The 25th Hour (film)

The 25th Hour (French: La Vingt-cinquième Heure) is a 1967 anti-war drama film directed by Henri Verneuil and starring Anthony Quinn and Virna Lisi. It was produced by Carlo Ponti. The film is based on a novel by C. Virgil Gheorghiu. It follows the troubles experienced by a Romanian peasant couple caught up in World War II.

The 25th Hour
(La Vingt-cinquième Heure)
Film poster by Howard Terpning
Directed byHenri Verneuil
Produced byCarlo Ponti
Written byFrançois Boyeur
Wolf Mankowitz
Henri Verneuil
StarringAnthony Quinn
Virna Lisi
Music byGeorges Delerue
CinematographyAndreas Winding
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • 16 February 1967 (1967-02-16) (US)
  • 26 April 1967 (1967-04-26) (France)
Running time
196 minutes (Europe)


In a small village in Romania, a local police constable frames Johann Moritz (Quinn) on charges of being Jewish, because Moritz' wife, Suzanna, has refused his advances. Moritz is sent to a Romanian concentration camp as a Jew, Jacob Moritz. He escapes to Hungary with some Jewish prisoners where the Hungarians imprison them for being citizens of an enemy country (Romania). The Hungarians eventually send them to Germany to fill German "requests" for foreign labourers. In Germany Moritz is spotted by an SS officer who designates him as an Aryan German-Romanian, freeing him from the labour camp and forcing him to join Waffen SS. After the war, Moritz is brutally beaten by Russians for being in the Waffen-SS and then arrested and prosecuted as a Waffen-SS war criminal by the Americans. Eventually he is released and re-united with his wife and sons in Germany.

The picture is based on the novel of the same name by Constantin Virgil Gheorghiu. The story line includes Hungary's alliance with Nazi Germany, the forced cession of Eastern Romania to the Soviet Union in 1940 and subsequent events in Central Europe during and after the Second World War.


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