A Promise

Synopsis: Young Friederich has humble origins, but rises to the attention of his new boss, Karl. As he volunteers to tutor his employer's son, he gets more and more attached to Karl's young wife Lotte. She refuses however to betray her husband even when they learn Friedrich must go to Mexico for two years to supervise a mining project for Karl. Friedrich and Lotte swear one another they will stay true to each other, but the oncoming war keeps them apart for far longer than expected.
Genre: Drama, Romance
Director(s): Patrice Leconte
Production: IFC Films
  1 win & 1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
98 min

Now we're coming into

the cooling room.

As you can see the upper

three furnaces,

the first one, the second

and the third over there

are constantly in service. The other

furnaces can be fired up when required...

You will have no direct contact

with Herr Hoffmeister,

our director general.

And you are never to disturb him

for any reason whatsoever.

Is that quite clear, Herr Zeitz?

This is his office.

And this is your office.

Friedrich Zeitz, Herr Hoffmeister.

Oh, yes, the new boy...

with the first in engineering.

From Freiburg university.

I majored in metallurgical chemistry.

Is it no rather late for work?

Yes. Though I mean... no.

I have all the time in the world.

Well, I haven't.

Frau Hoffmeister is a stickler for

punctuality, soup is in the plates at 7.30.

I abhore soup.

Hey, Fritz.

You call that a kiss?

- No time, Anna. I'm too busy.

- You're always too busy!

Your washing's dry but

have yet to iron it!

- I'll bring it up with your soup.

- I abhore soup.

- Do you? That's new.

- Yes, it is.

The board was very impressed by your report

on the raw materials to output ratio.

We've decided... I've decided to

widen your responsibilities.

You'll start by supervising the order for

parts for the Dsseldorf railway bridge.

You'll be very

comfortable in here.

If you need to consult me, don't hesitate.

My door will be always open to you.

- Found it?

- Almost! There's such a mountain of files!

- My father's father started

the foundry in... - In 1835!

Exactly. Then the boom came with

the demand for railway tracks...

For the first main line from

Dresden to Leipzig in 1839.

Is there anything you don't know?

Oh, yes, Herr Hoffmesiter,

I still have much to learn.

Are you all right, sir?

- Shall I call the doctor?

- No.

I have... a quite serious

health condition.

But nobody here at the plant

must know of it. Nobody.

Friedrich Zeitz, Herr Hoffmeister

is expecting me.

My doctor has confined me to

the house until further notice.

I can partly run the steelworks

by telephone so...

I've decided to give

you a new job.

- Me?

- Yes.

I want you to report to me

here once a day to discuss

current business and then to relay

my instructions back to the works.

What do you say?

Stop here, please.

The manufacture of 328 girders

should be subject to a 40% deposit,

not 33%, as mistakenly

states in the contract.

Incidentally, Herr Hoffmeister.

For six days this furnace has been

out of line. The hairline crack

in the reservoir must be between

the sixth and the seventh.

That's why this furnace and this one here

are still not operational.

Could you please type out two copies

of the engineer's meeting?

Herr Hoffmeister wishes to

add his own notes before

distributing it to the factory.

I'll take a copy from my desk.

...it follows that

renovating the foundry

will cut budget costs and double

the output to 12 tons per year...

Thank you.

That's enough for today.

Come on.

Herr Zeitz?

I'm Frau Hoffmeister.

Herr Hoffmeister's wife?

Of course.

I'm not his mother.

So we meet at last. My husband

has told me a lot about you.

I was just about to take some tea.

Would you like to join me?

It's very kind of you but...

I'm already late. Another time, perhaps.

Goodbye, Herr Hoff...

Frau Hoffmeister.

Music means more to me

than anything in the world.

Except my husband

and son of course.

Oh, no, thank you.


Thank you.

Yes, thank you or no, thank you?

Yes, no, it's perfect.

Somebody once said, I can't

remember who, that so...

that music can exist without the wolrd

but the world cannot exist without music.

I believe it was Goethe.

Yes. So you enjoy

literature then, Herr Zeitz.

To be honest I mostly

read science books.

Tea is really very nice.

- Have you never tasted tea before?

- No, it's the first time.

Well, enough about me.

Tell me about yourself.

- I'm afraid, there's nothing to tell.

- No, surely you must have a family.

I never knew my father. My mother

died when I was very young.

- But who brought you up?

- I was a ward of state.

Well, you certainly did

brilliantly at school.

I had to, it was my only hope,

literally my only hope.

- Have you found somewhere nice to live?

- Very nice, thank you.

My husband commissioned it. I hated sitting

for it, I think it shows, doesn't it?

- That's a very pretty...

- Isn't it beautiful?

I saw it in a shop window

and fell in love with it.

My husband thinks it's ghastly.

- More tea? - No. Thank you.

I should be getting back to the office.

Yes, of course. What time is it?

Otto will be home soon.

Otto, he's our son.

You haven't met him yet?


He is... he is a very

bouncy, very happy boy,

but he doesn't really

apply himself in school.

It occurs to me...

I did some tutoring

when I was a student.

If you like I could give your

son some extra lessons.

- Would... would you have time for that?

- I could make time.

No. Don't let me disturb you,

I left my newspaper somewhere.

- So how do you find our young friend?

- You'll never guess what he just offered.

I've no idea.

- He's offered to give Otto extra lessons.

- Well!

You soon have the whole

family under your wing.

It's easy. Come on, try.

See? You've got it in you.

Now, let's practise your French.

- French is a beautiful language.

- No, it's not. Mother makes me learn it.

But I hate it.

Try reading me this fable.

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Patrice Leconte

Patrice Leconte (French: [ləkɔ̃t]; born 12 November 1947) is a French film director, actor, comic strip writer, and screenwriter. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "A Promise" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 17 Jun 2024. <https://www.scripts.com/script/a_promise_2000>.

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