Comradeship (Kameradschaft) (1931)



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Movie Info

Following World War I, a group of French miners are trapped in a cave-in along the German/French border, causing German miners to defy their superiors and mount a rescue mission for their one-time enemies. This plea for peaceful co-existence by German director G.W. Pabst was hardly a financial success.

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Critic Reviews for Comradeship (Kameradschaft)

All Critics (7)

Pabst's staggering ode to international co-operation, and the perils of rampant nationalism.

Oct 30, 2018 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

A mix of elaborate studio sets and location shooting give the movie a naturalistic flavor but lots of camera movement also marks it as expressionistic. The lack of a score also marks it as less manipulative than traditional Hollywood pictures of the day.

May 11, 2018 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

benefits substantially from Pabst's intense focus on realism, both physically and psychologically

Feb 5, 2018 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Pabst is a master of the crowd scene and delivers some amazing work here.

Jul 28, 2017 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Pabst offers the hopeful message of international brotherhood that goes beyond borders and makes the tragedy into a parable on world peace.

Jun 3, 2011 | Rating: A | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Comradeship (Kameradschaft)


G.W. Pabst directed this inspiring tale of a French coal-mine accident and the German miners who cross the border to help rescue the buried men. The film's realism is remarkable, such that it's hard to even imagine the sets' construction or how all the cave-ins and underground fires were staged. On the other hand, the procedural intrigue usually found in this sort of story is missing -- the action merely shows rescuers going down and dragging survivors back to the surface. Not much else. The accident's scope doesn't quite register either -- we're told that 600 miners are stranded (most of them killed, presumably), but the depiction gives no sense of such a huge disaster. Scattered people are pulled out, and the people gaily celebrate. Happy ending? Perhaps not. Make sure to see the German cut! I researched the film afterwards, and found that the German version is seven minutes longer than the American cut I saw on TCM. The longer version is on YouTube, and has an opening prologue and cynical closing scene that markedly improve the film. Minus the crucial final scene, "Kameradschaft" has more of a "hooray for Germany!" tone that's mighty tough to swallow considering what happened in Germany just a few years after the film's release. Rating: three stars for the US version, and three and a half for the German version.

Eric Broome
Eric Broome

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