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This movie shows us the rise of Adolf Hitler from a small radical political adventurer to the dictator of Germany in the way of a gangster film. Exept for some minor inaccuracies the historical facts are given in a correct way.
In Nov 1918, after Austrian-born lance corporal Adolf Hitler is admitted to a hospital due to temporary blindness, a doctor determines that his condition is due to severe emotional problems and paranoia rather than a war injury. Hitler is released just as Germany loses the war, and when he later overhears several soldiers discussing the overthrow of the new military government, he reports the men to Captain Ernst Roehm, and becomes a paid military informant. Roehm orders Hitler to join the German Workers party, and Hitler takes control of the party, luring in new members such as politician Gregor Strasser, his chauffeur, Heinrich Himmler, and Rudolf Hess, with his powerful speeches. Seeking a scapegoat for Germany's severe postwar economic problems, Hitler targets the Jewish population. When other members of the Party oppose Hitler's bigotry, Hitler orders Himmler to keep a record of his detractors. In addition, Hitler brings in former air force captain Hermann Goering to provide protection for the Party in exchange for appointing Goering head of the air force when they take over the government. In 1920, the Party, known as the National Socialist German Workers, or Nazis, has only sixty-four members, but by 1923, Hitler's leadership has caused the membership to swell to 70,000 people. The now powerful Nazis use brutality to suppress any opposition to their ideas. Fearful of Hitler's new influence, the government bans his meetings, but when Hitler promises to take no action against the government, Bavarian state commissioner General Gustav von Kahr agrees to lift the ban. However, on 8 November 1923, Hitler disrupts von Kahr's meeting at a beer hall and announces his overthrow of the government. The next day, General Erich Ludendorff marches with Hitler's troops through the city, but von Kahr's army attacks the Nazis, and Hitler and his followers are arrested. Although the chief prosecutor wants Hitler and his followers executed, the chief justice advises extreme leniency due to the possibility of Hitler revealing those members of the German army who initially supported him. Hitler and his followers are therefore sentenced to prison, but Goering escapes to Austria and is admitted into a sanitarium for treatment of his morphine addiction. During his term at Landsberg Prison, Hitler dictates his autobiography, titled Mein Kampf , and becomes influenced by astrology. In the spring of 1924, Joseph Goebbels, the Berlin district leader of the Nazi party, visits Hitler and pledges his allegiance. By December 1924, when Hitler is released, Germany is experiencing prosperity. Based on his astrologer's advice to lay low for five years, Hitler moves to a Bavarian mountain cottage with his sister, Angela Raubal, and her daughter "Geli." When Hitler becomes obsessed with Geli and loses sight of his political goals, Himmler, Hess and Goering, who has returned despite reports of his insanity, worry that Hitler may lose the Party to Strasser, who has become head of the Party's northern territory. After Hitler forces himself on Geli, Himmler, hoping to make Hitler jealous, arranges for him to catch Geli with a handsome young Nazi officer. Hitler murders Geli and her death is ruled a suicide, as the only reporter who found evidence to the contrary is murdered by Hitler's men. By 1930, Germany has slumped into a severe economic depression, and Hitler is determined to attain power legally. Hitler now tailors his speeches to suit his audience, and the Nazi party jumps from the smallest party to the second largest party in Germany. Nevertheless, Paul von Hindenburg defeats Hitler and is re-elected as president of the Weimar Republic. Although his goals differ from Hitler, von Hindenburg reluctantly appoints him to be the Reichschancellor, intending to get rid of him in six months. Instead, Hess and Goering engineer a Communist scare to rally support behind the Nazi party, and frame the Communists for burning down the Reichstag. Hitler then uses von Hindenburg's decree limiting personal liberties to wage a systematic campaign against all who oppose the Nazis, including Jews, Communists, newspapers and trade unions. The education system comes under Nazi control, and the nation's youth are indoctrinated to believe in Germanic principles, as opposed to Christian principles. Although the military leaders promise to appoint Hitler as Supreme Commander when the elderly von Hindenburg dies, they demand that Hitler's Storm Troopers, who are under Goering's command and were created to protect the Nazis, be dissolved. Roehm is ordered to lure Hitler and the Storm Troopers into a trap at Weissensee, but Himmler, Hess and Goering, seeing that Hitler is mentally unstable, insist that he take action to "cleanse" the Party. To this end, Hitler is sent to the mountains while Himmler and Goering create lengthy lists of their detractors, and those whom they simply dislike, from which they wage a campaign of murder, killing thousands over the course of four days. Roehm, Strasser and von Kahr are among those killed. When von Hindenburg dies, Hitler takes control of the army, and proceeds with his plan to exterminate the Jews and take over the world.
Cast & Crew
|MPAA Ratings:||Premiere Info:||New York premiere: 6 May 1944|
|Release Date:||1944||Production Date:||
35mm nitrate print; 6 reels of 6 (ca. 12000 ft.) D21-R5-3; M2786
|Color/B&W:||Black and White||Distributions Co:||Paramount Pictures, Inc.|
|Sound:||Mono||Production Co:||Paramount Pictures, Inc.|
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jack connor 2013-09-02
From the brief part of this film that have i viewed on the internet and the scanty reviews of it in various film books, i was intrigued to see the whole...
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Rudi Herold 2010-10-05
when will the paramount picture, the hitler gang, be available on dvd or when will the movie be shown on tcm? My father almost 80 years old was just a boy...