shot.

It's equally no surprise that the US box-office take was less than $1 million. I don't know at whose feet to lay the blame for this soporific set-piece: casting? direction? I do know that this is a love story without much in the way of romantic feeling. Perhaps a boy-meets-girl, boy-gets-girl plot is way too predictable these days, but there was so little spark, particularly from the younger of the two male leads, that I did not even root for the typical outcome.

It was clever, I suppose, to substitute "British" class-based accents for a story set in Germany to distinguish characters' social classes from one another. (How would the average viewer know a higher-class German-accented English versus a lower-class one?) And there were certainly other competent directorial decisions. There may have also been an anachronism or two, however, including a clunky scene near the end alluding to the rise of Nazism, but the timing wasn't completely clear (right after the war? early 1920s?), so I'll give M. Leconte a pass on that.

May the great Alan Rickman, a highlight of this production, rest in peace.

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