Mephisto (1981)

Unrated   |    |  Drama


Mephisto (1981) Poster

A German stage actor finds unexpected success and mixed blessings in the popularity of his performance in a Faustian play as the Nazis take power in pre-WWII Germany. As his associates and ... See full summary »


7.8/10
8,690

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  • Mephisto (1981)
  • Mephisto (1981)
  • Mephisto (1981)
  • Mephisto (1981)
  • Mephisto (1981)

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Cast & Crew

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Director:

István Szabó

Writers:

Péter Dobai (screenplay), István Szabó (screenplay), Klaus Mann (novel)

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User Reviews


8 June 2005 | lee_eisenberg
10
| the Devil doesn't always carry a pitchfork
Everyone knows the story of Faust: a man sells his soul to the Devil in exchange for something. Well, as we learned in the Rolling Stones' song "Sympathy for the Devil", the Prince of Darkness doesn't necessarily appear as a mustachioed red being with a bifurcated tail. In "Mephisto", the Devil appears as an ideology-turned-governmental-system: Nazism. And in this case, the Devil doesn't request your soul, but rather a favor: that you work for it. Such is the fate of actor Heinz Hoefgen (Klaus Maria Brandauer). Hoefgen has felt shame all his life and has often worn white make-up, as if to hide behind it. But the Nazis make him feel powerful, and so he works for them; metaphorically, he sells his soul to them.

"Mephisto" proves not only the mastery of Germany's film industry, but also what a great director Istvan Szabo is (also shown in "Sunshine" and "Being Julia").

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