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4.2 out of 5 stars31
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 15 July 2014
The trailer for this film suggests it might be some sort of 'bad taste' lighthearted take on the atrocities committed during the Second World War. I have no idea why they choose to use a trailer like that. Thankfully, it is far closer to 'The Counterfeiters' in style and quality.

With a great storyline including many twists & turns along the way, this is a cracking film. It is founded on a cracking storyline and is well made, although the budget required some shortcuts I suspect. For example, someone that spends 3 or 4 years in a concentration camp doesn't come out the same weight and looking as healthy as the day they went in. But short of starving your lead actors, that is forgivable.

You are never sure whether the film will end entirely tragically or have a happier ending but the wait is worth it either way.

A well told story that is well cast and certainly well worth the watch if you don't mind subtitles. On that point, I felt the subtitles were a fraction out of sync in the scenes early on, but that might be a streaming issue and it wasn't a problem.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 20 November 2011
Really enjoyed this film, as it was different from the usual run of the mill war films that are often made. Yet again, as the ever consistent Tommy D states, the cover is not representative of the contents of the movie. No planes, no shooting (apart from 10 seconds right at the start) and no battle scenes. However, what one does get is a taut thriller, that has echoes of Europa Europa [1992] [DVD] as the main Jewish character dons an SS uniform in an attempt to survive the Holocaust and rescue his mother. Throw in an arty sub-plot and the psychological aspects of victor and victim changing places and one is left with film that constantly surprises - right up until the end. Yes, like another reviewer has mentioned, the SS blood group not being checked was a very obvious mistake, but one can forgive that as the rest of the film more than makes up for this minor error. A great film and definitely worth the paltry price it currently retails for.
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on 25 August 2015
Don't believe the picture on the front cover of the dvd, which gives the impression of an action epic, showing fighter planes etc, because it certainly isn't, if memory serves me right there's a burst of gunfire in the first few minutes by a group of partisans and not one more shot fired for the rest of the film!

That said, its a reasonably enjoyable story of power and greed by some and the pursuit of survival for others, mainly centering on two characters who were friends before the war. Its totally unbelievable so I suppose its a little tongue in cheek but still worth a watch.

The subtitles weren't too much of an ordeal, quite easy to keep up!
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on 12 October 2011
The story, as it developes, has already been told by other reviewers.

Unfortunately this film falls down on several points fairly obvious to anyone with an interest in WWII. Most ridiculous are the events after the crash, when the concentration camp inmate Viktor switches clothes with SS officer Rudi while the latter lies wounded. A German patrol arrive, take care of the two survivors - and the fake SS officer Viktor is next seen in an office with Rudi his prisoner! Now the matter of who is really who arises, and the one way of finding out is apparently to inspect the prisoner's private parts. Unfortunately for Rudi, he was circumcised for health reasons as a child and this is now taken as proof that he really is the Jewish prisoner. Funnily enough Rudi does not think of showing them his left arm, where every SS man had his blood group tattooed. That would have settled the matter in an instant. Instead he goes back to his cell and Viktor continues to play an SS officer for a long time, this segment being a fairly important part of the film. Apparently the filmmakers believe that any civilian outsider could just walk into an SS Headquarters, find an office and begin work inside that organisation without arousing any suspicion at all, as long as he had the right uniform! At that point, I dismissed the story as complete nonsense.

Another anomally is that the Luftwaffe courier aircraft involved in the crash in 1943 carries the pre-1934 markings of civil airline Lufthansa. Neither has the costume designer done much period checking, resulting in some rather strange uniforms. In earlier years, war films often used a military advisor or consultant to get facts right. Nowadays this former important role seems to be deemed unneccesary, resulting in mishmash like this film.

Leaving the factual aspects aside - and many more could have been mentioned - even the missing centrepiece here, the priceless Michelangelo drawing, becomes a joke. By the time its hiding place is finally revealed at the end of the film, any reasonably intelligent viewer will have long since guessed it!
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 19 September 2011
This is a war based film from director Wolfgang Murnberger and the team behind `The Counterfeiters', it begins with a plane being shot down by partisans in Poland. There are only two survivors, an SS officer and a Jew, the Jew saves his life. Then we are taken back to a pre war Vienna of 1938. Victor Kaufman played by Moritz Bleibtrau, is the son of a wealthy art gallery owner, and he is the Jew from the later plane crash.

They have a sort of adopted son in Rudi (Georg Friedrich), who is the somewhat socialist son of their erstwhile house maid - she had served them for 25 years and he is sort of a second son. Herr Kaufman has come into possession of a rather rare drawing by Michelangelo, and is keen to sell it for a not inconsiderable fortune. They are aware of the storm clouds brewing in Germany but are totally unprepared for the coming storm especially after the Germans walk in to join Austria with the Fatherland.

Rudi has been away in Germany for some time and unbeknownst to the Kaufmanns, he has become an SS Officer - they find out too late. His whole family are sent to the concentration camps. What follows is how their paths cross again some years later and how switching sides does not necessarily mean switching allegiances. This is a tale of trust betrayal, love and hate all mixed up with the war. This is not a battle movie, but a psychological, thriller with some excellent performances through out especially from the aforementioned Herr Bleibtrau.

It is around 100 minutes long and in German with good if non literal translations, although those good folk at Metrodome have written on the box `presented in the original language with English sub titles', what a cop out, like they couldn't work out what language it is in - really that is very poor and so is the cover. Yet again there are planes with a bloke storming off toting a rifle on the front surrounded by fighter planes - none of this is in the film, and this blatant misrepresentation is really becoming trying in all UK releases and it is about time some action was taken - sorry rant over, but please do not be taken in.

I would have given it five stars but there are two plot holes that had me rather annoyed as knowing them would have changed the whole film, this is not the first film to do such a thing `In Transit' has exactly the same one. To tell you would be a plot spoiler, so I am deducting a star instead, but still a highly watchable film and I did enjoy it.
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on 25 February 2015
I chose this film due to the good ratings it received. I admit the ratings were correct. It's a great film to watch on a nice Saturday night-in accompanied by a cheese plate and a bottle of wine. The film gets funnier towards the end but tastefully done, there nothing slapstick about it. The cheeky ending is pretty predictable halfway in the film but you get the satisfaction of seeing it at the end ... great soundtrack too !
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on 22 April 2014
In German with subtitles. a bit far fetched but a good watch with a nice twist at the end. Good acting.
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on 11 November 2013
We have only just watched this film, and we found it to be one of the best war films ever warched.

There are a few unexpected twists in the story, that make this film very entertaining, and a must see again.
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on 13 September 2011
If good character development combined with a solid script and competent actors is what you like in your films then this should be right up your street.There are a couple of minor plot holes but i readily forgave this because of the sheer freshness of the story.
The film starts with a downed German plane where the only two survivors happen to be a Jewish prisoner(Victor Kaufmann)and an SS Officer(Rudi Smekal)who were former friends.The Jew saves the SS Officer from the burning wreckage just in time,all the while cursing his bad luck.
The film then darts back to 1938 Austria where anti semitism is in full flow by now and the two crash survivors were then friends.Rudi(a true Aryan)had just returned from a trip to Germany and upon his return is reunited with his old friend Victor.Whilst out celebrating the reunion Victor(the son of a prominent gallery owner)lets it slip to Rudi that the family are in possession of a priceless Michaelangelo drawing.Soon after this Rudi distances himself from Victor and decides to further his Nazi career by imparting information regarding the drawing to his superiors.The Kaufmann family are forced to give up the drawing and are promptly sent to concentration camps.The Germans later find out the Kaufmanns switched the original drawing for a forgery and do everything in their power to retrieve the original.Victor knowing that giving up information on the whereabouts of the original will bring about his demise uses every ounce of his intelligence and wit to outsmart the Germans and use this information as a bargaining tool to free himself and his family.
Although set during WW2 this story could have taken place in another time and place and is filmed with that in mind.Although the violence and barbarity of the Nazis is ever present it is underplayed so as to flush out the story better.In my opinion this works very well and its not necessary to overdo images of suffering and violence to play out this film.It is a lighter film in this respect to other works set during this time yet the seriousness of the story still shines through.
Overall an engaging yet subtle film about trust,mistrust,survival and the decisions we make that impact those around us.A film i will watch again in the future and one i thoroughly enjoyed.
On the disc there is the usual scene selection option and the choice to watch in either 2.0 Stereo or 5.1 Surround Sound.There is a behind the scenes extra too which i watched and enjoyed with the stars and director describing(far more eloquently than myself)why they chose to make the film less downbeat than what we might normally expect from this subject matter.Filmed mainly in German and with English subtitles no dubbed version im afraid.
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on 17 March 2015
Ignore the terrible cover the film is nothing like that. Well worth watching.
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