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The 25th Hour (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The 25th Hour
(La Vingt-cinquième Heure)
A25 heure.jpg
Film poster by Howard Terpning
Directed byHenri Verneuil
Written byFrançois Boyeur
Wolf Mankowitz
Henri Verneuil
Produced byCarlo Ponti
StarringAnthony Quinn
Virna Lisi
CinematographyAndreas Winding
Music byGeorges Delerue
Maurice Jarre
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • 16 February 1967 (1967-02-16) (US)
  • 26 April 1967 (1967-04-26) (France)
Running time
196 minutes (Europe)

The 25th Hour (French: La Vingt-cinquième Heure) is a 1967 anti-war drama film directed by Henri Verneuil, produced by Carlo Ponti and starring Anthony Quinn and Virna Lisi.[1][2] The film is based on the bestselling novel by C. Virgil Gheorghiu[3] and follows the troubles experienced by a Romanian peasant couple caught up in World War II.[4]


In a small Transylvanian village, a local police constable frames Johann Moritz on charges of being Jewish because Moritz's wife Suzanna has refused the constable's advances. Moritz is sent to a Romanian concentration camp as a Jew, where he is known as Jacob Moritz. He escapes to Hungary with some Jewish prisoners, but the Hungarians imprison them for being citizens of Romania, an enemy country. The Hungarian authorities eventually send them to Germany to fill German requests for foreign laborers. Moritz is spotted by an SS officer who designates him as an Aryan German-Romanian, freeing him from the labor camp and forcing him to join the Waffen-SS. After the war, Moritz is brutally beaten by the Soviets for having been a member of the Waffen-SS. He is then arrested and prosecuted as a war criminal by the Americans. Eventually he is released and reunited with his wife and sons in occupied Germany.

The film is based on the novel of the same name by Constantin Virgil Gheorghiu. The storyline includes Hungary's alliance with Nazi Germany, the forced cession of Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina to the Soviet Union in 1940 and subsequent events in Central Europe during and after World War II.



In a contemporary review for The New York Times, critic Bosley Crowther panned The 25th Hour as "... such a tasteless and pointless hodgepodge of deadly serious and crudely comic elements, of tragic historical allusions grossly garbled in specious movie terms, that it looms large as one of the most disreputable and embarrassing films in recent years ..." Crowther was especially critical of Anthony Quinn's character and performance: "... [T]here is no real continuity or real sincerity in the nature of the man. He ranges from an image of the poignant victim to one of a genial simpleton. And in all his shuddering misadventures, so darkly shadowed by the facts of history, he manifests no awareness of relation to the suffering of others or even a point of view. The only philosophical reaction registered by Mr. Quinn—or provided by his script writers—is one of confusion that this is happening to him. The impression transmitted by all this is one of utter insensitivity."[5]

Los Angeles Times film critic Philip K. Scheuer wrote: "One has to keep telling oneself what a good actor Anthony Quinn is in order to sustain interest ... For this odyssey of a wandering non-Jew takes up to 2 1/4 hours to say what it has to say, and even this doesn't add up to much which is new ..."[6]


  1. ^ "La 25e Heure (1967)". BFI.
  2. ^ "The 25th Hour (1967) - Articles -". Turner Classic Movies.
  3. ^ "C. Virgil Gheorghiu; Romanian Author, 75". June 24, 1992 – via
  4. ^ "La Vingt-Cinquième Heure (1967) - Henri Verneuil | Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related". AllMovie.
  5. ^ Crowther, Bosley (1967-02-17). "The Screen: A Tasteless and Pointless '25th Hour'". The New York Times. p. 45.
  6. ^ Scheuer, Philip K. (1967-02-03). "Quinn Carries Day in an Endless 'Hour'". Los Angeles Times. p. 9 (Part IV).

External links

This page was last edited on 26 November 2021, at 05:49
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