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Hitler's Hollywood Movie Review

Hitler's Hollywood Movie Review

Springtime for Hitler

A documentary that examines the films made by the Third Reich is probably not for everyone, but learning about the German film industry under the leadership of Joseph Goebbels interested me.

All I knew about the topic concerned the films of director Leni Riefenstahl. In a college film class, I saw her "Triumph of the Will", which remains one of my favorite films, despite its message lionizing the Nazi movement. Considering that I am a descendant of two Holocaust survivors, that's pretty amazing. After viewing it the first time, a part of me understood the allure of it all. It's that well made.

Over 1000 feature films were produced in Germany between 1933-1945. They ranged from musicals, comedies, romances, generally feel-good films and towards the end, battles with casts of thousands. It pretty much mirrored the output of Hollywood, at that time. The exception was the propaganda angle, although one could argue that Hollywood also dabbled in propaganda.
"Hitler's Hollywood", made and narrated by film journalist and critic Rüdiger Suchsland, attempts to explain - in great detail - the inner workings of the Nazi version of Hollywood. It also commemorates the 100th anniversary of UFA, which quickly became the state-run arm of German cinema.

Rüdiger Suchsland's documentary throws a ton of information at you, including film titles, top actors, and the premier directors. Unfortunately, you feel barraged by barrels of information that you won't possibly be able to remember.

The frenetic pace is numbing and the only joy in watching is picking out individual moments that you can focus on for a few seconds before Suchsland whisks you off, again. As a document, it is informative, but it's not particularly entertaining.


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