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Mephisto

Released Mar 22, 1982 2h 15m Drama List
80% Tomatometer 25 Reviews 84% Audience Score 2,500+ Ratings Hendrik Hoefgen (Klaus Maria Brandauer) craves center stage. After years spent slogging it out in provincial theaters, he's grown sufficiently desperate that when the Nazi party effectively offers to make him a star, he doesn't hesitate. Great roles and plenty of praise accumulate quickly, and Hendrik revels in his success. He dreams of ultimately playing Mephisto, and to that end blithely overlooks the profound moral compromises of his situation. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Buy Now

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Critics Reviews

View All (25) Critics Reviews
Bruce McCabe Boston Globe Istvan Szabo's Mephisto is brilliant metaphorical filmmaking containing one of the more memorable film-acting performances in recent years. Apr 27, 2018 Full Review Richard Schickel TIME Magazine Few have dared what Brandauer accomplishes: showing us a good actor responding to the same neurotic drive for the center of the stage, the immortalizing role. His is a great performance, nothing less. Jul 28, 2008 Full Review Dave Kehr Chicago Reader A disappointingly thin, conventional film. Jul 28, 2008 Full Review Michael Wilmington Isthmus (Madison, WI) An almost magnetically powerful indictment of political opportunism in the arts. Aug 11, 2022 Full Review Judy Stone San Francisco Examiner It is an astonishing, discomfiting portrait of a type who places success above an else. Rated: 4/4 Nov 11, 2021 Full Review Pat Padua Washington City Paper Brandauer ... embodies the tortured artist through a wildly vivid range that careens from hammy, operatic full-body gestures to the most subtle changes of expression at eyeball-level. Nov 24, 2020 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

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Audience Member What's most interesting here is that the central character isn't really a fascist. He's an opportunistic conformist who embraces whatever the ruling ideology is so he can be at the very center of everything (hence why he's kind of a vague leftist before the Nazis come to power). It is all ultimately a performance which is why he collaborates so easily. Anyone who has ever been around actors knows that there is always a few who would easily embrace the most vile ideologies if it meant fame and fortune. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 02/13/23 Full Review william d Overlong and overacted by Brandauer, the film is nonetheless worth watching for its exploration on how small compromises can lead to the ultimate acceptance of evil. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review william k Excellently produced drama presents a fascinating case of corrupted ambition, but Brandauer's sweeping performance almost burs the message. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member A talented, and previously apolitical, actor agrees to do propaganda work for the newly in-power Nazi party, as it carries both financial and social rewards. He comes to learn that, however, that not unlike his signature role, Mephistopheles, it may come at the cost of his soul. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 09/16/18 Full Review david l Although overlong and at times slow, Mephisto is one very powerful drama with particularly strong direction from Istvan Szabo and such a phenomenal performance from Klaus Maria Brandauer who beautifully brought his complex character to life. It deals with a familiar subject matter in a new and authentic manner with interesting dialogue and themes well explored and the blend of a famous older tale and more recent time period worked almost flawlessly. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member I don't get it or understand its appeal. Set in a time and world I just can't relate to Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 02/06/23 Full Review Read all reviews
Mephisto

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Cast & Crew

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Movie Info

Synopsis Hendrik Hoefgen (Klaus Maria Brandauer) craves center stage. After years spent slogging it out in provincial theaters, he's grown sufficiently desperate that when the Nazi party effectively offers to make him a star, he doesn't hesitate. Great roles and plenty of praise accumulate quickly, and Hendrik revels in his success. He dreams of ultimately playing Mephisto, and to that end blithely overlooks the profound moral compromises of his situation.
Director
István Szabó
Producer
Manfred Durniok
Distributor
Analysis Film Releasing Corporation
Genre
Drama
Original Language
English
Release Date (Theaters)
Mar 22, 1982, Original
Release Date (Streaming)
Jul 19, 2020
Runtime
2h 15m
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