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Axe of Wandsbeck (1951)

Kathe Braun , Erwin Geschonneck , Falk Harnack  |  Unrated |  DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Kathe Braun, Erwin Geschonneck, Gefion Helmke
  • Directors: Falk Harnack
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Full Screen, 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: 111 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002CS5NWI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #363,962 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Axe of Wandsbeck" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Short Film on Falk Harnack
  • Essay on Arnold Zweig
  • Biographies and Filmographies

Editorial Reviews


A rediscovered treasure! --Anne Nelson, author of 'Red Orchestra'

Top grade. --Variety

Product Description

Germany 1934: the Nazis need a hangman to put a group of political prisoners to death. Teetjen, the town butcher, makes the biggest mistake of his life: facing bankruptcy, he agrees to do the dirty deed. Adapted from the novel by German-Jewish author Arnold Zweig, this important classic was directed by a former anti-Nazi resistance fighter.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Consequence Of Choice: A Disturbing Morality Play October 20, 2011
Adopted from the novel by Arnold Zweig, "The Axe of Wandsbek" is at heart an upscale soap opera. I don't mean that negatively for this film really got under my skin with its blend of history, moral posturing, and personal tragedy. The film opens with a multitude of characters, each with a separate agenda. Four wrongly prosecuted political prisoners face execution, and the act needs to happen expediently to lure incumbent dignitaries to visit Hamburg. A local butcher in dire financial straits is coerced to do his patriotic duty by an unscrupulous party member. Keeping the act secret, the man and his wife see things start to turn around--but secrets can't be kept forever. As news of the deed start to circulate, the couple must face the ethical weight of the decision, its impact on their neighborhood, and deal with the reality of a world collapsing around them.

The film was pulled from its initial release in 1951 by the Cultural Ministry as it elicited sympathy for the central character. It was reedited in 1962 minus a pivotal end scene, and it wasn't until the early eighties when a full print was restored. Fascinating and disturbing, I found a lot of merit in this one. KGHarris, 10/11.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Axe December 17, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
All above board. Very appy with this transaction: no prolems or issues, very striaght forward. Would recommend and use again. Thank you very much
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