The Ogre (1996 film)

1996 film by Volker Schlöndorff

The Ogre (German: Der Unhold) is a 1996 French-German drama film about a simple man who recruits children to be Nazis in the belief that he is protecting them.

Directed by Volker Schlöndorff. Written by Jean-Claude Carrière and Schlöndorff, based on the novel The Erl-King by Michel Tournier.

Abel Tiffauges

  • [Voiceover] Young boys are so bold and courageous. No living creatures are as noble or as beautiful-- and yet so heartbreakingly awkward. I love nothing like I love the young boys. What a privilege, to gather them all in a castle they can call their own! Mostly they trust me, but sometimes they don't. And then I can feel the part of me that is made of stone. Hard and pitiless, I force them to come with me.

Count von Kaltenborn

  • [To Abel, as he watches the NaPolA cadets marching and singing at night] Mesmerizing ritual, songs and torches-- hard to resist. You are quite intoxicated by it, are you? The flames, the flags, it's a big show-- quite overwhelming, for a simple mind. [Points to Raufeisen] Look at him. His father was a grocer in Leipzig. He stands there in his uniform as if he were selling sardines.


Obersturmbanfuehrer Raufeisen: Did you bring up these boys, Abel? [To the new boys] Heil!
Boys: Heil!
Raufeisen: This is excellent, Abel. You showed initiative. In fact, I think I'm going to make this your regular job here. Plus, you like the boys, don't you?
Abel: Yes, sir, very much.
Raufeisen: Yes, and the boys like you. Excellent. You see, here's our problem. We have such a wonderful school, and all the best families in Germany are proud to have their children come here but the common people, especially the peasants here, you see... they are so crude and uneducated that they don't want their children to attend our school. They even hide them from us.
Frau Netta: Bravo, Abel.
Raufeisen: Now we want to give everyone the benefit of the Reich, and that's why I want you to help us, Abel. You consider yourself an ordinary fellow. So it's simply ideal. All right, my boy? I'm relying on you. Cover the entire countryside, and don't worry about insisting when you have to. Just bring me the boys.

Dr. Obersturmbannfuehrer Blaettchen: Anything goes. You bring anything you run into. Nothing but Eastern characteristics. Short, pale, testicles- poorly hung. What do you want me to do with him? [To Gunther] Get out.
[Gunther goes to leave; Raufeisen walks in and stops him.]
Raufeisen: Where are you off to?
Gunther: Home.
Raufeisen: Home? What's going on?
Dr. Blaettchen: Nothing.
Raufeisen: Are you insane? We can't disqualify anyone now. Look at him. A marvelous physique, blond as can be.
Dr. Blaettchen: So what? Genetically, he's worthless.
Raufeisen: We are here to train these boys. We create men here. This is a crucible of men; that's all it is. For you, too, my boy, the world is wide open. Come.
Dr. Blaettchen: One day, he will let us down. One day, he'll betray us. Because, his deceitfulness... it's endemic. It's inscribed in his genes. A race is something homogeneous. It's coherent and pure. Or it can't be a nation. Mixing the races leads to disasters; look at the Americans! Stupid country which no amount of education can save.
Raufeisen: We can make a champion out of a lad like him! With his miserable upbringing, he never had a chance yet!
Dr. Blaettchen: Listen, the Bolsheviks, too, think education's the key, and you are just like them. To them, if you fail to treat every rat like a prize racehorse, that's a social injustice. And they think you can take any pig from the pen and educate him 'till he becomes a greyhound! It's utterly absurd! Rubbish!
Raufeisen: All right, Colonel, that's enough! I'm in charge here and we're keeping the boy.
Gunther: Thank you!
Raufeisen: That's okay. Good work, Abel. Keep it up.

Frau Netta: Reading a letter Abel found] "A word to all mothers: Beware of The Ogre! An Ogre is roaming through our neighborhood, stealing our children. Don't listen to his promises or threats. Teach the children to hide from him. If The Ogre takes your child, you will never see it again." Go. Take it to Raufeisen.
[Cut to Abel standing outside with Raufeisen and two other SS officers.]
Raufeisen: An ogre? An ogre?! Are we in a fairy tale? We are surrounded by traitors. This has a Jewish stink about it. Can't you smell it? This just means you have to work harder. Our school must still remain the best. I'm counting on it.


Wikipedia has an article about: