Castle Keep - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Castle Keep Reviews

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½ July 19, 2016
Slow and boring movie set in WW2. A group of 8 soldiers led by Burt Lancaster was in the forest and met a Count Jean-Pierre Aumont. They stay in his castle and Burt has sexual affair with his wife Astrid Heeren (really classy and beautiful). Jean-Pierre allows it because he can't have erection and want a heir. Patrick O'Neal is trying to salvage the art pieces in the castle. As enemies advance nearer, Burt decide to defend the castle. First they go into town to recruit more soldiers but the enemies attack and they almost can't make it. Then they return to the castle for defense. Holding out till the last breath, Burt order Al Freeman Jr. to save Astrid and leave the castle via a secret tunnel. Everyone else died in the battle and the castle is totally destroy in the battle.
November 27, 2014
Unique and interesting war movie-- a real human-centric war movie. Focus is on these guys holed up in a castle, great little snippets of conversation and interactions that keep it really fresh. I'd much rather watch a movie focused on glimpses of personalities behind the uniforms than the tactics and philosophy of war.
½ October 18, 2013
This is one of the strangest movies I have ever seen. It has a certain 60s flavor, a dream like quality of a surreal experience of the 2d World War. Best explained, it seems to be a cross between "Kelly's Heroes" and "Barbarella".
shitfaced8
Super Reviewer
½ March 26, 2011
A well done, and underestimated early effort from Sydney Pollack, that is a stark depiction of the American soldier at war. Although the setting is Belgium during World War II it is assumed that Vietnam was the war on Pollacks mind while makig this film. 8 soldiers are sent away from the frontline to defend a 10th century castle from destruction at the hands of the Germans. None of these men really fit into the stereotype of fearless and patriotic soldiers, that was so common of war movies of the era (keep i mind that this was 10 years before Apocalpse Now.) Rather than being a film about war it seems to be a film about soldiers, their fears, their desires, their dreams etc. Only Major Falconer (Burt Lancaster) displays the characeristics of the 'war hero' here who will never surrender or retreat to the Germans. The res tof the men spend their time doing various things (going to a local whore house, baking bread, appreciating the art in the castle, playing music etc.) There is also sme effective, if a little heavy handed imager throughout this first half of the film as well. The second half is a very violent showdown between the American's and the German's. A battle to the death for this territory. The battle scenes are very well done and kept me on the edge of my seat throughout. This film does have it's flaws. It feels uneven in terms of story, the artsier elements also get in the way of the message the film was trying to communicate, there were also some historical innaccurasies (not that big of a deal really, didn't affect my enjoyment of the film at all) that might bother history buffs. But at the end of the day this is a very enjoyable and unique war film that was way ahead of it's time. The dialouge is very amusing throughout, Henri Decae's cinematography was top notch, there is frequent Catch 22esque dark humour moments and the acting was all very good. Recommended if your looking for a different kind of war film.
February 3, 2011
Astrid Heeren is well hot as the Countess who sleeps with Burt Lancaster's character.
Super Reviewer
September 21, 2010
A highly satirical and bizarre WWII film. The American soldiers or misfits are comprised of every stereotype (cowboy, indian, black, knight, etc). My personal favorite is when the cowboy falls in love with a Volkswagen. The film is far from cohesive, but it is well executed and entertaining.
½ February 4, 2010
Clearly, Academy Award winning actor Burt Lancaster must have gotten along well with director Sidney Pollack because they made two films together: THE SCALPHUNTERS (1968) and CASTLE KEEP (1969) and Pollack contributed in the one in between, THE SWIMMER, that Lancaster appeared in for director Frank Perry. A one-eyed U.S. Army commander, Major Abraham Falconer (Burt Lancaster of ELMER GANTRY), leads a squad of eight soldiers, consisting of three officers, two sergeants and three enlisted men soldiers into the Ardennes Forrest in 1944. They billet themselves in a 10th century castle in Belgium on the eve of the Battle of the Bulge. Director Sidney Pollack and scenarists Daniel Taradash of FROM HERE TO ETERNITY (1953) and David Rayfiel of VALDEZ IS COMING (1971) adapted the novel by David Eastlake. CASTLE KEEP is a surrealistic World War II action epic about Falconer and his men defending a historic castle against an onslaught of German troops and armor. During the first half of this 106-minute movie, castle owner Count of Maldorais (Jean-Pierre Aumont of THE SIREN OF ATLANTIS) welcomes Major Falconer, Captain Beckman (Patrick O‚??Neal of EL CONDOR), Lieutenant Amberjack (Tony Bill of ICE STATION ZEBRA), Sergeant Rossi (Peter Falk of ANZIO), Sergeant DaVaca (Michael Conrad of SOL MADRID), Corporal Clearboy (Scott Wilson of IN COLD BLOOD), Private Allistair Piersall Benjamin (Al Freeman, Jr. of THE LOST MAN), and Elk (James Patterson of LILITH) to the castle and hope that they will defend it from the enemy. Principally, Maldorais wants them to save his works of art and hopes that the virile Major will get his pretty wife, Therese (Astrid Heeren of SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT), pregnant because the count is impotent and needs a male heir. If stupendous photography guaranteed that a movie would be artistically great, the cinematography of NIGHT OF THE GENERALS lenser Henri Deca√ę would make this the rule rather than the exception. CASTLE KEEP is a treat for the eyes and the pictorial compositions are imaginative. After the Americans settle in‚??Falconer warms up the master bedroom with Therese, the soldiers head into town to the Red Queen brothel, while Rossi befriends the widow of a baker and starts baking bread. Falconer shows up in town and shows the prostitutes how to design Molotov cocktails and throw them at German tanks. The second half concerns the castle defense and a brief but explosive battle with tanks blasting away at the architecture as well as the Americans concealed behind it. Despite its pretentious, ironic attitude toward the subject matter, CASTLE KEEP qualifies as a traditional war movie. The Germans constitute an enemy in name only, and Pollack never gives us a reason to dislike them. The Americans are a cross-section of the United States and they are basically good guys who like to loaf when they get a caught. Major Falconer is a straight-up guy who does not lord it over his men. Nevertheless, despite its handsome production values, splendid photography, this World War II movie rarely generates any suspense because it the Americans are not portrayed in a sympathetic light and everything seems arbitrary. Lancaster is ideal as the tight-lipped commander. The funniest scene involves Corporal Clearboy and the Volkswagen beetle that he finds on the premises. You can tell CASTLE KEEP is an anti-war movie because it refuses to glorify warfare. The problem with this World War II saga is that it does not have enough sarcasm to qualify as a satire and it lacks exuberance in its combat sequences to be a warmongering classic. Interestingly, CASTLE KEEP fails to measure up to its own definition of good art. During one of his lectures to the troops about art, Beckman points out that great art must disturb and awaken its audience. Sadly, CASTLE KEEP neither disturbs us enough nor awakens us.
August 31, 2009
Full of surreal touches and unique characters "Castle Keep" is one of the oddest war films released by a major studio. The film is basically a discussion on the value of art disguised as a war programmer. The dreamy visuals by the legendary cameraman Henri Deca√ę give the movie a magical look, and Michel Legrand's music adds touches of baroque weirdness.Burt Lancaster, sporting a Nick Fury eye patch, portrays the stoic leader and he is ably supported by a great supporting cast especially Peter Falk as a soldier who would rather be a baker.
½ July 20, 2009
Quite different war-movie. More like an adventure set in war times. Quite original characters as well.
½ July 20, 2009
Quite different war-movie. More like an adventure set in war times. Quite original characters as well.
March 10, 2009
GREAT movie. Sharp dialogue from a good varied cast.
This movie will feel weird for most ppl I think but that's their problem hehe.
March 9, 2009
i think the intensity of this film has been dulled over the years. the film tries very hard and succeeds to a certain extent. it is very dated to the late 60s and the mood of the time for filmmaking. burt lancaster as always is teriffic and fun to watch
February 9, 2009
I love this film so much. I amazes me how few people have seen it. Terrific story, action and a great cast. See it.
December 1, 2008
Fantastic surreal war fable. Under-seen, under the radar, and
December 1, 2008
Interesting format and imagery. Unlike any other war movie I've seen. Worth a view if you are into the genre.
October 22, 2008
art,war & melancholia
½ October 5, 2008
good war/comedy with a bunch of odd balls holding up in a castle destined to damnation by an impending Nazi strike force.
October 1, 2008
I'm sure it was cutting edge at the time it was made and it reflects that time more than it does WW2. There's some creative ideas and its a good early effort from Sydney Pollack. Overall it's a little too obvious in it's message and a little too light on entertainment value. Sorry...
December 11, 2007
Maybe cuz I was holed up in bed sick in high school, but I thought this was a fascinating, dark expose on the insanity of war. TiVo it...you won't regret it.
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