A German soldier tries to determine if the Dutch resistance has planted a spy to infiltrate the home of Kaiser Wilhelm in Holland during the onset of World War II, but falls for a young Jewish Dutch woman during his investigation.


David Leveaux


Simon Burke (screenplay by), Alan Judd (based on the novel "The Kaiser's Last Kiss" by)
3,239 ( 1,499)
2 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Ella Holland ... Little Girl (as Loïs van Wijk)
Jai Courtney ... Capt. Stefan Brandt
Karin Leclercq Karin Leclercq ... Widow in Hotel
Anton Lesser ... General Falkenberg
Christopher Plummer ... Kaiser Wilhelm II
Aubeline Barbieux Aubeline Barbieux ... Beatrix
Janet McTeer ... Princess Hermine
Lily James ... Mieke de Jong
Stéphane Auberghen Stéphane Auberghen ... Frau Linnenkamp
Ben Daniels ... Col. Sigurd von Ilsemann
Martin Swabey Martin Swabey ... Mueller
Martin Savage Martin Savage ... Dirksen
Mark Dexter ... Dietrich
Kurt Standaert Kurt Standaert ... Schulz
Kris Cuppens Kris Cuppens ... Pastor Hendriks


Whiling away the hours in an isolated countryside estate near Nazi-occupied Utrecht, the abdicated German emperor, Kaiser Wilhelm II, is still considered an influential man, and above all, a desirable assassination target. As a result, to avert a possible attempt against the life of the silver-haired former monarch, the reluctant Wehrmacht Captain, Stefan Brandt, is put in charge of his security, as there are rumours that a stealthy spy is in their midst. However, against all odds, Stefan will commence a fervent clandestine affair with the mansion's cryptic Dutch handmaiden, Mieke de Jong, threatening to put in jeopardy an already dangerously volatile situation. Now, with the imminent arrival of the powerful Reichsführer, Heinrich Himmler, can Brandt protect both the Kaiser and the unexpected love of his life? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


One duty. One desire. One decision. See more »


Drama | Romance | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality, graphic nudity, language and brief violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Jai Courtney had to dramatically slim down for the role as he shot this film immediately after Suicide Squad (2016). He had gone up to 230 pounds for his last film and was sporting a very muscular and shredded superhero physique which the filmmakers thought would be completely inappropriate for his role as a war time German officer in this film. He also wouldn't have been able to fit into his tight military suits. Courtney had to perform a lot of cardio in order to lose his excess muscle mass in order to be ready by the time filming began. See more »


Wilhelm states that the Tsar and his family were killed in a mine when in fact they were executed in a basement room and the bodies then dumped in a mine. Yet, many contradictory versions about the fate of the Russian royal family were circulating at the time, including stories about the bodies being dumped in a mine, a swamp or even not being executed at all, but simply taken to a secret location, but by then all versions (including the real one) were just rumors. Adding that the Soviet politburo was very secretive about the whole matter, it may show that the Kaiser, an old man kept in relative seclusion, was simply misinformed and had decided to believe this version without further evidence. See more »


[first lines]
Widow in Hotel: I have to go.
[Stephan hands the woman her panties]
Capt. Stefan Brandt: Here. Can I see you again?
Widow in Hotel: One telegram from the War Ministry is enough.
See more »


Du bist die Ruh
By Franz Schubert
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User Reviews

Christopher Plummer
7 July 2017 | by GManfredSee all my reviews

This is the main reason to see this picture, an old-timer at the top of his game at the ripe old age of 87. Acting skill and impeccable timing still at its best as he enters the character of Kaiser Wilhelm hoping to make a comeback as the ruler of his beloved homeland. He gets scant help from the two principals, Lily James and Jai Courtney, and you find yourself waiting for Plummer's next appearance.

The story which has been recounted in other reviews is good and is basically a love story between James and Courtney. There is little action in this character study, but mention must be made of Eddie Marsan, who gives a hypnotic and creepy performance as Heinrich Himmler, Hitler's Gestapo Chief. His portrayal is chilling and repulsive and he is an arresting presence on screen (no pun intended). "The Exception" is interesting and absorbing - especially when Plummer is front and center.

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Release Date:

2 June 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Exception See more »

Filming Locations:

Flanders, Belgium See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$21,351, 4 June 2017

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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