August 2022



Valkyrie (2008)

valkyrie-cast-cruiseDIRECTOR: Bryan Singer


Tom Cruise, Kenneth Branagh, Bill Nighy, Terence Stamp, Tom Wilkinson, Carice van Houten, Kevin McNally, David Schofield, Eddie Izzard, Jamie Parker, Thomas Kretschmann, Christian Berkel, Tom Hollander, David Bamber


During his twelve-year reign, Adolf Hitler survived over forty known assassination attempts, at least fifteen of which were made by Germans. But the most hated man of the 20th century was also one of the most extraordinarily lucky. Something always managed to go wrong; Hitler would cut speeches or conferences short, avoiding timed bomb blasts, the explosives themselves would fail to detonate, and the forces arrayed against him often proved to be unfortunately uncoordinated and indecisive. The final, most famous, and most nearly successful attempt on Hitler’s life came on July 20, 1944, orchestrated by a group of rebel German military officers and politicians spearheaded by decorated injured war hero Colonel Count Claus von Stauffenberg. Continue reading

Der Untergang/The Downfall (2004)

Downfall_lDIRECTOR: Oliver Hirschbiegel


Bruno Ganz, Alexandra Maria Lara, Corinna Harfouch, Juliane Köhler, Ulrich Matthes, Thomas Kretschmann, Christian Berkel, Matthias Habich, Heino Ferch, Michael Mendl, André Hennicke, Ulrich Noethen, Doneven Gunia, Thomas Thieme


The third major film depiction of the last days of Adolf Hitler (following 1973’s Hitler: The Last Ten Days, starring Alec Guinness, and 1981’s The Bunker, starring Anthony Hopkins) but the first internationally-released German production to feature Hitler as a main character, Downfall is director Oliver Hirschbiegel and screenwriter Bernd Eichinger’s frank confrontation of a man and legacy that has stigmatized and haunted Germany for sixty years.   Continue reading

Max (2002)

Max (2002) — The Movie Database (TMDb)

DIRECTOR: Menno Meyjes

CAST: John Cusack, Noah Taylor, Ulrich Thomsen, Molly Parker, Leelee Sobieski, Peter Capaldi, Kevin McKidd


The unimpressively—and somewhat misleadingly—titled Max, the directorial debut of Dutch writer-director Menno Meyjes, is speculative historical fiction postulating the unlikely friendship—of sorts—between a (fictional) Jewish art dealer and a young Adolf Hitler. To that end, Max is a sporadically intriguing but uneven debut that does a frustratingly lopsided job of partially squandering its potentially interesting subject matter with a banal script.

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Inside The Third Reich (1982)

DIRECTOR: Marvin J. Chomsky


Rutger Hauer, Blythe Danner, Sir Derek Jacobi, Sir John Gielgud, Sir Ian Holm, Maria Schell, Trevor Howard, Elke Sommer, Stephen Collins, Renée Soutendijk, Randy Quaid, Robert Vaughn, Michael Gough, Maurice Roëves, Derek Newark, David Shawyer, George Murcell, Viveca Lindfors, Zoë Wanamaker


Inside The Third Reich, a lengthy, critically acclaimed TV miniseries from two-time Emmy winner Marvin J. Chomsky, is a film adaptation of the same-named memoirs by Albert Speer, a bright, cultured German architect who became Adolf Hitler’s personal designer and later Minister of Armaments and War Production, ultimately spending twenty years in Spandau Prison for his use of slave labor to keep the German war effort going, during which time he ostensibly reflected on his errors in judgment and began to write his memoirs. Although forbidden to do so in prison, Speer smuggled them out through a sympathetic guard and formed them into an autobiography upon his release. As one of the few surviving individuals to have had such intimate contact with Hitler, Speer lived well off of book sales until his death shortly before its film adaptation. While many believe Speer to have downplayed his own role in the Third Reich, and criticize the miniseries for not questioning his account, its historical value is undeniable. Inside The Third Reich was filmed on a low budget over a few months of winter in Munich, which is made apparent by the presence of snow in nearly every outdoors scene throughout the miniseries. While the vast scope and detail of Speer’s writings require numerous events to be skipped over, it serves to give the viewer the basics of the workings of the Third Reich. Continue reading

The Hitler Gang (1944)

DIRECTOR: John Farrow


Robert Watson, Martin Kosleck, Roman Bohnen, Victor Varconi, Luis van Rooten, Alex Pope, Sig Ruman, Fritz Kortner, Tonio Stalwart, Alexander Granach, Poldi Dur, Helene Thimig, Reinhold Schünzel, Ludwig Donath


The Hitler Gang is a curious (albeit highly dated) little time capsule—a docudrama about the rise of Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany made in 1944, when both still existed. Considering its production during WWII and Hitler’s lifetime, its propagandistic slant is unsurprising, but what’s a little more intriguing is that The Hitler Gang actually makes an effort to portray its subject matter with a level of seriousness and historical accuracy (to a point). The result is heavily dated by today’s standards, but retains a certain level of interest both as essentially a biopic made about Hitler while the real Hitler was still alive, and as a slice of Allied propaganda that doesn’t completely abandon the facts. Continue reading