5.8/10
10,872
190 user 92 critic

The Keep (1983)

Trailer
2:29 | Trailer
Nazis are forced to turn to a Jewish historian for help in battling the ancient demon they have inadvertently freed from its prison.

Director:

Michael Mann

Writers:

F. Paul Wilson (novel), Michael Mann (screenplay)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Scott Glenn ... Glaeken
Alberta Watson ... Eva Cuza
Jürgen Prochnow ... Woermann
Robert Prosky ... Father Fonescu
Gabriel Byrne ... Kaempffer
Ian McKellen ... Dr. Theodore Cuza
William Morgan Sheppard ... Alexandru (as Morgan Sheppard)
Royston Tickner Royston Tickner ... Tomescu
Michael Carter ... Radu Molasar
Phillip Joseph Phillip Joseph ... Oster
John Vine John Vine ... Lutz
Jona Jones Jona Jones ... Otto
Wolf Kahler ... S.S. Adjutant
Rosalie Crutchley ... Josefa
Frederick Warder ... Border Guard 1
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Storyline

Nazis are sent to guard an old, mysterious fortress in a Romanian pass. One of them mistakenly releases an unknown force trapped within the walls. A mysterious stranger senses this from his home in Greece and travels to the keep to vanquish the force. As soldiers are killed, a Jewish man and his daughter (who are both knowledgeable of the keep) are brought in to find out what is happening. Written by Brian House

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

THEY WERE ALL DRAWN TO THE KEEP. The soldiers who brought death. The father and daughter fighting for life. The people who have always feared it. And the one man who knows its secret... THE KEEP Tonight, they will all face the evil.

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy | Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

in a 1983 interview, Michael Mann referred to psychologist Dr. Bruno Bettelheim's "The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales" (first published in 1976) as an inspiration for his movie. Mann also said about his film, that "...it's very much a magical, dream-like, fairy-tale reality." See more »

Goofs

Camera assistant visible directing a camera pan when the German soldiers are firing into the air when the evil force is released. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Captain Klaus Woermann: [to a soldier, looking at the Keep] Your new home. How do you like it ?
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Crazy Credits

The Keep Production Pays Tribute To Wally Veevers See more »

Alternate Versions

A strangely edited version that appeared on Channel 39 in Houston, TX around 1989 had a scene where Glaeken is telling Eva that it has been so long that he couldn't remember what he looked like anymore. That version ended with Glaeken alive at the bottom of the gorge, wounded after his battle with Molasar, crawling to the stream there and seeing his reflection. See more »


Soundtracks

Gloria
(from the Mass for Four Voices by Thomas Tallis)
Arranged by Tangerine Dream
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User Reviews

Best Entity ever committed to celluloid
4 July 2012 | by amesmondeSee all my reviews

A few of a detachment of German Army soldiers are mysteriously murdered in a Romanian citadel - 1942. The SS arrives to investigate and put a stop to the killings. However, there is an evil force at work within the Keep which will do anything to escape.

The Keep is a high concept yarn. The initial find set up and shooting of the villagers are stand out moments. The visuals and effects are stylistic, strong lighting, wind machines, optical layers are very much of there day. The special make-up has a startling 'cool' look to it, the 'Molasar' and Trismegestus designs are particularly well executed. Notably are the cast which includes the likes of Gabriel Byrne and Robert Prosky. Jürgen Prochnow is on fine form as Captain Klaus Woermann, Scott Glenn is intense and Ian McKellen is memorable as Dr. Theodore Cuza. The sets are well crafted, the on location shoot adds credence to the WWII setting and costumes add to the believability.

Nevertheless, rather than being intriguing with a slow pace The Keep plods along without building any real tension or suspense. The editing is a little jumbled, it appears to be a mixture of good and bad takes leaving it somewhat disjointed especially in the final reel, it may have benefited from only using those 'good' takes with a shorter running time. Tangerine Dream's score is of its time but doesn't compliment the scenes, it's highly intrusive and takes away much of the atmosphere, subtlety and eeriness.

Even with director Michael Mann at the helm and given the excellent story based on F. Paul Wilson's novel and Mann's adequate screenplay it never gels together. It's not sure whether it wants to be an art house, MTV video piece or gritty supernatural. Should Mann had attempted this recently he may have been able to fuse it together satisfyingly. I suppose retrospect is a fine thing. Curiously, Mann's workprint ran for 3 hours, after the studio saw what he had they wanted it cut to no longer than 90 minutes and assigned it second-level advertising. Mann has since distanced himself from the film.

Through all its disjointedness The Keep is an interesting film with a strong mythical good versus evil theme that plays on old religious fables. Molasar (Michael Carter) is the most menacing evil entity/being ever committed to celluloid and it's a shame that this has fallen into obscurity robbing the character and The Keep of even cult status.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 December 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Keep See more »

Filming Locations:

Spain See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,032,295, 18 December 1983

Gross USA:

$4,218,594

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$4,218,594
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (video) | (original cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color (Rankcolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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