Der Havarist (1984)

Sub-Genres - Biopic [feature]  |   Run Time - 95 min.  |   Countries - West Germany  |  
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Director Wolf-Eckart Bühler follows up his earlier, lengthy interview with Sterling Hayden in this three-part chronicle of the traumas in the actor's life. Based on Hayden's autobiography Wanderer, Bühler has three different actors deliver segments of the book in a detached way -- focusing on the problems created by sudden national media attention, the nature of intense pressure from high-ranking authorities, and the gradual formation of a betrayal of both ethics and friends. (Hayden was brought before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1951 and named Hollywood colleagues as fellow leftists -- much to his lifelong regret). The literary readings, even when interesting in their own right, do not lend themselves to dramatic cinema, limiting this film to viewers with an avid interest in politics.