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Steppenwolf (1974)

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1:12 | Trailer
In the bourgeois circles of Europe after the Great War, can anything save the modern man? Harry Haller, a solitary intellectual, has all his life feared his dual nature of being human and ... See full summary »

Director:

Fred Haines

Writers:

Hermann Hesse (novel), Fred Haines
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Cast

Cast overview:
Max von Sydow ... Harry Haller
Dominique Sanda ... Hermine
Pierre Clémenti ... Pablo
Carla Romanelli Carla Romanelli ... Maria
Roy Bosier Roy Bosier ... Aztec
Alfred Baillou Alfred Baillou ... Goethe
Niels-Peter Rudolph Niels-Peter Rudolph ... Gustav
Helmut Förnbacher ... Franz
Charles Regnier Charles Regnier ... Loering
Eduard Linkers Eduard Linkers ... Mr. Hefte
Silvia Reize ... Dora
Helen Hesse Helen Hesse ... Frau Hefte
Sunnyi Melles ... Rosa (as Judith Melles)
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Storyline

In the bourgeois circles of Europe after the Great War, can anything save the modern man? Harry Haller, a solitary intellectual, has all his life feared his dual nature of being human and being a beast. He's decided to die on his 50th birthday, which is soon. He's rescued from his solipsism by the mysterious Hermine, who takes him dancing, introduces him to jazz and to the beautiful and whimsical Maria, and guides him into the hallucinations of the Magic Theater, which seem to take him into Hell. Can humor, sin, and derision lead to salvation? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

All the Magic of Herman Hesse's Novel Now on the Screen See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Switzerland | UK | France | Italy | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 November 1988 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

A prérifarkas See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

[first lines]
Harry Haller: The day went by just as days go by. I killed it in accordance with my primitive and withdrawn way of life. I worked for an hour or two, had pains, took some opium and lay in a hot bath for two hours. Was glad when the pains consented to disappear. All in all it wasn't exactly a day of rapture. Perhaps the time is come to follow the example of Adalbert Stifter: a fatal accident while shaving...
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Connections

Referenced in The American Nightmare (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

A tragic fable of a life of quiet desperation
23 February 1999 | by lefty-11See all my reviews

A noble attempt to bring the Herman Hesse novel to the screen, enlivened by a complex and poignant performance by Max Von Sydow as the Steppenwolf, Harry Haller. His efforts are considerably aided by gloomy lighting and long meditative takes which convey the burden of the Steppenwolf's world view as a self proclaimed "outsider". Closely following the book, however, the film too, falls apart in its second half. It validates the asocial Steppenwolf, a misguided hero/martyr wanting to transcend personal inadequacy rooted in the disorder of the everyday world: his redemption comes through a woman who leads him into an enchanted magical world. Experience, with art often the privileged vehicle, might be better understood as redemptive if read in interpretive rather than metaphysical terms- i.e. it is a product of engagement with and not transcendence of or withdrawal from the social. Harry Haller reminds one of the "steppenwolf" in Apted's documentary "7 Up", Neil. Numerous visions of this transcendence, which can foster megalomania, are also evident in e.g.'s such as George Lucas's Jedi philosophy (Luke SKYWALKER), and Kubrick's Starchild in "2001". 2 documentaries on film making, "Hearts of Darkness" and "Burden of Dreams", show the difficulties faced by "control freak" directors in realising the theme of redemptive transcendence on the screen, given the teamwork of the production process etc. The Romantic poet in Cocteau's "Orphee" is similarly frustrated upon discovering the "afterlife" is routinised/bureaucratised. "Sphere" and "Solaris" also make critical overtures in this direction by questioning the desirability and possibility of experience bearing no disjuncture between thought and expression. But for a critique of "Steppenwolf" philosophy, it is hard to better the film adaptation of Dostoevsky's "Notes from Underground".


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