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Hearts of War (2007)

Jonathan Scarfe , Nina Dobrev , Damian Lee  |  R |  DVD
2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jonathan Scarfe, Nina Dobrev, Zachary Bennett, Kim Coates, Daryl Hannah
  • Directors: Damian Lee
  • Writers: Jack Crystal
  • Producers: Damian Lee, David Crystal, Gregg Goldstein, Jack Crystal, Joe Barzo
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: April 28, 2009
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #172,138 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Hearts of War" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Roy Scheider (Jaws, The French Connection), Darryl Hannah (A Walk To Remember, Kill Bill) and Jonathan Scarfe (Twilight, TV's Raising the Bar) star in this award-winning drama set at the dawn of World War II. A Nazi soldier (Scarfe) is torn between duty and his passion for Rachel (Nina Dobrev, Away From Her, How She Move), the beautiful daughter of a rabbi. Forced apart by the violence surrounding them, the lovers embark on a perilous journey to find each matter how terrible the price.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Heartbreaking and Beautiful!!!! September 7, 2009
By Yahaira
Having always been attracted to the concept of forbidden love, the idea of a German soldier falling in love with a Jewish girl during the WWII era was too good to pass up when I saw it at the video store.
The story was passionate and entrathalling... I could not turn away despite the numerous pitfalls that occur to the lead actors. Both Oskar and Rachel start off in the story as naive and romantic people, whose love is disrupted by the cruelties of the war and the expectations of Oskar by his general father. As the story progresses, the harsh realities of war force these two to grow up and do unthinkable things. Oskar becomes his father's son and furthers the German cause, learning to kill in the blink of an eye. Rachel, on the other hand, is forced to become a prostitute for German soldiers in order to feed and clothe her baby. Bernard, her husband, has to accept it all because he loves Rachel and the baby she had with Oskar.
Survival becomes the key element of this story, even more than the love between Oskar and Rachel. Some reviewers were upset by the lack of realism in the story, but this is what war is all about. People suffering and doing things they never would have though themselves capable of doing. The story serves to illustrate the inhumanity of wars, how destructive and evil they are.
In the end, Oskar and Rachel find each other again, never having lost they felt for one another. The fact that they still had the capacity to love after all they had been through was pretty miraculous. A heartwrenching story with a happy ending, a truly wonderful movie!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor attempt at originality. May 6, 2011
This film has an interesting plot and a good cast so why is it so wrong? Well the synopsis is that a young German Officer finds and saves a young Polish Jewish girl from a snow storm It is love at first sight despite the fact that she is to marry the following week and well things happen. I actually found all of that believable probably due to the strength of the acting between Jonathan Scarfe (Oscar Koenig) and Nina Dobrev as Rachel. They do have certain on screen chemistry. Oh she is a rabbis' daughter too just to cement her Jewishness and his Dada is a big Nazi General just to get over how `wrong' this whole set up is.

Without wanting to spoil the plot I will say the following, from this point onwards it starts to become a very good lesson in how to not make a film. Writer Jack Crystal could not have thought that coincidence upon ludicrous coincidence would make a good film. There are more plot hols in this film than any I have ever seen. Even with a leap of faith this does not work and the whole thing has the effect of alienating the viewer. Daryl Hannah even gets Oscars' name wrong at one point calling him `Arthur' I was so shocked I went back and watched it again. On its release in the USA Jay Seaver of eCritic said `You're not supposed to laugh at movies like "The Poet"..Once the audience is snickering, you've failed. Released in the States as "Hearts of War", even with a name change it remains still the very poor film it was under that title.

PLOT Spoiler Alert - here are some of the plot holes.

Oscar arriving in the nick of time to save Rachel and Bernard, and the German soldiers not even questioning his excuse.
Oscar killing a fellow soldier and nothing more is said.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lacks credibility June 29, 2009
"Hearts of War" was originally titled "The Poet" [the European release], and is a Holocaust/WW II drama. The movie begins in 1939 as the Germans invade and occupy Poland. Rachel [Nina Dobrev] is a rabbi's daughter who gets lost in a snowstorm and is rescued by an undercover German officer, Oscar Koenig [Jonathan Scarfe]. The next morning, Rachel awakes to see the smitten Oscar and they both make love. This is the beginning of a series of plot implausibilities. Even if one were to take into account that both Rachel and Oscar genuinely fell in love, I think the story would have had more credibility if they had at least spent a bit more time getting to know each other. I mean, Rachel is an orthodox rabbi's daughter and betrothed to someone else! I do not think it was common for a girl of such upbringing to fling convention to the winds and have sex with a virtual, albeit handsome stranger.

That aside, the movie just does not flow well - there are a few different story arcs that run through the movie, but are not fused seamlessly. Rachel ends up getting separated from Oscar, finds herself pregnant, and later agrees to marry selfless Bernard, a Jewish young man who is hopelessly in love with Rachel. The pair have to navigate a treacherous and uncertain path and fight against the odds to stay alive. Oscar meanwhile, pines away for his love whilst under pressure from his peers and his domineering father to act like a 'good German soldier'. His heart just isn't in fighting, preferring to write 'deep' poems instead. There are some notable names in this movie that are totally wasted - Daryl Hannah plays Oscar's sympathetic mother, who hardly bats an eyelid when Oscar proclaims he loves a Jewish girl. Roy Scheider appears briefly as a rabbi who marries Rachel and Bernard.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Eh.
Not the BEST movie, but I do like my historical type of movies even if it's not all accurate.
Published 26 days ago by Julianne Knutson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 2 months ago by ARTHUR TRAVIS
1.0 out of 5 stars so poor
all you can say good about this film is its photography. script is awful. situations not believable. story line strains credulity. acting mediocre. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Peter Rinaldi
5.0 out of 5 stars Hearts of War
Good movie! Nina Dobrev does a great job in this movie! Check out this movie! I think you will like it.
Published 13 months ago by Nora
5.0 out of 5 stars very good and worth watching
the only complaint i have is the pacing of some of the events makes it feels rushed in places. other than that the film is beautiful and heartfelt.
Published 15 months ago by Margaret Solano
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it!
Confused on the reviews for this movie! I think the acting was awesome! The story line was slightly weak but they were trying to fit a whole year into 90 minutes! Read more
Published 17 months ago by bneeb88
3.0 out of 5 stars It was okay.
I bought this movie because of Nina Dobrev was in it. To me the plot was okay, but it could of been written better. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Lindsay
1.0 out of 5 stars Dead poet society
Inside 'The Poet' (appallingly retitled 'Hearts of war') there may be a decent film trying to get out, but it's buried so deep that one is forced to wonder. Read more
Published on October 6, 2011 by Anthony Hand
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it
I'm glad I watched it, My hubby liked it too. Its a film about love and at the same time it isnt so unreal so we both loved it.
Published on September 18, 2011 by kusu75
1.0 out of 5 stars Agreed with z_hayes here.
Damsel in distress wakes up and falls instantly in love with a ~sensitive~, starry eyed poetic german solder and covets her in his love shack cabin. Ugh. Read more
Published on December 28, 2010 by Synchestra Duende
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