Watch Counterpoint

"For every move... a counter move - for every attack... a counter attack!"
  • Approved
  • 1968
  • 1 hr 47 min
  • 6.3  (1,021)

Counterpoint is a war drama film from 1967 that portrays the story of an American orchestra getting caught up in the heat of World War II while on tour in Nazi Germany. The film features an all-star cast including the likes of Charlton Heston, Maximilian Schell, and Kathryn Hays. Written and directed by Ralph Nelson, Counterpoint boasts breathtaking cinematography, unforgettable performances, and a gripping storyline that makes it a classic of its time.

Charlton Heston plays Lionel Evans - an American symphony conductor leading his orchestra on a European tour. When Germany invades Poland, they are caught off guard and relocated to a small town near the front lines, where they find themselves in the midst of a war zone. While the orchestra members struggle to adjust to their new surroundings and negotiate with their German hosts, Evans finds himself increasingly drawn into a battle of wits with a German officer, Captain Reschke (Maximilian Schell).

Reschke, a music aficionado, initially appears to be sympathetic to the plight of the orchestra and is even shown attending one of their concerts. However, as the story progresses, his true motives become ambiguous, and Evans begins to suspect that Reschke may be using them as a propaganda tool to improve Germany's image in the eyes of the international community.

As the tension between Evans and Reschke escalates, Kathryn Hays' character, Lanier, a young violinist in the orchestra, becomes romantically involved with a German soldier. Her relationship serves to highlight the dichotomy between individuals who are forced into war by circumstance versus those who willingly participate in a system that perpetuates the cycle of violence.

Counterpoint features some of the most beautiful musical pieces, impeccably performed by the orchestra, and the film's soundtrack is one of its most outstanding features. The musical performances of the orchestra, both on stage and in more intimate settings, serve to highlight the emotional undercurrent that runs through the film.

What sets Counterpoint apart from other war dramas is its nuanced portrayal of both American and German characters. The film avoids making broad generalizations about either culture and instead shows individuals on both sides of the conflict struggling to come to terms with the realities of war.

Charlton Heston delivers a powerful performance as Lionel Evans, capturing the agony and frustration of a man forced to compromise his artistic integrity in the face of war. Maximilian Schell, on the other hand, brings a sense of complexity to his character, making the audience question whether Captain Reschke is truly the villain of the story or is simply a victim of the war himself.

Counterpoint is a classic war drama that explores the impact of war on individuals and the power of music in the face of conflict. The film is a remarkable feat of storytelling that manages to be both harrowing and emotionally moving. With its outstanding cast, captivating performances, and stunning cinematography, Counterpoint is a must-watch for anyone with an interest in war films.

Counterpoint doesn't appear to be available from any streaming services.
Add this movie to your Watchlist to get notified when it's available.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 47 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.3  (1,021)