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Counterpoint [DVD]

Price: £7.94 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
Only 14 left in stock (more on the way).
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£7.94 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details Only 14 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Product details

  • Actors: Charlton Heston, Maximilian Schell, Kathryn Hays, Leslie Nielsen, Anton Diffring
  • Directors: Ralph Nelson
  • Format: Dolby, PAL
  • Language: English, German
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Odeon Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 1 Sept. 2014
  • Run Time: 106 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: B00KS47SUS
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 81,166 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Charlton Heston and Leslie Nielsen star in this 1967 war drama directed by Ralph Nelson. During a concert musical director Lionel Evans (Heston) and his orchestra get attacked and taken hostage by German troops and are placed in a castle to await their inevitable fate. When the man in charge General Schiller (Maximilian Schell) reveals he is a classical music fan he orders Evans to lead his men in a special concert for the Nazis. Will this evening of entertainment be enough to save their lives?

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 3 April 2012
Format: DVD
With a pitch that sounds like an especially absurd Geraldo Rivera show - American symphony orchestra captured by Nazis in medieval castle and forced to give Wagner concert! - Counterpoint may well be one of the oddest mainstream studio releases of the sixties. Charlton Heston (his first lines appropriately joking about the exodus) is the egomaniac conductor complete with Dracula cape on a USO tour of the frontline who gets captured during the Battle of the Bulge by a ruthless German lieutenant with orders to execute all prisoners ("Typical minor executive. I've been dealing with his type all my life") and finds himself given a brief respite when Maximilian Schell's equally egomaniacal but much more genially ruthless commanding officer turns out to be a fan and wants him to perform for him before he kills the orchestra. Cue a battle of wills between the intransigent conductor and the deviously pragmatic Nazi in a script that's full of bum notes and bad dialogue but which does improve as it goes along, particularly when using orchestra rehearsals as cover for the noise of escape attempts in the film's best moments.

The `clash of moralities' the film aspires to is no better developed than the plot or the characterisation - it's the kind of film where Anton Diffring turns up as usual as yet another of his patented ruthless and humourless Nazi officers, the musicians are all bickering and selfish whingers you'd probably like to line up against a wall yourself and the script can't even be bothered to attempt to build any suspense around the identity of the inevitable informer in their ranks - but it does manage turn into something of a guilty pleasure long before Chuck's maestro picks up a submachine gun for the inevitable shoot `em up grand finale.

No extras on Universal's Spanish PAL DVD, though it offers a decent 2.35:1 widescreen transfer with English subtitles for the German language scenes.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 32 reviews
31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
One from Deep in the Vault 28 Sept. 2012
By Fan67 - Published on
Format: DVD
"Counterpoint" (1968) Charlton Heston; Maximillian Schell

Back in the mid 60's Universal was turning out a fairly large amount of product--a lot of it was quickie on the cheap filler films for double features and the like. I could name a dozen! Some examples would be "Sgt. Ryker", "P.J.", "The Shakiest Gun in the West", "Nobody's Perfect", "King's Pirate", "What's so Bad about Feeling Good?", "Don't Just Stand There!"
When I originally saw "Counterpoint" at the Palace Theatre in Hamburg, N.Y. it was the first half of a double feature with "The Ballad of Josie" starring Doris Day. I remember enjoying both.
"Counterpoint" had a fairly interesting story. Charlton Heston is the head of a symphony orchestra touring Europe during World War II. When they are captured they are taken to a castle camp run by Maximillian Schell. While at the Camp they are commanded to perform a concert for the Nazis and while all this is taking place they have to plan a way to escape! This is a very small film but still a very good one with some wonderful music performed throughout. This film is definitely worth a look. I must say that Amazon seems to be back on the stick with releasing the Universal Vault Series. Some of these titles are not well known now or when originally released but still it's great they're finally seeing the light of day. "Counterpoint" is one film that has not been available in any format before this release. I am thoroughly delighted that this film has finally seen the light of day after all these years proving that you never know what you will find the deeper you look in a vault. Keep Looking!!!!!!!
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Glad I finally got to see this again 30 Jan. 2013
By Dave Horner - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A little seen Charlton Heston film that I hadn't seen for several decades. A very nice widescreen presentation. A few nice surprises and a building tension make this a memorable film. And Schell as the German officer deciding the fate of an orchestra he admires makes for a very human bad guy.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
An Interesting Movie With Beautiful Classic Music 14 Dec. 2013
By Robert James Moon - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I saw this movie during the late 1960's. I liked the music and excitement very much and have tried to order it several times since those days. It became available on Amazon recently and I purchased a copy immediately.

The story concerns the tour of an American classical music orchestra in Belgium during the last part of World War II. The scenery is largely a castle and the forest surrounding it; and the music is really fine with the works of Beethoven, Brahms, Wagner and Schubert interlaced during the story. The main theme of this film is the competition between two strong personalities. Lionel Evans (Charlton Heston) the American orchestra conductor, fears for the safety of his musicians; and General Schiller (Maximilian Schell) is German commanding officer of troops pushing forward in the Battle of the Bulge. Evans refuses to regard his orchestra as prisoners of war because they are all civilians. Schiller only sees the inconvenience of having his forces be responsible for a musical group while he is bogged down in the battle. He also wishes the orchestra to perform some of his favorite music. Evans flatly refuses. The question of what will happen to the orchestra once German forces continue the offensive hangs over the whole story!

All types of individuals are intermingled in this film and the constant sound of bombing in the distance supplies additional suspense. I do not believe this movie ever received much acclaim or interest and it should have. Both Heston and Schell gave really good performances.
Robert James Moon
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Triviamagnet 25 Sept. 2013
By A. Devico - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
An interesting, though slow paced and somewhat melodramatic take on the duel between two strong willed men. Set against the backdrop of the waning days of WWII's European theater, the plot is a bit of a stretch, pitting German field officer Maxmillian Schell against authoritarian maestro Charlton Heston. The two match wits over Schell's obsession to hear classical music played once more before his almost certain demise by the captured philharmonic orchestra being led by Heston. What happens after the performance? Will they be released by their captors or silenced? For fans of Schell, a little know but good vehicle.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
the complete movie 15 Jan. 2013
By Pat - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I tried buying a copy of "Counterpoint" off the internet a couple years ago. It was a crummy, fuzzy copy off a TV set. One of the best scenes was cut short by some network hack who had no clue what they were doing. This movie has the whole scene.

The copy quality leaves something to be desired, but that was already pointed out in the product description. It's a whole lot better than off the TV.

"Counterpoint" itself features some awful acting, especially Hayes. To counterbalance that, the music and the story and Schell are wonderful.
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