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Adventures of Werner Holt (1965)

Klaus-Peter Thiele , Manfred Karge , Joachim Kunert  |  Unrated |  DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Klaus-Peter Thiele, Manfred Karge, Arno Wyzniewski
  • Directors: Joachim Kunert
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: German
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • DVD Release Date: September 15, 2009
  • Run Time: 164 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002CS5NW8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #177,724 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Adventures of Werner Holt" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Short Film on DP Rolf Sohre
  • Biographies and Filmographies

Editorial Reviews


Brilliant, powerful, first rate! --Variety

One of German cinema's most significant attempts to come to terms with the past. --Filmkritik (Germany)

Product Description

Two 17 year-olds, Werner and his best friend Gilbert, are pulled out of school and into Hitler's army. While Gilbert becomes a fanatical soldier, Werner begins to understand the senselessness of war. Its fresh and surprising frankness about the toll war takes on youth generated much public resonance. A political and artistic masterpiece, the film was voted one of the 100 most important German films of all time.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A timeless classic with bold Authenticity November 16, 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This movie is a timeless masterpeace, and one of germany's top 10 rated films.
It will draw the viewer with surprising frankness , and bold actions of 2 young men
of an unlikely friendship, coming of age in the 1940's germany.
Drafted from Highschool to the german Military, both of them going through a character
Transition: Werner, a more sensible person, turns more and more into a sceptic by witnessing how his ideals getting destroyed by the application of a ruthless fascist system where he has to be part of it. Gilbert, also intelligent, a man of action and a Go Getter develops a passion for everything Military, that eventually will challenge his friendship to Werner.
The viewer will experience both of them as likable characters at first, and will go with them through a transition .Eventually feel the painfull decision process
they are forced to undergo. The gap between them widen and resolves a final movie climax.
Being a complex psychological Drama, the film does not lack action or battlescenes,
which were masterfully staged and ahead of their times.
Using newly invented filmographic artwork, a realistic ambiance leaves the viewer
in awe, even today with it's special effects and CGI technologies.
Many elderly germans who I had the pleasure sharing this movie with, attested it as being an authentic capture of the period. Made in 1965, the memory of the 40's where fresh and painful, the production used people with first hand experiences, to left no detail
missing. For most movie directors using flashbacks of a flashback are usually a No No
to use in blockbuster films. Surprisingly it works very well in this film.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A big and bold personal epic, I was not familiar with "The Adventures of Werner Holt" prior to viewing the film. It is an ambitious character piece that really stands as an excellent anti-war classic of disillusionment. At almost three hours, it is a sometimes harrowing story of a boy and his best friend being conscripted into the army at seventeen. Told in flashback as the war comes to an end with the Reich's last stand against the advancing Russians looking more and more futile, the film shows just how our heroes got into such a predicament. From innocence, to youthful patriotism, to painful realizations--at what point does loyalty give way to weightier moral decisions? Or does it ever?

Headlined by a winning, and surprisingly multifaceted, Klaus-Peter Thiele--this film really tells a fully rounded story and is one of the most complex and mature character pieces that you're likely to find from the era. In addition to its incredible story, the film is also masterful in its technique with great camera work and effects. Lots of films aspire to be epic, this one really is. KGHarris, 10/11.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most important German films ever created November 16, 2009
Created in 1964 East Germany, The Adventures of Werner Holt is a classic movie on DVD about the senselessness of war. Two 17-year-old best friends, Werner Holt and Gilbert, are pulled out of school and drafted into Hitler's army. Gilbert becomes a fanatically loyal soldier, while Werner, fighting on the front lines, is disgusted by the cruelty of war and eventually enacts his revenge. As powerful today as it was over forty years ago, The Adventures of Werner Holt remains one of the most important German films ever created. Highly recommended. 164 minutes, black-and-white, German with English subtitles.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Quite enjoyable June 28, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Werner Holt is an engaging sort of lad, however, his bud Gilbert is a bit of a Neanderthal, and not very likable. There is a bit of a question on the small arms, and Flak artillery. When the boys are called up as Hitlerjugend Flakhilfer, the guns they are serving are Russian 85mm AA, not the Flak 1936 88mm. And during a battle in an East German village, some of the Russians are carrying AK's which did not come out until the post-war. Werner and Gilbert have MP44/StG44's which are correct, but without any provision for spare mags. One would think a junior NCO like Gilbert would not be commanding anything more than a platoon, but the film appears to have him running a battalion. It is also odd there are no MG42's, just 34's. I like the film though, and was gratified Werner survived, while Gilbert received his just reward for being an overbearing ass.
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