The Condemned of Altona


1h 54m 1963

Film Details

Also Known As
I Sequestrati di Altona, Les Séquestrés d'Altona
Release Date
Jan 1963
Premiere Information
New York opening: 30 Oct: Sep 1963
Production Company
S. G. C.; Titanus
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century--Fox Film Corp.
Country
France
Location
Hamburg, West Germany
Screenplay Information
Inspired by the play Les séquestrés d'Altona by Jean-Paul Sartre (Paris, 23 Sep 1959).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 54m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Synopsis

Upon learning that he will die of cancer in a few months, Gerlach, head of West Germany's greatest industrial combine, summons his younger son, Werner, and Werner's wife, Johanna, an actress, to the family home in Altona. Gerlach wants Werner to assume control of the business, but Werner disapproves of the power his father has amassed by openly supporting any government that would enable him to make money. Although Johanna has been told the elder Gerlach son, Franz, had been killed several years after being cited at the Nuremberg trials for war crimes, she discovers he is actually living in the attic of the house. Walled up in a room without windows and surrounded by relics of the Nazi era, he is totally insane and sees no one except his sister Leni, who brings him food and tells him that Germany is in poverty and ruins. Johanna manages to gain entrance to the room and, after several talks, tells him that Germany is enjoying enormous prosperity. Johanna begins to pity Franz; the embittered and possessive Leni tells the truth about Franz's long career as a soldier who enjoyed torturing and killing his victims. Franz, in desperation, leaves his self-imposed confinement and seeks out his father. The elder Gerlach takes Franz to the shipyards and proudly shows him his empire. As they travel to the observation platform, Franz, in an attempt to erase the guilt of his father and himself, leaps to his death, dragging his father with him.

Film Details

Also Known As
I Sequestrati di Altona, Les Séquestrés d'Altona
Release Date
Jan 1963
Premiere Information
New York opening: 30 Oct: Sep 1963
Production Company
S. G. C.; Titanus
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century--Fox Film Corp.
Country
France
Location
Hamburg, West Germany
Screenplay Information
Inspired by the play Les séquestrés d'Altona by Jean-Paul Sartre (Paris, 23 Sep 1959).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 54m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Exteriors filmed in Hamburg. Released in Italy in 1962 as I sequestrati di Altona and in France in 1963 as Les séquestrés d'Altona. The film includes a scene in a theater where Sophia Loren interprets the "Referendum" scene from Bertolt Brecht's A Private Life of the Master Race, and Ekkehard Schall interprets a scene from The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui, as presented by the Berliner Ensemble. Cesare Zavattini does not receive U. S. screen credit.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Fall October 30, 1962

Released in United States September 1963

Scenes from Brecht's plays "A Private Life of the Master Race" and "The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui" are interpreted in the film.

CinemaScope

Released in United States September 1963

Released in United States Fall October 30, 1962