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City of War: The Story of John Rabe (2009)

John Rabe (original title)
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2:08 | Trailer
A true-story account of a German businessman who saved more than 200,000 Chinese during the Nanjing massacre in 1937-38.
8 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ulrich Tukur ... John Rabe
Daniel Brühl ... Dr. Georg Rosen
Steve Buscemi ... Dr. Robert Wilson
Anne Consigny ... Valérie Dupres
Dagmar Manzel Dagmar Manzel ... Dora Rabe
Jingchu Zhang ... Langshu
Teruyuki Kagawa ... Prince Asaka Yasuhiko
Mathias Herrmann Mathias Herrmann ... Werner Fließ
Tetta Sugimoto Tetta Sugimoto ... Nakajima Kesago
Akira Emoto Akira Emoto ... Matsui Iwane
Arata Iura ... Major Ose (as Arata)
Shaun Lawton Shaun Lawton ... John Magee
Christian Rodska ... Lewis Smythe
Gottfried John ... Dr. Oskar Trautmann
Fang Yu Fang Yu ... Han
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Storyline

After 28 years building and managing a vast Siemens plant in Nanking, John Rabe is ordered by the new Nazi regime to close it down. Before he can pack, the Japanese army, lead unofficially by a bloodthirsty imperial uncle, lays siege to the city. Rabe accepts, as prominent representative of Japans' major European ally, to head the Western ex-pats society's plan to start and run an international zone, like worked in Shangai. Rabe however wants it to save his workers and their close ones, over 200,000, and sacrifices all his personal interests. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

History needs extraordinary heroes.


Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

France | China | Germany

Release Date:

2 April 2009 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

City of War: The Story of John Rabe See more »

Filming Locations:

Nanjing, Jiangsu, China See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,892, 23 May 2010

Gross USA:

$67,519

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,484,077
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Fortuitously, a lot of 30s style housing was earmarked for demolition by the Shanghai authorities to make way for new skyscrapers. The production was able to use these leveled areas to represent the aftermath of bombing raids. See more »

Goofs

The USS Panay is shown as a passenger ship when she was in fact a U.S. Navy River Gunboat. The movie shows the Panay being attacked within sight of Nanking (now known as Nanjing) but in reality it had moved 28 miles upriver and dropped anchor, along with three Standard Oil tankers. The attack lasted for 2.5 hours until the ship finally sunk. The attack left 3 sailors dead, 43 sailors and 5 civilians wounded. See more »

Quotes

John Rabe: Chang, what's the point in you having a head?
Chang: So that it not rain into my neck.
John Rabe: Quite right.
See more »

Alternate Versions

German TV version features ca. 45 minutes of additional footage. See more »

Soundtracks

Piccolo Ucello
Written and performed by Ulrich Tukur
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
An important movie that must be watched...
2 January 2011 | by MichaelReviewsSee all my reviews

An important movie that must be watched. John Rabe was a hero to the Chinese people. He saved 200,000 men, women, and children from certain hardship, probable torture, and likely death. Yet after the war, he was condemned by his country, and lived a life of poverty, slipping into obscurity until his death. There has been too little written about this man. "The Rape of Nanjing" by Iris Chang does cover him in good detail in parts of the book. It's certainly about time for a piece to have been done about his efforts in Nanjing, about his life.

The movie is masterfully paced, poignant, and at times devastatingly sad - only able to hint at the atrocities the people of Nanjing must have faced. Yet the movie is ultimately a tribute to the power of few to change the lives of many, to the ultimate goodness of humans.


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