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Castle Keep (1969)

During the Battle of the Bulge, an anachronistic count shelters a ragtag squad of Americans in his isolated castle hoping they will defend it against the advancing Germans.

Director:

Sydney Pollack

Writers:

William Eastlake (based on the novel by), Daniel Taradash (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Burt Lancaster ... Maj. Abraham Falconer
Patrick O'Neal ... Capt. Lionel Beckman
Jean-Pierre Aumont ... Henri Tixier, Count of Maldorais
Peter Falk ... Sgt. Rossi
Astrid Heeren ... Therese
Scott Wilson ... Cpl. Clearboy
Tony Bill ... Lt. Amberjack
Al Freeman Jr. ... Pvt. Allistair Piersall Benjamin
James Patterson ... Elk
Bruce Dern ... Lt. Billy Byron Bix
Michael Conrad ... Sgt. DeVaca
Caterina Boratto ... Red Queen
Olga Bisera Olga Bisera ... Baker's Wife (as Bisera)
Elizabeth Teissier ... Red Queen Girl
Anne Marie Moskovenko Anne Marie Moskovenko ... Red Queen Girl
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Storyline

Toward the end of World War II, a small company of American GI's occupy an ancient castle. Their commander has an affair with the countess in resident. One guy falls in love with a Volkswagon. A baker among them moves in with another baker's wife. A group of shell shocked holy rollers wander the bombed out streets. A GI art historian tries vainly to protect the castle and its masterpieces. Written by Jim Sadur <jsadur@keyflux.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A one-eyed major and his oddball heroes fight a twentieth-century war in a tenth-century castle! See more »


Certificate:

12 | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 September 1969 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Das Schloß in den Ardennen See more »

Filming Locations:

Novi Sad, Serbia See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (35 mm prints)| 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sidney Pollack confessed that the shooting took too long to complete, which meant that warm weather began to melt the snow. The crew also became very erratic because of this shooting where actors had to act in hot summer as if it were in deep winter. See more »

Goofs

The bazooka they use is a Korean war era 3.5" version and not the WW II version. Also, the .30 and .50 cal ammo boxes seen occasionally were Viet Nam era designs and not WW II designs. See more »

Quotes

Maj. Abraham Falconer: I understand you've been sleeping with the Volkswagen
Cpl. Clearboy: Yes sir, Is there a regulation against it sir?
Maj. Abraham Falconer: Yes
Cpl. Clearboy: Sodomy?
Maj. Abraham Falconer: That's animals, there's a regulation against using enemy equipment. Creates confusion.
Cpl. Clearboy: Sir, she's a beautiful car, sir
Maj. Abraham Falconer: You must love the Volkswagen very much Corporal Clearboy
Cpl. Clearboy: 36 Horses. No water, sir. Hides her engine in the rear, air cooled, no water, sir!
Maj. Abraham Falconer: Is the world suffering a water shortage Corporal Clearboy?
Cpl. Clearboy: Not now sir, but suppose this war just goes on and on and on and ...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Directors: The Films of Sydney Pollack (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A terrific underrated fable
24 February 2000 | by JohnSealSee all my reviews

I remember watching Castle Keep many times as a youngster. The film was a staple on local TV and showed up several times a year. I loved it then and recently saw it again, for the first time in 20 years, on TCM. The film has lost none of its lustre and in its widescreen format is even better than before. Cinematographer Henri Decae (The 400 Blows) creates a surreal fairytale atmosphere without sacrificing wartime realism in this tale of stranded GIs in the Ardennes at the end of World War II. The squad, led by an eye-patched Burt Lancaster, try to halt the German advance by hunkering down in a medieval castle that has been miraculously unaffected by the tribulations of the war. The film has echoes of Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast and it's stylistic contemporary, King of Hearts, but stands on it's own as a superb philosophical exploration of warfare and violence. If you enjoyed A Midnight Clear, you will enjoy Castle Keep.


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