organization Art Promotion

The Prince of Homburg


Italia – 1997 – 35mm – color – 89’


Direction: Marco Bellocchio

Screenplay: Marco Bellocchio based on the play by Heinrich Von Kleist

Photography: Giuseppe Lanci

Editing: Francesca Calvelli

Set design: Giantito Burchiellaro

Music: Carlo Crivelli

Costumes: Francesca Sartori

Cast: Andrea Di Stefano, Barbora Bobulova, Toni Bertorelli, Anita Laurenzi, Diego Ribon, Bruno Corazzari, Federico Scribani, Italo Dall’Orto, Gianluigi Fogacci, Fabio Camilli, Pierfrancesco Favino

Producers: Marco Bellocchio, Pier Giorgio Bellocchio

Production: Filmalbatros



The Prince of Homburg disobeys the received orders and leads early his cavalry charge in battle. Despite the achieved victory, he’s sentenced to death. Natalia, fallen in love with him, tries to intercede with the Grand Elector, who at first is inflexible, but, then, facing the harassing girl, he calls the Prince, saying that he will forgive him and grant clemency. At this point, however, Homburg refuses this offer and prepares to die, believing that this death will celebrate the sacred law of war that he violated. When the Prince is brought to be executed and is ready to die, he is still set free against his will, and reinstated to his post.



“Accurately adapted to the play by Kleist and to its purposes, this is the most Bressonian of all Bellocchio’s films. It’s comprehensible even in a psychoanalytic key, by identifying the Grand Elector with the Superego, the ego with the mediation ability of Natalia, the Id with the troubled nobility of the Prince. Bellocchio sets the action at beginning of the Nineteenth Century, in a lunar landscape, by weakening the original theatrical and the romantic aspects. Contrary to the clunky transposition by Gabriele Lavia in 1984, Bellocchio’s work is a cinematic exploration of Kleist.” (Il Morandini)



1997 Cannes –  Competition

1997 Golden Globes, Italy: Best Film

1997 David di Donatello: nominated as Best Photography, Music

1998 Silver Ribbonsnominated as Best Screenplay, Cinematography, Production Design