Browse Archive

Colonel Redl (Oberst Redl)

In the early part of the 20th century, Alfred Redl ruthlessly rises from his peasant background to become a high-ranking member of the Imperial Austrian military. But when he is sent to spy on the Russian Empire, his espionage is compromised by his secret double life as a homosexual. As the world perches on the brink of war, Redl finds himself trapped in a web of deception where honor, grandeur, and greed can only be betrayed by one final shocking act of fate.

Word of his homosexuality leaks out and he is blackmailed. To pay off his accuser, Redl is obliged to increase his counter-espionage activities on behalf of the Russians. Finally trapped by his many deceptions, Red is given the option of killing himself to save his honor.


István Szabó was born in Budapest in 1938. Active internationally as a writer, producer, actor and director, a selection of some of his most well-known German films and co-productions includes: Mephisto(1981), Oberst Redl (1985), Offenbachs Geheimnis (TV, 1996), Meeting Venus (1998), Taking Sides (2001), and a segment of the film Ten Minutes Older: Ten Minutes After (2002), and Being Julia (2004).
Genre Drama
Category Feature
Year of Production 1985
Director István Szabó
Cast Klaus Maria Brandauer, Hans Christian Blech, Gudrun Landgrebe, Armin Mueller-Stahl
Producer Manfred Durniok
Production Companies Manfred Durniok Film/Berlin, ZDF, ORF/Vienna
Length 114 min
Awards German Film Award 1985