Michael Mann’s The Keep (1983)

What the?! It just popped up as a streaming movie on Netflix!

This movie has never been on DVD, legally at least. I’m about to have some Sunday afternoon Nazi fun!

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Mark Mauer likes movies cuz the pictures move, and the screen talks like it's people. He once watched Tales from the Gilmli Hostpial three times in a single night, and is amazed DeNiro made good movies throughout the 80s, only to screw it all up in the 90s and beyond. He has met both Udo Kier and Werner Herzog, and he knows an Irishman who can quote at length from the autobiography of Klaus Kinksi.

11 thoughts on “Michael Mann’s The Keep (1983)”

  1. Whoa!
    So I’m looking at an Oberlin professor’s web page because I was reading some good stuff on the Policy Matters site which listed him as an expert, then I clicked on his other links and saw this site, which I had to check out. And WTF!? The first story I see is on The Keep, some damn movie husband swears is so damn great, and isn’t available in dvd.
    Anyway, I’m bookmarking this site.

  2. Oberlin professor? Mike, do the terms of your plea bargain really allow you to interact with students?

    Were the 1980s the glory decade of Nazi-occult movies and books? There are some really amazing shots in this movie that nicely foreshadow Mann’s more full-fledged works like Manhunter, like the boat at sunset, and the motorcycle in the forest. Gabriel Byrne is creepily convincing as the head Nazi, but Ian McCellan is too over the top.

    Once everything goes wacky (about 2/3 in) there are some mountain/smoke scenes that looks like they might be paying tribute to Leni Riefenstahl films – or is that a stretch?

    It also seems rather butchered, as if significant sequences were sacrificed to get the running time down. I could have done with at least one more Nazi having his eyes burned out of his skull. I wasn’t really bored though, and being a fan of some of Mann’s movies (and the 80s Miami Vice) I was excited to finally see it.

    The other movie I watched yesterday was from almost the exact same time – 1984 – but could not be more different: Alan Rudolph’s Choose Me. It didn’t seem much like Rudolph’s other movies either. I’m still digesting it.

  3. Policy Matters Ohio is a progressive think tank in Cleveland, on whose board I serve, so it makes sense that I’m the Oberlin prof referred to, and that Tracie is not an Oberlin student. I haven’t looked at, still less updated, that old website of mine in years. I should probably remove the links. If only I could remember how Dreamweaver works.

  4. Bingo! Professor Chris Howell is noted on the Ohio Scholars Bureau page of Policy Matters. Sorry sir, if I “outed” you.
    As someone who majored in poli sci at OSU and living in a stubbornly red state, I seek out reasonable and rational blogs. Clearly I’ve found one here!

  5. Tracie–welcome!

    Chris–Dreamweaver is pretty simple to use. Just close your eyes again, and climb aboard the dreamweaver train. I believe that will get you through the night.

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