The Ninth Day (Der neunte Tag) (2005) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Ninth Day (Der neunte Tag)2005

The Ninth Day (Der neunte Tag) (2005)



Critic Consensus: Fueled by tension-filled performances and dialogue, this Holocaust film brings up morally ambiguous, thought-provoking issues.

The Ninth Day (Der neunte Tag) Photos

Movie Info

Acclaimed filmmaker Volker Schlöndorff directed this story of a war of words between a Nazi soldier and a man of the cloth. In 1942, Henri Kremer (Ulrich Matthes) is a Catholic priest who, like three thousand other Catholic clergymen, has been sent to the Dachau prison camp by Nazi authorities for espousing his faith and speaking out against the Axis leadership. Shortly after Kremer receives word that his mother has passed away, he's pulled from the ranks at the camp and sent to Luxembourg, where he used to live and lead a congregation. While Kremer at first believes his well-connected family has arranged for his release, he soon finds this is not the case -- Untersturmfuehrer Gebhardt (August Diehl), a ranking member of the Gestapo, informs Kremer that he's been given a nine-day respite from the camp for a special assignment. Kremer is well acquainted with Bishop Philipp (Hilmar Thate), leader of Luxembourg's Catholic community, and the Nazis want the bishop to sign a letter pledging full cooperation with German authorities, something he has been unwilling even to discuss. Gebhardt wants Kremer to persuade the bishop to sign the document; if Kremer fails to meet this goal, he's told 18 priests from Luxembourg currently in Dachau will all be killed. What Gebhardt prefers not to mention is that if he can't find a way to secure the bishop's cooperation, he'll be transferred from his comfortable post to a death camp in Eastern Europe. Der Neunte Tag was based on the true story of Luxembourg priest Father Jean Bernard, who wrote of his experiences in the book Pfarrerblock Z4587.


Ulrich Matthes
as Abbe Henri Kremer
August Diehl
as Untersturmführer Gebhardt
Bibiana Beglau
as Marie Kremer
Germain Wagner
as Roger Kremer
Hilmar Thate
as Bischof Philippe
Jean-Paul Raths
as Raymond Schmitt

Critic Reviews for The Ninth Day (Der neunte Tag)

All Critics (35) | Top Critics (16)

It's no wonder Schlöndorff favors close-ups; with Mattes on screen, The Ninth Day gets right to its emotional core.

November 11, 2005 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

The Ninth Day is far from perfect, but is still thought-provoking and intriguing, a film that can begin its own kind of debate.

October 7, 2005 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Plays more like a philosophical debate than a war drama.

August 18, 2005 | Full Review…

An accomplished, confident work.

July 23, 2005 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

It just feels like too much over too little.

July 15, 2005 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Schlondorff draws a telling picture of the ravished moral landscape that kept the wheels of the Holocaust turning.

July 15, 2005 | Rating: B

Audience Reviews for The Ninth Day (Der neunte Tag)

A fabulous build up to a day when a priest must decide whether or not to be a collaborator for the Nazi regime or to go to death by opposing it. The tension builds towards the eventful day and the choice is not foreshadowed.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

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