Wallenstein (1978)

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Original title Wallenstein
Country of production Germany / Austria / Switzerland
original language German
Publishing year 1978
length approx. 320 minutes
Director Franz Peter Wirth
script Leopold Ahlsen
music Eugene Thomass
camera Gernot Roll

Wallenstein is a four-part series of ZDF in 1978 with Rolf Boysen in the title role. The script by Leopold Ahlsen is based on the biography of the same name by the historian Golo Mann from 1971.


Part 1: (ZDF: November 19, 1978) An Kaisertreuer

After the death of his wife Lucretia Nekesch von Landek in 1614, Albrecht von Wallenstein can count himself as the sole heir of the wealthy Bohemian-Moravian landed gentry. The relationship between the ruling Habsburgs and the Czech population is tense. On May 23, 1618, the Prague lintel occurred when Bohemian nobles overthrew the imperial governor Wilhelm Slawata and two other Habsburg emissaries from a window in Prague Castle . Wallenstein takes the side of the future emperor Ferdinand II, who wants to suppress the Bohemian rebellion. Ferdinand II decided to form an alliance with the Duke of Bavaria, Maximilian I , head of the Catholic League . It has great military power under the Commander-in-Chief, Count Tilly . It comes to the battle of the White Mountain .

Part 2: (ZDF: November 22, 1978) The big business

The imperial family triumphed in the Battle of the White Mountains (1620). The "Winter King" Friedrich and Count Thurn , the head of the Bohemian rebels, have fled, Emperor Ferdinand II is now in control of the situation. While the ringleaders are being executed, the emperor's partisans benefit from the success. Above all Wallenstein. He is appointed military commander in Bohemia and receives the Duchy of Friedland for his loyalty . In 1623 he married Isabella, the daughter of Count Karl von Harrach , who was one of the emperor's most important financial advisors. Wallenstein's good relationship with the Habsburg family grows even closer. But he doesn't only have friends at court.

Part 3: (ZDF: November 26, 1978) In the labyrinth

Wallenstein, who was appointed generalissimo, advanced with his army into what is now Lower Saxony. He tries to "instill" discipline in his soldiers and officers who want to keep themselves harmless by looting. His organizational talent and his new methods of warfare earned him more and more recognition. His name becomes a myth. Wallenstein rushes from success to success.

In 1628 he succeeded in driving the Danish king Christian IV , who had advanced far into Central Germany, from the mainland. Emperor Ferdinand II assigns the Duchy of Mecklenburg to Wallenstein as hereditary property.

Part 4: (ZDF: November 29, 1978) The secret judgment

After an unstoppable triumphant advance, the Swedish King Gustav Adolf , who fought for the Protestant cause, occupied the Bavarian capital of Munich. Tilly dies, Elector Maximilian I flees to the furthest corner of his country. In this threatening situation, Emperor Ferdinand II regained the deposed Wallenstein. The generalissimo, now also given the power to conduct diplomatic negotiations, proves his strategic skill again. His tactics: paralyze the enemy, block him, let him bleed to death. In the battle of Lützen near Leipzig, the armies of Wallenstein and the King of Sweden clash. Gustav Adolf falls. The outcome of the battle remains undecided.

On January 24, 1634, in a secret conference in Vienna, it was decided to remove Wallenstein (after accusations of treason and conviction by a secret court). This leads to his assassination by officers loyal to the emperor about a month later.

The most important people

  • Albrecht Wenzel Eusebius Count von Wallenstein ( Rolf Boysen ) ,
    later Duke of Friedland and Mecklenburg, Imperial Generalissimo. Wallenstein is a man who comes from the small Bohemian landed gentry. As an orphaned young man he learned the craft of war and made an unprecedented career as a military leader and politician during the Thirty Years' War . His fate is fulfilled when he - tired of the eternal struggle - tries to make a peace at any price and thus opposes his emperor. Wallenstein ends at the hands of a murderer.
  • Ferdinand II ( Romuald Pekny ) , Holy
    Roman Emperor, King of Bohemia; the cousin and successor of the weak emperor Matthias. The emperor from the House of Habsburg is Wallenstein's patron and patron, but in the end he becomes his irreconcilable enemy.
  • Duke Maximilian I, Elector of Bavaria ( Werner Kreindl ) ,
    a cousin and later brother-in-law of Emperor Ferdinand. Both went to school together in Ingolstadt as boys. A ceremonial incident from this time strained their relationships. Maximilian has been head of the Catholic League since 1609 and sends his army to the emperor's aid in 1619. He becomes a bitter rival of Wallenstein and has him deposed at the Reichstag in Regensburg.
  • Friedrich V, Elector Palatinate ( Christian Reiner ) ,
    at the age of 23 he was elected King of Bohemia, to a throne that Ferdinand also claimed - one of the causes of the Thirty Years' War .
  • Elisabeth of Bohemia ( Reinhild Solf ) ,
    wife of Frederick V, an English princess.
  • Father Wilhelm Lamormaini ( Hans Caninenberg ) ,
    a Jesuit from Luxembourg; since 1624 confessor of the emperor, over whom he exerts great influence.
  • Rombaldo Graf Collalto ( Karl Walter Diess ) ,
    President of the Imperial Court War Council.
  • Johann Tserclaes Graf Tilly ( Ernst Fritz Fürbringer ) ,
    next to Wallenstein one of the two great military leaders of the Thirty Years' War and after his deposition in 1630 as his successor Generalissimo of the Emperor. Tilly dies two years before Wallenstein from the consequences of a wound sustained in the field.
  • Karl Leonhard Graf von Harrach ( Franz Stoss ) ,
    one of Ferdinand II's closest collaborators - his daughter Isabella becomes Wallenstein's second wife.
  • Isabella ( Erika Deutinger ) ,
    second wife of Wallenstein, daughter of the imperial financial advisor Count Harrach.

Golo man

Golo Mann about the film based on his Wallenstein biography : “All roles are superbly cast - for me the ultimate ... The director, producer and editor really knew how to exploit the attraction (of the material). I was very happy about that."

For the filming concept of his Wallenstein biography, Golo Mann has a. a. stated: “It is an epic of war and peace ... The story of a man and so-called leading man in this labyrinth. The story of a ... lost identity. "


Leopold Ahlsen, specialist in historical TV material ( The strange life story of Friedrich Freiherrn von der Trenck , Des Christoffel von Grimmelshausen's adventurous Simplizissimus and others), wrote seven different scripts for this four-part series. The seventh version, which emphasizes Wallenstein's efforts for a German peace as a central theme, was made into a film.

Filming locations were u. a. Prague and the town of Slavonice , Debrné , Landshut with its Trausnitz Castle and the city ​​residence , Regensburg ( cathedral , imperial hall , Keplerhaus ), the Munich residence ( antiquarium ) and Kronborg Castle near Copenhagen .

DVD release

In 2010 the four-part series with digitally restored images and sound was released on DVD. Attached are a conversation between Günter Gaus and Golo Mann from the television series Zur Person , comments by Marcel Reich-Ranicki and a film portrait by Günter Grass of Golo Mann.

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