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Return to Montauk 2017

Return to Montauk | Montauk Revisited | Rückkehr nach Montauk | Retour à Montauk

Return to Montauk-Montauk Revisited-Rückkehr nach Montauk-Retour a Montauk

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About the Return to Montauk 💬

In every life there is one love that will never be forgotten, however hard you may try. Author Max Zorn (Stellan Skarsgård) arrives in New York to promote a new novel. His young wife Clara (Susanne Wolff) arrived a few months earlier to help with the book's release in the United States. In the novel, Max talks about the demise of a passionate love affair in this same city 17 years ago. He runs into Rebecca (Nina Hoss), the woman in question, almost by chance. They decide to spend one more weekend together in Montauk, a small fishing village at the end of Long Island.

Even though 17 years have passed, is it possible that there could be a future for the two lovers?

They return there full of hope and regrets. The bodies remember. It feels for them like the next day after the last one they were together. They do not know if it is possible to reverse time. In Montauk, they find out.

''RETURN TO MONTAUK is neither an adaptation of the book by Max Frisch, nor a travelogue. It is based instead on an original screenplay by Colm Tóibín and me and dedicated to the memory of Max Frisch.''

Volker Schlöndorff


''Most of us had a love in our life we can never forget. However hard we try, we never get over it,'' Volker Schlöndorff.

The author Max Zorn, now in his early 60s, is on a promotional book tour in New York when he meets up again with the woman he could never forget. They spend a weekend together again. 17 years have since passed. Can there be a future for their past? They will find out in Montauk, the place at the end.

Together with his lead actors Stellan Skarsgård, Nina Hoss and Susanne Wolff, Volker Schlöndorff fulfilled his long-held wish with RETURN TO MONTAUK of returning to the cosmos of Max Frisch after Homo Faber (1991) without, however, using ''Montauk'' as literary source material. ''It is about love within the craziness of a metropolis New York and the happiness of a weekend on the coast, in Montauk. About overpowering memories, longing and the passing of time,'' says Schlöndorff.

Montauk means something like ''Land's End'' in the Native American language and describes the most extreme point on Long Island, about 180 kilometers from Manhattan, ''You can really only look back when you are in Montauk,'' says Volker Schlöndorff. ''You are detached from everything in this place the high sky, the wide beaches. And then, suddenly, the ghosts appear.''

Montauk was the main setting for the unreservedly autobiographical novella which Max Frisch published in 1975. ''I want to be able to describe this weekend without inventing anything,'' it says in Max Frisch's ''Montauk''. The author, who is looking back on his life and taking stock, is Frisch himself. The young woman, with whom he spends this one weekend in Montauk, was a member of staff at his American publisher and accompanied him during his stay in New York. Frisch was still married at the time. Those are the parallels that can be discovered in RETURN TO MONTAUK.

Max Frisch and Volker Schlöndorff, who was close friends with the Swiss author until his death in 1991, were in complete agreement that ''Montauk'' was unfilmable. ''I had even discussed this with Max Frisch when we were working on HOMO FABER'', Schlöndorff recalls. ''And we both agreed: way too autobiographical, too essayistic. This isn't a film narrative. But, a couple of decades later, I thought: what if one just took on the basic constellation?''

''RETURN TO MONTAUK is a very emotional story,'' the director stresses. ''This man loves two women at the same time. And you have the feeling that he loves both of them equally strongly. But he is quite a different man with Rebecca, whom he stylizes into a dream woman, than when he is with Clara with whom he is living.

Return to Montauk Movie Details 🎥

Directed by

Volker Schlöndorff

Writing Credits

Volker Schlöndorff

Colm Tóibín


Stellan Skarsgård

Nina Hoss

Susanne Wolff

Isi Laborde-Edozien

Bronagh Gallagher

Malcolm Adams

Matthew Sanders

Niels Arestrup

Rebecca Knox

Robert Seeliger

Eve Borchardt

Music by

Caoimhin O'Raghallaigh

Max Richter

Michael Bartlett

Cinematography by

Jérôme Alméras

Genres: Drama, Romance

Countries: Germany, Ireland, France

Return to Montauk Official Trailer

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