60/60 Extra: The Counterfeiters.

I don't know what it is about this month. Maybe after nearly 18 hours of "war" films, I'm just tired of the whole concept. But Nazi month is giving me decent-to-great films... that I just don't care about. Case in point: The Counterfeiters. This tells the true story of the biggest counterfeiting scheme ever. The Nazi party gets together a select group of Jews, including one of the best counterfeiters in the world at that time--a man named Sally (Karl Markovics)--and gets them to create a bunch of fake money. However, when they want him to create the American dollar, another man attempts to sabotage the project, even if it means all of them will be killed.

The movie is a story of survival shown quite well through the characters. Though it has interesting characters, it's definitely a more plot-driven story. They need to make these moneys and quickly or else they'll be killed. Sally has to also keep their secrets or else risk losing some of the men. Sally sticks to his motto of never turning in their own kind, no matter what they do. And when Sally finally breaks down, it's even more powerful considering how stoic he had been throughout the rest of the film.

The only major negative I found was the beginning of the film. Everything prior to him getting to the one concentration camp and beginning work with the counterfeiting felt rushed and, at times, unnecessary. I really can't remember how long it takes, but let's just say the first 20-30 minutes just feel a bit too rushed and choppy. And then once he gets there, the pacing slows down immensely.

Otherwise, I don't think I have all that much to say. Overall, the film is very well made. The acting is really good. Everything is done pretty dang well--which you would expect from an Oscar-winning film (you know, I just realized... every movie this month, including the Extras, is an Oscar-winning film with the exception of The Great Dictator, though that one was at least nominated for 5 Oscars. And strangely, it's the one I've enjoyed the most so far. What is it about Nazis and the Academy Awards?). Anyway, maybe I'm just not caring about the subject matter because of the previous month overload. Maybe it's just because I've seen Nazi stories done a hundred times. Who knows? It's a very well done film--it just didn't make me all that crazy for it. So the following score is mostly based on quality.

A Keanu 'Whoa'


  1. This is one of my favorite foreign films of all time. I think you've reached the point in this project that you're just absorbing the movies but can no longer really separating them. You pointed out that this many Oscar winners are proving that the quality is high - you need to add some stinkers to even it out!

  2. Oscar has had a jones for Nazis/Holocaust/WW2 films for a very long time. This is nothing new.

  3. There are parts of this film that I like a lot. It's certainly one of the more unusual and interesting stories about the Holocaust with a different perspective than we usually get.

    However, I'm not crazy about the bookends and I agree that the whole setup of his character isn't that good.

    Still, it's a really good film that I liked a lot.

  4. I remember feeling quite let down by this film. It got so much critical acclaim, and by the time I saw it my reaction was pretty much "meh". Perhaps I should revisit it.

    Speaking of Nazi's, I see that DOWNFALL isn't on your list. You should definitely include it as an extra, it's an incredible film (if you never thought you'd use the words "Hitler" and "sympathetic" in the same sentence...) Plus you'll get to see the ORIGINAL "Hitler is mad about [BLANK] footage.


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