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The Exception (2016)

R | | Drama, Romance, War | 2 June 2017 (USA)
2:19 | Trailer

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A German soldier tries to determine if the Dutch resistance has planted a spy to infiltrate the home of Kaiser Wilhelm in Holland during the onset of World War II, but falls for a young Jewish Dutch woman during his investigation.



(screenplay), (based on the novel "The Kaiser's Last Kiss" by)
618 ( 71)
2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Loïs van Wijk ...
Little Girl
Karin Leclercq ...
Widow in Hotel
General Falkenberg
Aubeline Barbieux ...
Stéphane Auberghen ...
Frau Linnenkamp
Martin Savage ...
Kurt Standaert ...
Pastor Hendriks


A German soldier tries to determine if the Dutch resistance has planted a spy to infiltrate the home of Kaiser Wilhelm in Holland during the onset of World War II, but falls for a young Jewish Dutch woman during his investigation.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


One duty. One desire. One decision.


Drama | Romance | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality, graphic nudity, language and brief violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

2 June 2017 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Kaiser's Last Kiss  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$21,351 (USA) (2 June 2017)


$606,989 (USA) (14 July 2017)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Sigurd tells Stefan simply that "the Kaiser has a withered arm" but provided no details. When the Kaiser was born, he was a breach baby with his left arm wrapped behind his head. The nerves to his left arm were permanently damaged during his birth and it never properly developed. By adulthood, his left arm was six inches shorter than his right and his left hand withered and substantially smaller than the the right. The Kaiser would try to conceal this by holding a pair of gloves in his left hand to make his left arm appear longer. See more »


The Kaiser is talking about the sister-in-law of the Tsar being thrown into a mine shaft not the Tsar and his family. See more »


Kaiser Wilhelm II: I'm ashamed to say that before and after my first marriage I, myself, fathered at least two illegitimate children: one with an Austrian countess, another with a French prostitute who was known in court circles as Madame L'Amour. Both of them, incidentally, blackmailed me for huge sums of money, the Countess and the prostitute. I expected better of the prostitute.
See more »

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User Reviews

The Kaiser in exile in Holland
2 July 2017 | by (Upstate New York) – See all my reviews

The Exception (2016) was directed by David Leveaux. The movie was produced in Belgium, but the dialog is in English.

The film is not meant to be a documentary, so we can't take it at face value. However, the basic outline of the story is true. Kaiser Wilhelm II was forced to relinquish his throne after World War I. He spent his remaining years at a secluded mansion in Holland. When Holland was invaded and conquered by the Germans, Wilhelm came under the direct authority of Germany.

In the movie, a previously wounded German army captain (Stefan Brandt, portrayed by Jai Courtney) is sent to be the commanding officer of the Kaiser's guard. Brandt is a loyal officer, but he is disgusted by the SS atrocities. He falls in love with one of the maids, Mieke de Jong, portrayed by the beautiful Lily James. She is Jewish, but Brandt isn't anti-Semitic, so he pursues his romance with Mieke.

Historically, Heinrich Himmler, the Reichsführer of the SS, did, indeed, visit the Kaiser in Holland. That visit is the lynchpin to the plot. (If the visit had been invented for plot purposes, we wouldn't believe it. However, Himmler really did visit.)

The key role in the film is that of Kaiser Wilhelm II, played brilliantly by Christopher Plummer. Plummer is a consummate actor, and he makes the role come alive.

I think that the manner in which the Kaiser is portrayed takes the movie the furthest away from historical reality. In the film he's shown as a more-or-less kindly old man who loves to feed his ducks. According to Wikipedia, he remained a harsh, haughty aristocrat. However, the movie will only work if we believe that the Kaiser also has a softer side, so that's what we see.

I want to alert IMDb readers to watch for the work of Janet McTeer, who portrays the Kaiser's wife, Princess Hermine. She has no great love for the Nazis, but she is willing to go to any lengths to see that her husband returns to Germany and is restored to his monarchy. She is a German Lady Macbeth--cold, calculating, and decisive.

We saw this film at the wonderful Little Theatre in Rochester, NY. It will work well on the small screen. The movie carries an anemic 6.8 IMDb rating. It's much, much better than that. The plot is interesting, the acting is outstanding, and the direction is excellent. Don't be fooled by the low rating--this is a movie that I highly recommend.

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