Colonel Redl 1985
István Szabó's Colonel Redl is an unmissable masterpiece. Based loosely on a true story, it won the Best Foreign Language Film BAFTA and was nominated for the Foreign Language Film Oscar and Golden Globe, plus the top award at Cannes. Its failure to win is up there with the Best Picture Oscar going to Shakespeare In Love over Life Is Beautiful.

The film tells the story of a young boy who is selected to go to a military academy despite his poor origins as a working-class Hungarian of Jewish origin. Quickly making friends with the son of a baron and impressing the school's director with his patriotism by preferring to celebrate the Emperor's birthday to returning home for his own father's funeral, Redl rises quickly through the ranks until he finds himself stationed on the Russian border. However, it becomes quickly apparent that his nationalism and moral Puritanism serve only to alienate Redl from his fellow officers and in trying to compensate for his lower origins with excessive zeal he only manages to make an enemy out of the man who used to be his best friend. Promoted again, this time to the general staff to be the head of Austrian military intelligence, the colonel naively blunders into the intrigues of the Archduke Ferdinand who might well be trying to start what would later come to be known as World War I

Brandauer's towering performance minutely marks the gradual disintegration of Redl's mask and his final exposure at the point of death. Szabó's film is visually magnificent, shot with a crisp clarity which never succumbs to romantic nostalgia. The suicide of the real-life Redl was the subject of John Osborne's notorious A Patriot for Me. But where Osborne revelled in the decadence and debauchery, Szabó gives an extraordinary, chilling, complex account of a man's betrayal of himself.

Director: István Szabó
Cast: Klaus Maria Brandauer, Hans Christian Blech, Armin Mueller Stahl, Gudrun Landgrebe, Jan Niklas, Laszlo Galffi
Country: Hungary, Austria, West Germany, Yugoslavia
Genre: Biography, Drama, History

BD50 | 1080p AVC | 02:31:44 | 38.7 Gb + 3% rec
Language: Hungarian
Subtitles: English


The Central Europe of István Szabó (1080p; 3:11) is basically a collection of clips from various Szabo films.

Remembrance of Production Designer József Romvári (1080p; 8:12) is a really sweet piece done by art director József Romvári's granddaughter. This has some snippets from films, but also some nostalgic music and fun home movies.

Trailer (1080p; 1:39) is actually promotion for all three István Szabó films released on Blu-ray by Kino Lorber.