30 user 4 critic

Counterpoint (1968)

TV-PG | | Drama, Music, War | 21 May 1968 (Turkey)
A famous orchestra conductor is captured by the Germans in WW2, and is forced to perform at private concerts for the Nazi generals.


Ralph Nelson


James Lee (screenplay), Joel Oliansky (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


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Cast overview:
Charlton Heston ... Lionel Evans
Maximilian Schell ... Gen. Schiller
Kathryn Hays Kathryn Hays ... Annabelle Rice
Leslie Nielsen ... Victor Rice
Anton Diffring ... Col. Arndt
Linden Chiles ... Lt. Long
Peter Masterson ... Sgt. Calloway (as Pete Masterson)
Curt Lowens ... Capt. Klingerman
Neva Patterson ... Dorothy
Cyril Delevanti ... Tartzoff
Gregory Morton Gregory Morton ... Jordon
Parley Baer ... Hook
Dan Frazer ... Chaminant
Ed Peck ... Prescott


During a December 1944 German offensive in Belgium, a USO symphonic orchestra entertaining the front-line American troops is captured by the Germans. Initially, the Germans want to execute them, in accordance with orders received from Berlin. However, the orchestra leader, world-famous conductor Lionel Evans, persuades the Germans to spare their lives, arguing that his orchestra members are just civilian non combatants. Taken to the HQ of a German tank division, Lionel Evans and his orchestra members meet the German commanding officer, General Schiller, an avid music lover. General Schiller has respect for the musicians and he's hesitating about the standing order of executing all prisoners. However, the general's second-in-command, Colonel Arndt, is a blood-thirsty, by-the-book, type of fanatical officer who wants the prisoners shot. The general requests that Evans and his orchestra perform one more time, for him personally. Evans, out of pride and patriotism, refuses. But some ... Written by nufs68

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


For every move...A COUNTER MOVE! For every attack...A COUNTER-ATTACK! See more »


Drama | Music | War


TV-PG | See all certifications »





English | German

Release Date:

21 May 1968 (Turkey) See more »

Also Known As:

The General See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Charlton Heston spent up to 5 hours a day at rehearsals conducting Beethoven's Fifth..In his diaries, he describes it as better than parting the Red Sea . See more »


Lionel Evans refers to the number of musicians in his orchestra as 70 -- the bus, although a double-decker, would not hold that many. In courtyard scenes, there are not that many seen. See more »


Lionel Evans: Ladies and gentlemen, let us practice our profession.
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Symphony N°1
Music by Johannes Brahms
Conducted by Lawrence Foster
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

War of wills between 2 Prima Donnas, a conductor and a Nazi General
1 July 2005 | by danfconSee all my reviews

Let me qualify those 7 stars. You have to like Heston, Schell, WWII movies, and classical music in order to appreciate this movie. Heston is the conductor of an orchestra that is caught behind German lines during the Battle of the Bulge. Schell is a Prussian style educated yet cultured officer who is caught between his appreciation for culture and his orders not to delay the battle by wasting time on taking prisoners. The orchestra is USO. A side conflict is provided by the orchestra taking in 2 GIs who are also cut off behind enemy lines and hiding them as members of the orchestra. This is a war, "small w", movie. I remember a lot of grimacing from Heston and Schell, but that is what they do! Look beyond the cardboard characters and you may find a good little picture about a protagonist and an antagonist playing chess without a board.

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