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The Countess (2009)

Not Rated | | Biography, Drama, History | 25 June 2009 (Germany)
A 17th century Hungarian countess embarks on a murderous undertaking, with the belief that bathing in the blood of virgins will preserve her beauty.

Director:

Julie Delpy

Writer:

Julie Delpy
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Julie Delpy ... Erzebet Bathory
Daniel Brühl ... Istvan Thurzo
William Hurt ... Gyorgy Thurzo
Anamaria Marinca ... Darvulia
Sebastian Blomberg ... Dominic Vizakna
Adriana Altaras Adriana Altaras ... Aunt Klara
Charly Hübner Charly Hübner ... Ferenc Nadasdy
Andy Gatjen ... Miklos
Maria Simon Maria Simon ... Helena
Frederick Lau ... Janos
Katrin Pollitt Katrin Pollitt ... Dorothea
Anna Maria Mühe ... Bertha
Marlis Eulitz Marlis Eulitz ... Zusanna
Rolf Kanies ... Count Krajevo
Christine Mayer Christine Mayer ... Kaija
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Storyline

A 17th century Hungarian countess embarks on a murderous undertaking, with the belief that bathing in the blood of virgins will preserve her beauty.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

She sacrificed all for love... and sacrificed others for beauty


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France | Germany | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 June 2009 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Bathory See more »

Filming Locations:

Germany See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$8,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Julie Delpy revealed in a 2014 interview with entertainment reporter Darby Maloney that the film was a huge success in France, so successful that she is practically guaranteed financial backing from French financiers for any project she wants to pursue in the future. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 15mins) The fifth book on the bookshelf is the "Dictionnaire De Boyer". Abel Boyer was born in 1664 and did write a French-English dictionary. Countess Báthory died in 1614. See more »

Quotes

Erzebet Bathory: God, perhaps you are trying my faith. Perhaps you are punishing me because I loved him more than I love you. Man has created God in his image which gives him dominance over everything else. Birds, lions, trees and women. I wish I had been born a man, I would have killed thousands in battle, taken over countries, burned witches - I would have been a hero. That is it, you're nothing but a myth. The Greeks created gods for everything because they could not figure out why the sea, why love, why ...
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Connections

Version of Lust of the Vampire (1957) See more »

Soundtracks

Mascarada
Solinger Streichquartett
Written by Thomas Simpson
From the album "Telemusik"
© & ® Peter Lamprecht
Courtesy of Solinger Striechquartett/Peter Lamprecht
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User Reviews

 
The Blood Countess and the Beginnings of the Feminist Movement
16 June 2011 | by gradyharpSee all my reviews

Writer/director/producer/musical scorer/actress Julie Delpy brings to the screen a character from history that few know. The film is based on the true history of the woman known as The Blood Countess, but after viewing this film it is obvious that the actual figure on whom the story is based was a brilliant political mind, a woman of noble breeding who could read and write in four languages, who once widowed was able to successfully defend her lands from the warring Turks and exact control over the reigning Hungarian King Matthias. But back to the history of the character as written by Delpy. 'Countess Elizabeth Báthory de Ecsed (Báthory Erzsébet in Hungarian) (1560 - 1614) was a countess from the renowned Báthory family of Hungarian nobility. She is considered the most prolific female serial killer in history and possibly the most prolific of any gender. She and four collaborators were accused of torturing and killing hundreds of girls, with one witness attributing to them over 650 victims, though the number for which they were convicted was 80. Erzsébet herself was neither tried nor convicted. In 1610, however, she was imprisoned in the Csejte Castle, where she remained bricked in a set of rooms until her death four years later. Later writings about the case have led to legendary accounts of the Countess bathing in the blood of virgins in order to retain her youth.'

The film opens with voice over by István Thurzó (Daniel Brühl) who relates the story of his only love. We are privy to the strange behaviors of the young Erzsébet who had a sadistic streak and was at birth promised to be the bride of Ferenc Nádasdy (Charly Hübner). She became a beautiful woman and Erzsébet (Julie Delpy) married General Nádasdy, gave birth to children, and together they were the power couple of Hungary. When Nádasdy dies, Erzsébet meets and falls passionately in love with István Thurzó (Daniel Brühl), a many 19 years her junior, but Istvan's father György Thurzó (William Hurt) prevents Istvan from remaining with Erzsébet. Left alone Erzsébet remains a powerful warrior, dallies with the sadomasochistic Dominic Vizakna (Sebastian Blomberg), but fears her young lover will forget her if she ages. She discovers that the blood from virgins will restore her youth and thus begins the serial killings to support her vanity. As questions of debts owed to her by the King there is an investigation of her personal history led by György Thurzó and without proper trial she is condemned to house arrest in darkened sealed rooms in her own Csejte Castle where her fate is sealed.

The film is beautifully designed, costumed, photographed and scored, and Delpy manages to pace her story credibly and well. For this viewer there is an absence of gritty passion that would make the history more indelible: Delpy and the remainder of the cast fail to create fiery on-screen chemistry that would have brought a sense of stronger impetus to the heinous acts that occur. But as a piece of rarely known history it is a fascinating film about a strong woman of the past and the impact she had on her country ... and on legends!

Grady Harp


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