Bent (1997)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Sean Mathias directed this screen adaptation of Martin Sherman's award-winning play about the persecution of homosexuals by Nazis during World War II. In Germany, the Nazi party's program of genocide against any and all perceived "enemies" is coming into full swing when the party begins a violent purge of homosexuals in its membership. Max (Clive Owen), a bisexual playboy, is attending an orgy thrown by drag queen "Greta" (Mick Jagger) and featuring a number of party members when the festivities are raided by the police; Max and his lover Rudy (Brian Webber) escape, but they are later arrested and sentenced to a concentration camp. En route to the camp, Max betrays Rudy and arranges to be given a yellow identification star, marking him as a Jew, instead of a pink triangle, which would signify him as gay; while the Jews are destined to be executed, gay prisoners receive even more brutal treatment from the guards. While incarcerated, Max meets Horst (Lothaire Bluteau), an inmate who proudly wears the pink triangle. Max and Horst fall in love with each other, and Horst's bravery leads Max to accept his sexual identity. Bent was released in two versions; the original cut was rated NC-17 for a sequence featuring strong sexual content, while a trimmed version was granted an R.
NC17 (For a Strong Scene of Sexuality)
Drama , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
MGM Pictures

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Ian McKellen
as Uncle Freddie
Mick Jagger
as Greta/George
Jude Law
as Stormtrooper
Gresby Nash
as Waiter
Suzanne Bertish
as Half-Woman, Half-Man
David Meyer
as Gestapo Man
Stefan Marling
as SS Captain
Richard Laing
as SS Guard
Johanna Kirby
as Muttering Woman
David Phelan
as Fluff in Park
Peter Stark
as Guard 1 on Train
Rupert Graves
as Officer on Train
Charlie Watts
as Guard 2 on Train
Holly Davidson
as Girl on Train
Rupert Penry-Jones
as Guard on Road
Paul Kynman
as Corporal
Paul Bettany
as Captain
Shira Haviv
as Dancer
Sacha Lee
as Dancer
Ben Maher
as Dancer
Jane Manson
as Dancer
as Flame Throwing Man
as Happy Sad Man
as Leaping Man
Dorigen Hammond
as Trapeze Stuntperson
Myer Taub
as Rudy's Dresser
Geraldine Sherman
as Prostitute
Rachel Weisz
as Prostitute
Mary Davidson
as Max's Friend
Sadie Frost
as Max's Friend
Lou Gish
as Max's Friend
Simon Hammerstein
as Max's Friend
Johan Johnstone
as Max's Friend
Chris Karlitz
as Max's Friend
Mark Misauer
as Max's Friend
Howard Sacks
as Max's Friend
Mandy Stone
as Max's Friend
William Stone Mahoney
as Max's Friend
Daisy de Villeneuve
as Max's Friend
Poppy de Villeneuve
as Max's Friend
Jan de Villeneuve
as Max's Friend
Helen Whitehouse
as Max's Friend
as Max's Friend
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Critic Reviews for Bent

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (6)

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | September 7, 2011
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

The screen version of Sherman's play about homosexuals in Nazi Germany shows that tyro director Mathias doesn't know much about film for his erratic approach and inconsistent style bring out the play's weaknesses, though the acting is good.

Full Review… | April 18, 2006
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | January 25, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | April 12, 2002
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | February 14, 2001
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Bent


Strange story but powerful none the less. Ian McKellen is perfect for the role. Clive Owen gives a surprisingly strong performance, but I'm not sure he's necessarily who I would have envisioned for the role. Cinamatography is not the strongest.

Christian C
Christian C

Super Reviewer

Certainly well-intentioned, and definitely with some moving moments, but unfortunately this film (based on the stage play) is extremely stagey and rather tedious. Some really great acting, and a decent attempt to show the gays were among those gravely damaged by the Nazis makes it memorable, however.

Cynthia S.
Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer


I am sorry to be so negative about a concentration camp movie featuring gays. I really do not know what could have made the story seem relevant. It seemed to just be a movie that says lets do something about the Holocaust and add gays to it and we are sure to get an Oscar. Just too over done, over acted and overrated.

Thomas Johnston
Thomas Johnston

Super Reviewer

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