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Castle Keep [Import]
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It's 1944, a tired, one-eyed major, and his weary eight-man squad are lodged at CASTLE KEEP in the Ardennes Forest. Seemingly oblivious to the war that surrounds them, the nobleman who owns the castle, concerned only about his desire for a son and heir to inherit his castle and its possessions, arranges for the major to become his wife's lover. However, the major insists on preparing the castle and the village for an attack. When the German offensive arrives, the squad is able to heroically defend the village and castle.
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Top Customer Reviews
1 star because I don't have any other choice (please Amazon, make it possible to give a 'Zero star' rating!)
Columbia pictures should be ashamed, heaping this crap on the public,the movie is no classic, but it's worth a look, but this transfer is awful. At least you get the opening credits in letterbox ;)
I can only compare it to such other masterpieces as "When Trumpets Fade" and "On a Midnight Clear", to which it should be rightfully added, if one is a true movie "connaisseur".
Burt Lancaster's hour of excellence without a doubt, although let's never forget his performances in other movies such as "Sweet Smell of Success", "The Swimmer", "The Gypsy Moths", "Go Tell the Spartans" or "From Here to Eternity".
But let's not forget the strong performances delivered by Peter Falk (as a private who prefers to bake fresh bread, rather than fight a dirty war) and Bruce Dern (as a sort of conscience objector of the times).
The landscape, the scenery, are magic to say the least.
Filmed in plain winter in a fairytale-like village and countryside, it contrasts with the harsh reality of World War II.
In fact, most of the film is about peace, not about war.
These soldiers, all want a spot in which to be at peace, and thought they have found it, are then suddenly, brought back to reality through the German counteroffensive in the Ardennes.
Most of the movie, is a consideration on what a folly war is in the face of so simple realities of everyday life, such as indeed, baking bread, early in the morning and smelling its fresh and "clean" scent.
This is why it is so more shocking when the German counteroffensive hits home, waking everybody up, including us, the audience to this beautiful account.
It is so strident and so brutal, that everything that was so beautiful and peaceful turns to living hell.Read more ›
Directed by Sydney Pollack and based on William Eastlake's novel, it stars Burt Lancaster (Major Abraham Falconer), Patrick O'Neal (as Captain Lionel Beckman), and Peter Falk (as Sergeant Orlando Rossi). They and their five associates are in Belgium during the winter of 1944 when they seek some R&R in the 10th century castle of Count Henri Tixier and his wife, Countess Therese. The Count is impotent and desperate for his wife to produce a male heir. Falconer is an obvious candidate to help the Count achieve his objective. Meanwhile, the war in Europe continues, of course, but the castle keeps them safe from its dangers and deprivations.
While seeing this film the first time and then again recently, I felt as if I were dreaming that I had returned to the 1940s in a time machine, to Belgium near the end of World War Two.Read more ›
This movie boasts an excellent cast that includes Burt Lancaster, Peter Falk, Jean-Pierre Aumont, Tony Bill, Patrick O'Neal, and Bruce Dern. Lancaster gives another great performance as Major Falconer, the leader of the group. O'Neal is also very good as Captain Beckman, an art historian who wants to abandon the castle so it won't be destroyed by the advancing Germans. Another interesting performance is by Peter Falk as Sergeant Rossi, who disappears into the nearby town and becomes their baker. This movie has some anti-war messages, but at other times it is very funny. I hadn't heard of this movie before I saw it on TV, but it is very good. Well developed characters, good action, some humor, and an interesting if sometime out of place musical score. Either way this is a movie that is well worth watching.
Most recent customer reviews
... Columbia-Tristar had an opportunity (really, an obligation to its movie-going and disc-buying audience) to remedy 30+ years of pan&scan broadcast/tape versions of CASTLE KEEP... Read morePublished on July 14 2004 by panjandrum
War and a few misfits. They don't have to fight any longer. They have to protect art. There is a castle full of rare art. Read morePublished on May 15 2003 by Boris Zubry
It's tough to tell whether "Castle Keep" is groundbreaking or just plain pretentious--it's one of those films that features an explosion of ideas that on first glance seem to dart... Read morePublished on April 30 2003 by Stephen Kaczmarek
Like "Moby Dick", an allegorical tale suffers when it is translated to a visual medium; yet this film DOES capture the surrealism of war that author William Eastlake must have... Read morePublished on April 17 2003 by Thomas H Ross
How existential do you want to get in describing this story? Passions during war? Lancaster gives one his best performances -- but then again, when was he bad? Read morePublished on Aug. 30 2002 by Ross
Burt Lancaster gives a brilliant, measured performance in this anti-war film that features a top notch director ( Sydney Pollack), first rate cast ( Patrick O'Neal, Peter Falk,... Read morePublished on April 17 2002 by M. Sermon
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