Mephisto (1981 film)

Mephisto (1981 film)
Directed by István Szabó
Written by Péter Dobai
Klaus Mann (novel)
István Szabó
Starring Klaus Maria Brandauer
Krystyna Janda
Ildikó Bánsági
Release date(s) 29 April 1981 (Germany)
29 September 1981 (premiere at NYFF)
8 October 1981 (Hungary)
22 March 1982 (United States)
Running time 144 min
Country Hungary
Language English

Mephisto is the title of a 1981 film adaptation of Klaus Mann's novel of the same name, directed by István Szabó, and starring Klaus Maria Brandauer as Hendrik Höfgen. The film was a co-production between companies in West Germany, Hungary and Austria.

The film adapts the story of Mephistopheles and Doctor Faustus by having the main character Hendrik Höfgen abandon his conscience and continue to act and ingratiate himself with the Nazi Party and so keep and improve his job and social position.

The plot's bitter irony is that the protagonist's most fond dream is to play Mephisto - but in order to achieve this dream he in effect sells his soul, and realises too late that in reality he is Faustus; it is the Nazi leader having a major role in the film (modeled on Goering) who is the true Mephisto.

Both the film and Mann's 1936 novel mirror the career of Mann's brother-in-law, Gustaf Gründgens, who is considered by many to have supported the Nazi Party and abandoned his previous political views for personal gain rather than conscience. (Playing Mephisto was indeed the peak of Gründgens' career, though in reality this was long after the fall of the Nazis.) However, Mann's book is satirical, making Höfgen more a lampoon than a character in his own right, while the film offers a more realistic exploration of a flawed but recognisably human character.[citation needed]



  • Klaus Maria Brandauer as Hendrik Hoefgen
  • Krystyna Janda as Barbara Bruckner
  • Ildikó Bánsági as Nicoletta von Niebuhr
  • Rolf Hoppe as Tábornagy
  • György Cserhalmi as Hans Miklas
  • Péter Andorai as Otto Ulrichs
  • Karin Boyd as Juliette Martens
  • Christine Harbort as Lotte Lindenthal
  • Tamás Major as Oskar Kroge, színigazgató
  • Ildikó Kishonti as Dora Martin, primadonna
  • Mária Bisztrai as Motzné, tragika
  • Sándor Lukács as Rolf Bonetti, bonviván
  • Ágnes Bánfalvy
  • Judit Hernádi as Rachel Mohrenwitz, drámai szende
  • Vilmos Kun as Ügyelõ


Mephisto was awarded the 1981 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film; the film was submitted to the Academy by Hungary. To date it is the only Hungarian film to win the Foreign Language Oscar.

At the 1981 Cannes Film Festival, the film won the Best Screenplay Award and the FIPRESCI Prize.[1]


External links

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См. также в других словарях:

  • Méphisto (1930 film) — This article is about the 1930 French language film. For the 1981 German language film, see Mephisto (1981 film). Méphisto Directed by Henri Debain Georges Vinter Written by Arthur Bernède (novel) Starring …   Wikipedia

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  • Mephisto (Faust) — Mephistopheles (kurz: Mephisto) ist der Name des Teufels in der Faust Thematik. Es handelt sich um einen dienstbaren Geist, der um Beistand angerufen oder als Paredros (spiritus familiaris) magisch hergezwungen wurde und den Abfallgruben… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Mephisto – Roman einer Karriere — Der Name Mephisto bezeichnet: die Kurzform von Mephistopheles eine literarische Figur in Johann Wolfgang von Goethes Drama Faust, siehe Mephisto (Faust) ein 1936 erschienener Roman von Klaus Mann, siehe Mephisto (Roman) die Verfilmung des Romans… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Mephisto — Méphistophélès Pour les articles homonymes, voir Méphistophélès (homonymie). Méphistophélès sculpté par Mark Antokolski Dans la légen …   Wikipédia en Français

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