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Starring: Jeremy Irons, George MacKay, Jannis Niewöhner, Sandra Hüller, Liv Lisa Fries, August Diehl, Erin Doherty, Anjli Mohindra, Martin Wuttke, Ulrich Matthes
OUR RATING: ★★★★☆
Netflix historical drama directed by Christian Schwochow. Munich – The Edge of War (2022) is set in the fall of 1938 where Europe stands on the brink of war. Hitler (Ulrich Matthes) is preparing to invade Czechoslovakia and Neville Chamberlain’s (Jeremy Irons) government desperately seeks a peaceful solution. With the pressure building, British civil servant Hugh Legat (George MacKay), and German diplomat Paul von Hartmann (Jannis Niewöhner), former classmate of his from Oxford, travel to Munich for the emergency Conference. As negotiations begin, the two old friends find themselves at the center of a web of political subterfuge and very real danger.
Our Favorite Quotes:'Hoping is waiting for someone else to do it. We'd all be much better off without it.' - Paul von Hartmann (Munich - The Edge of War) Click To Tweet
Lena: [1932 – Oxford University] If he wishes to go for a midnight swim, that’s entirely his decision.
Paul von Hartmann: I don’t want to go swimming. I want to throw myself into the water in despair at our mad generation.
Lena: Excellent. Go ahead.
Paul von Hartmann: [in English and German] The great characteristic of the English is distance. Not only from one another, but from feeling. We are nothing but feeling. There’s a new age beginning. In the New Germany. You can look forward to that.
Lena: [in German] The New Germany.
Paul von Hartmann: Yes.
Lena: It’s a bunch of thugs and racists.
Sir Osmund Cleverly: [London – six years later] Lunch at the Imperial Grand in the middle of an international crisis. That might be the way things are done in the Foreign Office.
Hugh Legat: I apologise, sir. It won’t happen again.
Sir Osmund Cleverly: No explanation?
Hugh Legat: It’s my wedding anniversary.
Sir Osmund Cleverly: Congratulations. There are times when one’s family has to take a back seat. Now is such a time.
Sir Osmund Cleverly: All hell’s about to break loose. Hitler intends to mobilize tomorrow. At six o’clock, the PM will make a radio broadcast to the nation.
Neville Chamberlain: How was it? How did it go?
Sir Horace Wilson: Ah, well, it started atrociously, and went downhill from there. He won’t wait a day longer before invading. I warned him this morning that if the French fulfill their obligations, then we’ll have to go in with them.
Neville Chamberlain: And what did he say to that?
Sir Horace Wilson: He smiled at me.
Neville Chamberlain: God!
Sir Horace Wilson: Even more disconcerting than when he’s shouting. But the message was clear enough. He’s going to mobilize tomorrow.
Paul von Hartmann: [in German, listening to Chamberlain on the radio] Damn fool.
Neville Chamberlain: [on radio] Now, I ask you to await, as calmly as you can, the events of the next few days. As long as war has not begun, there is always hope that it may be prevented. And you know that I am going to work for peace to the last moment.
Neville Chamberlain: [referring to speaking on the radio] Do you know, I always think the trick is to try to imagine I’m just speaking to one person sitting at home in an armchair. Of course, tonight, it was a little bit harder because there was somebody else lurking in the shadows. Herr Hitler.
Hugh Legat: You’re being unreasonable.
Pamela Legat: Right, I’m being unreasonable? I’m always hysterical in the face of your f***ing calmness! Do you not think there are things worth, I mean, this is your marriage. This is your family! And I know I’m upset, and I know how much you hate that, but your silence is killing me!
'We don't choose the times we live in. The only choice we have is how we respond.' - Paul von Hartmann (Munich - The Edge of War) Click To Tweet
Pamela Legat: No one forced you to marry me, Hugh. You act like it’s a sentence from a judge, buy you chose this.
Hugh Legat: I don’t…
Pamela Legat: It is not my fault that you are disappointed by your life.
Hugh Legat: I can’t talk about this now.
Pamela Legat: Right, yes. No, of course you can’t.
Franz Sauer: [in German, to Paul] Who would’ve thought that you’d be delivering messages between world leaders? And I’d be protecting the Führer himself.
Paul von Hartmann: [in German] But everyone always knew that you’d make it to the top one day. It baffles me every day that I have.
Franz Sauer: [in German] Nonsense. We’ve always been winners.
Paul von Hartmann: [in German] Not me.
Franz Sauer: [in German] Always.
Captain Erich Kordt: [in German] Have you ever wondered if we’re wrong? What if we’re mistaken? What if he’s right, and he’s telling the truth that he just wants to take back the territories that belong to Germany? And he’ll stop there?
Hans Oster: [in German] Then leave, Erich.
Paul von Hartmann: [in German] He’s a small, vulgar man. Hitler is like a thug. He only knows his own personal truth. He’ll keep taking more and more. More people will get hurt.
Captain Erich Kordt: [in German] How do you know?
Paul von Hartmann: [in German] He’ll never stop!
Paul von Hartmann: [in German] When he mobilizes tomorrow, we will stop him.
Helen Winter: [in German] You want him to mobilize?
Paul von Hartmann: [in German] Yes, dammit!
Helen Winter: [in German] If he doesn’t go to war, you can’t stop him. But, Paul, that means you need this war. That’s totally perverse.
Paul von Hartmann: [in German] Of course that’s perverse, Helen. Without a crime, there can be no arrest.
Paul von Hartmann: [in German] What’s this?
Helen Winter: [in German, referring to Hitler’s document] This is his true plan for Europe.
Paul von Hartmann: [in German] They’ll arrest you for this.
Helen Winter: [in German] I’m aware.
'It is absolute agony to see such suffering and feel so powerless.' - Neville Chamberlain (Munich - The Edge of War) Click To Tweet
Neville Chamberlain: Any reply from Rome?
Hugh Legat: Not yet, sir. But, you know, it wasn’t built in a day.
Neville Chamberlain: Far as I can see, they haven’t finished it yet.
Neville Chamberlain: What did you read at Oxford?
Hugh Legat: German.
Neville Chamberlain: Did they teach you to write English as well?
Hugh Legat: Well, they did their best. I was more of a talker than a writer though, sir. Debating was my thing.
Neville Chamberlain: Debating?
Hugh Legat: Yes, sir.
Neville Chamberlain: Well, you’ve come to the right place. It’s all anybody seems to do here is to debate.
Neville Chamberlain: Listen, I’ve got something I’m going to ask you to do. It’s a little bit impertinent, but this is my speech for tomorrow to the House. But I feel somehow it doesn’t flow, and maybe an Oxford man, who debates, and reads German, might be able to improve it a little. Would you mind?
Hugh Legat: Of course, Prime Minister.
Neville Chamberlain: Do you know, I’d gladly stand against that wall and be shot if it prevented war.
Anne Chamberlain: Come here. I wish you wouldn’t say things like that. At least not before lunch.
Neville Chamberlain: Of course, you were too young to serve in the Great War, Legat. And I was too old. Somehow, that made things worse. It is absolute agony to see such suffering and feel so powerless.
Neville Chamberlain: Now every time I pass a war memorial, or visit one of those vast cemeteries in France, where so many of my friends lie buried, I vow that if I find myself in the position where I could prevent such a catastrophe from happening again, I shall do anything, sacrifice anything, to maintain the peace. This is sacred to me.
Neville Chamberlain: It’s not that we’re militarily unprepared for war. That can be remedied, is being remedied. It’s rather that I fear for the spiritual wellbeing of our people, if they don’t see their leaders doing everything, absolutely everything, to prevent another conflict. Because of one thing, I’m certain. If it comes, the next war will be infinitely worse than the last. And they will need even greater fortitude to survive it.
Neville Chamberlain: I am able to report to the House that I have just received news from Berlin that Herr Hitler has postponed mobilization. Furthermore, he has invited me, along with Signor Mussolini, and the prime minister of France, Monsieur Daladier, to meet him in Munich tomorrow to resolve the Sudetenland issue.
Helen Winter: [in German] What do the gentlemen plan on doing?
Paul von Hartmann: [in German] It’s as good as decided. A conference like this is a formality.
Helen Winter: [in German] You need to find a way to meet Chamberlain. You have to prevent this agreement from being made.
'You can't play poker with a gangster without any cards up your sleeve.' - Neville Chamberlain (Munich - The Edge of War) Click To Tweet
Captain Erich Kordt: [in German] Do you think you can smuggle illegal documents into an international conference, and have a secret meeting with the British prime minister, right under the Führer’s nose?
Paul von Hartmann: [in German] Yes.
Captain Erich Kordt: [in German, gives Paul a gun] Then you should have this with you. Ever used one?
Paul von Hartmann: [in German] As children, we used to shoot rabbits.
Captain Erich Kordt: [in German] This is different.
Paul von Hartmann: [in German] The principle’s the same, right?
Colonel Menzies: I believe the name Paul von Hartmann is known to you?
Sir Alexander Cadogan: Legat?
Hugh Legat: Yes. Yes, sir. We were at Oxford together.
Colonel Menzies: When did you last see him?
Hugh Legat: The summer of ’32. I visited him in Munich.
Sir Alexander Cadogan: All roads lead to Munich.
Sir Alexander Cadogan: We’re sorry about the questions, Legat, but we need to understand what sort of relationship you have, or had, with this particular German.
Colonel Menzies: It seems your friend is part of the secret opposition to Hitler. His position inside the Foreign Ministry gives him access to classified material. Material he’s willing to share with us. Or, more specifically, with you. How do you feel about that?
Hugh Legat: Surprised.
Sir Alexander Cadogan: But are you willing to take matters further?
Hugh Legat: I don’t understand.
Colonel Menzies: He has a document in his possession, and we’d very much like to know what it is. We’d like you to go to Munich tomorrow, meet with von Hartmann, and get the document.
Hugh Legat: I beg your pardon?
Sir Alexander Cadogan: It’s not without risk. Technically, it’ll be an act of espionage on foreign soil.