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In MEPHISTO, an ambitious and talented actor (Klaus Maria Brandauer) on the verge of success marries the daughter of an important official in pre-World War II Germany in order to further his career. As the Nazi influence grows, he discards his wife and uses his new connections to become the head of the National Theatre, while tailoring his art to the fascistic beliefs of his patrons. Wonderful acting in all roles and a strong, balanced script gives a chilling feel for why millions of people in Germany--not just ambitious, monomaniacal actors--succumbed to the outlandish theatrical appeal of Nazism by showing the more subtle, underlying psychological appeal of fascism itself. Based on a novel by Klaus Mann, the son of Thomas Mann, MEPHISTO, like Viscontis THE DAMNED, which showed the culpability of industrialists in their support of Hitler, dramatically shows the self-deceptive and ultimately evil acts of an artist making his own Faustian bargain.