The Ottoman Lieutenant

6.8 IMDb
10 March 2017 Release
$ 40 000 000 Budget
Genres:Drama, War
Countries:Turkey, USA
12 Votes

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In 1914, in Philadelphia, the wealthy and idealistic nurse Lillie Rowe learns in a lecture by Dr. Jude that there is an American medical mission founded by Dr. Garrett Woodruff in the countryside of the Ottoman Empire that needs donation. She decides to donate and deliver herself the truck that belonged to her deceased brother and medical supplies using her heritage. On the arrival, she stumbles upon the Ottoman Lieutenant Ismail Veli that helps her to visit a mosque. Lillie is forced by the government to be escorted by Lieutenant Ismail to drive to the mission and he is assigned to spy the local Armenians. Lillie works in the hospital and falls in love with Ismail while Jude suffers from unrequited love. Meanwhile the World War I begins and the mission is in the middle of the Ottoman Empire where the Russians are coming.

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Movie Comments

  1. armyforever-28741, 1 month ago
    Unabashedly old-fashioned and romantic, this World War I-era movie fearlessly plucks at the heartstrings while offering glorious, big- screen cinematography ... and a bit of revisionist history. The Ottoman Lieutenant may may lack big-name movie stars. And, because it was funded largely by Turkish financiers, it shines a positive light on the country, largely ignoring the Armenian Genocide of 1915. But if you judge it based on goal of telling a romantic story against an intense wartime backdrop, like a mini-Dr. Zhivago or The English Patient, it succeeds handsomely.

    The three characters involved in the love triangle are very appealing, and their human qualities make their relationship all the more complex. Plus, Ben Kingsley is wonderfully hammy as the founder of the Turkish hospital. Veteran director Joseph Ruben, who usually makes low-level thrillers (like the excellent The Stepfather) forgoes any tricks and simply uses a gorgeous widescreen backdrop with spectacular landscapes and plays of light to underline his story. The telling of it is smart but not confusing, tragic but not weepy, and swoon-inducing without being dopey.
  2. mert-ercetin, 1 month ago
    I believe the ongoing dispute over "Meds Yeghern" should not taken to be central to criticize the movie. It's documented in history that armed political organizations such as "Taşnaksutyan" (which had members among "İttihat-Terakki", quite ironically) became rebellious during the WWI. The deportation and unfortunate results during that can be considered as Ottoman Government's response with unintended consequences against this Armenian nationalists back then. This law has had recoils for the young Republic of Turkey till end of 20th century, too (the assassinations of ambassadors by ASALA). Therefore the movie's attitude to distant itself from political dispute seems reasonable.

    Even though the plot's being centralized a love story and a dilemma between the loyalty for home and the love/sexual desire for the eccentric is quite generic, but it's best audience attraction mechanism at hand. Still the movie can be enjoyed as a pavement stone to tell the war stories from non-European/non-American parts of the world and for the sake of Haluk Bilginer who shows tremendous acting performance whenever he plays.

    Last but not least, the animation of İstanbul in 1910's is what I can't wait to see in the movie. And the sublimity of the Ottoman capital that is lost after the rapid urbanization starting with the municipal administration of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, current president of TR.
  3. magbroalican, 1 month ago
    Very emotional movie, great acting, great cast, great plot. Simply incredible. I'm not really an emotional person, and the only movie that I've ever got teary eyed in was Hachiko. But then this movie made me just as much emotional if not more. Would definitely suggest it to everyone. Don't know about the historical value of the movie. But if you watch it without any prejudice, I guarantee that you will enjoy it. It's more than just a movie, it is.