The Tobacconist

2018 [GERMAN]

Drama / History / War

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 25% · 8 reviews
IMDb Rating 6.4/10 10 1924 1.9K

Plot summary

Vienna, 1937, on the eve of the annexation of Austria into Nazi Germany. The young and inexperienced Franz Huchel begins to learn about both the joys and hardships of life by working as an apprentice to the mutilated war veteran Otto Trsnjek in a small tobacco shop, where he meets the famous psychiatrist Sigmund Freud, a regular customer, who will become a valuable friend in times of chaos and uncertainty.

January 19, 2024 at 03:58 PM


Nikolaus Leytner

Top cast

Bruno Ganz as Sigmund Freud
Karoline Eichhorn as Anna Freud
1.02 GB
German 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 53 min
Seeds ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by ops-52535 7 / 10

ganz is good

Its a story about the plain and simple bond, between the psychiatrist sigmund freud and a tobacco selling apprentice franz , in the politically preassure boiler pre 2nd world war vienna, austria.

its a nice film, without atrocities, and not so much nazipropaganda as you might expect of a film like this, but it catches itself very well through the acting and location design of the city streets of vienna.

its a bit psychoanalytic in its preferences, and there are some dream themes that can be sore to swallow for the novices of the silverscreen, but the message are given without the words in a very well acted play.

if you like bruno ganz, you wont be dissapointed, the grumpy old man recommends

Reviewed by Horst_In_Translation 8 / 10

I came for Ganz, I stayed for Krisch

"Der Trafikant" or "The Tobacconist" is a new Austrian/German co-production from 2018 and this one actually should have been Austria's submission to the Oscars this yera where it could have gotten really far I believe. But sadly, it is not. Oh well, director is Nikolaus Leytner and he is also one of the writers who adapted the original novel for the screen here. The film is set back in the 1930s when Nazis rose to power in Germany and Austria, i.e. Vienna where most of the film is set. Fittingly several actors are Austrian too. There's 4 to 5 characters at the center of the story, well mostly one really (played by Morzé) and everybody else is people he meets on the way. Well I think the other ones are better than Morzé, but then again, they also have baitier material for sure. I really adore Bruno Ganz and his take on Sigmund Freud in the years before he has to leave Germany for London is very interesting to see. But the one who stelas the show even more often is Johannes Krisch (many will know him from the Oscar-nominated Revanche) who plays the mentor to the main character and we end up learning how much he likes his protégé, even if he may not be the best at showing real feelings and emotions. His background is also interesting with the injury he got back in World War I. The entire film is basically packed with failed identities. Krisch's character ends up dead, the main character too, his mother has to flee, the girl has to hook up with a Nazi officer in order to be allowed to live her life the way she did before the Nazi years and Freud has to leave the country too. There is no happiness, no hope, just desolation. And there are many references to how the Nazi reign was bound to fail. You will recognize them when you see them, one about a ship for example if I remember correctly. As for the dream sequences, I needed a bit to really appreciate them, but when I did, I liked them a lot. I also thought the one at the butcher's shop near the end was very good because we finally saw him act up and stand up for what he believes in, even if it was in a (mildly) violent fashion. But that's the key to it all. The "writing down your dreams" part was a bit underwhelming though and could have been more effective. But only because everything else was great and this was just good one could say. There is a great deal of depth and emotion in this film in my opinion, many stunning performances from start to finish, the very beautiful Emma Dragunova. I think this film can very easily be compared to Cabaret and may be the closest Germany has. It is just more serious and darker subject-wise and lacks the music, but the club scenes did feel extremely similar to me. The main character has also parallels to the one in Cabaret, the Czech girl not so many to Minnelli perhaps, but yeah both depict very well how National Socialism cannot be stopped from inside at that point anymore and the evil that comes with it needs to be examined closely, also to make sure that history shall never repeat itself again, an important message during times like these where freedom of speech here in Germany is debatable when it comes to supporting one party in particular and where you need to be scared to say publicly you support said party because most likely you will be discriminated against, maybe even lose your job or so. Lets focus on the essentials again guys. The thoughts are free. Die Gedanken sind frei. I highly highly recommend this movie. It's a shame everybody is talking about another new German historic movie (Ballon) while people are ignoring this far superior work we got here. Watch it if you get the chance.

Reviewed by Megan_Shida 7 / 10

Overly Ambitious but Strong Film

Making a coming of age story with Freud as a character would be particularly difficult, all on its own. And the film does succeed on a number of levels with Ganz and the other actors offering compelling performances to pull off a number of deeply emotional moments. But when you consider that this film is also largely about the Nazi occupation of Austria, there is just too much going on. Similarly, there are a number of dream sequences (a nod to psychoanalysis), that can take the viewer out of the story. This film is definitely worth the watch, however, with some powerful moments and great cinematography.

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