The Passage (1979)

The Passage





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

A brave Basque mountaineer guides an American family over the dangerous Pyrenees to save them from a crazed Nazi leader in this adventure.

Rating: R
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure
Directed By:
Written By: Bruce Nicolaysen
In Theaters:
United Artists


as Prof. John Bergson

as Capt. Von Berkow

as Ariel Bergson

as Leah Bergson

as Head Gypsy

as Alain Renoudot

as Paul Bergson

as Madame

as Lt. Reincke

as Son of the Gypsy

as German Soldier

as French Guide

as German Major

as German Sentry

as Alain Renoudot
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Critic Reviews for The Passage

All Critics (4) | Top Critics (2)

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | June 4, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

A lurid, exciting World War II chase thriller with Malcolm McDowell chewing the scenery as a sadistic Nazi.

February 17, 2006

Would not nearly be as watchable without McDowell relishing his role as [a] fanatical German officer

| May 23, 2005

Audience Reviews for The Passage

This is the film that was allegedly so controversial that it only played for one week in one theatre in the US and has only been released once on VHS in Europe but never in the States.


It wasn't half as gruesome as I had expected based on all that hype. Maybe it was the cracktasticness of Malcolm's character that made people so averse to this film? There were plenty of films around in the 70's that depicted the Nazis in a sadistic and sexual manner ? Ilsa She-Wolf of the SS ('74), Salon Kitty ('76), The Night Porter ('74) and a whole bunch of different kinds of Camps ? but not necessarily as big jokesters, which is what Von Berkow is. Sadistic, yes, but in a facetious way. Or maybe it was the snow, like James Mason said? But having to watch people being surrounded by cold, damp snow half of the film isn't enough to give it an R rating, now is it? There are only about three somewhat disturbing scenes and one really sad one, but that's it. A Clockwork Orange ('71) and Caligula ('79) are way worse.

Moving on... The Passage doesn't have much of a plot. I don't know whether reading the book first helps at all, as I haven't had the pleasure(?) of doing so. A Basque shepherd is hired by the French Resistance to transport Some Very Important Professor and his family from Toulouse across the Pyrenees to safety before the SS get to them. A bunch of running around, hiding, and interrogating people ensues. And, well, that's about it. If it weren't for Malcolm, this film would hardly be worth a watch. But thanks to his brilliant mind, it's not really all that bad.

vieras esine

Super Reviewer

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