The film, which has been produced by the free utilization of different literary sources, is a depiction of the cold art-nouveau world of a progressive Austro-Hungarian Monarchy at the beginning of the century. Alfred Redl, the offspring of a Ukrainian family of railway-men, advances to become a colonel and later the chief of the intelligence service of the Monarchy. The film portrays the psychological background of this breathtaking career, and the character of a "man without a face". Already as a young boy, Redl writes a poem of praise about the Emperor, and instead of attending his father's funeral, participates at the celebration organized for the honour of Franz Joseph's name-day by the Officer's Candidate School. All through his life, a special bond attaches him to his aristocratic school-mate, the Hungarian Kubinyi Kristóf, and his sister, Katalin. He models himself on them, trying to iron out his past and his family. Lacking on human emotions, ambition and the fervour of being a subject of the Emperor keeps the swing in his life. This double-sidedness of his mask explains his unparalleled enthusiasm at his last task: The successor to the throne asks him to organize his very own political trial, wishing to use him as a scape-goat in the death-dance of the agonizing state.
Jury Prize | Cannes IFF, France, 1985
ward in Gold for Outstanding Feature Film and Outstanding Individual Achievement - Actor | German Film Awards, Germany, 1985
Best Actor | Sopot IFF, Poland, 1985
Special Prize | Valladolid IFF, Spain, 1985
Silver Eagle Prize | Rueil-Malmaison IFF, France, 1985
Visconti Award for the Life Achievement, | , Italy, 1985
Best Foreign Language Film | BAFTA, UK, 1986
Best Foreign Language Film | Polish Film Critics Prize, Poland, 1987
CAST & CREW
István Szabó, Péter Dobai
Director of Photography
Klaus Maria Brandauer, Hans Christian Blech, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Gudrun Landgrebe, Ian Niklas, Laszlo Menszaros, Andras Balint
Manfred Durniok Production , Objektív Film Studio
Born 1938, Budapest, Hungary. Hungarian director, István Szabó, has won worldwide acclaim from both critics and audiences, not only for the extraordinary beauty of his impressive slate of films, but also for the historic and contemporary importance of the messages that they carry within their social and political themes. After graduating as a film director from Hungary’s Academy of the Art of Theatre and Film he went on to direct his first feature film, aged 26. The Age of Daydreaming, which won Szabó the Silver Sail at Locarnoand a Special Jury Prize for Best Director at the Hungarian FF, made him a leading figure in a new generation of Hungarian filmmakers in the 60’s. Fourty years on he still retains his position as one of the principal forces within the country’s film industry. His outstanding award winning films include Father, Confidence, the Oscar winner Mephisto, Colonel Redl, Hanussen, Sweet Emma, Dear Böbe, Being Julia. Producer Robert Lantos’ first collaboration with director was the phenomenally acclaimed Sunshine which, like most of Szabó’s films, he had scripted himself. Starring Ralph Fiennes, supported by a international cast, the film garnered numerous awards and nominations including 3 European Film Awards, Canadian Genie Award (14 nominations) for Best Motion Picture, three Golden Globe nominations, and US Political Film Society Democracy Award. More recently, Szabó directed Taking Sides taken from the play by, and with a screenplay by Ronald Harwood, and Beeing Julia based on the novel Theatre by Somerset Maugham. Szabó’s award-winning short films include: Variations on a Theme, Concert, You, Dream About a House, and City Map. He won the Outstanding Achievement Award at Montreaux for his TV film Offenbach’s Secret and his other television work includes Premiere, Catsplay, Bali and Steadying the Boat. He is also an accomplished stage director and has directed several operas including Tannhäuser for Opera de Paris, Boris Godunow for Opera Leipzig and Il Trovatore for the Vienna State Opera. Besides his directing, Szabó is also a Guest Professor at various film schools including London, Berlin and Vienna, where he lectures on film history.
A Hetedik napon (1959, short), Bill Poster (1960, short), Variációk egy témára (1961, short), Koncert (1963, short), You (1963, short), Traffic-Rule Tale for Children (1965, short), Age of Illusions (1965), Father (1966), Piety (1967, short), Lovefilm (1970), Budapest, Why I Love It (1971), Dream about a House (1972, short), Tüzoltó St. 25 (1973), Budapesti mesék (1977), Várostérkép (1977, short), Confidence (1980), Der grüne Vogel (1980), Mephisto (1981), Colonel Redl (1985), Hanussen (1988), Meeting Venus (1991), Édes Emma, drága Böbe - vázlatok, aktok (1992), Sunshine (1999), Taking Sides (2001), Ten Minutes Older: The Cello (segment Ten Minutes After) (2002), Európából Európába (short, doc., segment 2, 2004), Being Julia (2004), Rokonok (2006), The Door (2012).