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Triumph of the Will (1935) - Plot Summary Poster

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Summaries

  • A legendary propaganda/documentary of the Third Reich's 1934 Nuremberg Party Rally. Featuring a cast of thousands as well as, of course, Hitler, Himmler, Goebbels, Hess, Goering and other top party officials.

  • This documentary by Nazi propagandist and filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl's is about the Nazi party's 1934 rally in Nuremberg, Germany. Told without narration, it documents all six days of activities from Adolf Hitler's arrival to his departure. It includes speeches by all of the major participants as well as the various activities of the thousands upon thousands who attended. In hindsight, it's a chilling film that shows the power of propaganda.

  • Triumph of the Will was commissioned by Hitler in 1934 and directed by Leni Riefenstahl, and covers the events of the Sixth Nuremberg Party Congress. The original intention was to document the early days of the NSDAP, so future generations could look back and see how the Third Reich began. In reality, Triumph of the Will shows historians how the Nazi state drew in the masses through propaganda and also how Adolf Hitler had a unique and terrifying ability to entice crowds to his beliefs by the very power of his words.

  • The infamous propaganda film of the 1934 Nazi Party rally in Nuremberg, Germany.


Spoilers

The synopsis below may give away important plot points.

Synopsis

  • TRIUMPH OF THE WILL

    This is a documentary of a three day gathering of the Nazi Party faithful in Nuremberg, Germany, in 1934. The film can be subdivided into a number of sequences documenting arrivals, parades, preparations and speeches. Only one scenethe review of the German cavalryactually involved the German military. Characteristic of all the sequences are beautifully composed shots of Nazi flags and symbols, and of faces of enraptured people. Except during the speeches, there is martial music playing by a military band.

    [1] An airplane is flying through beautiful clouds, then over the city of Nuremberg, and lands at the airport. Nazi party bigwigs descend, finally Adolf Hitler, and there is a welcoming ceremony.

    [2] Adolf Hitler enters the city, standing in an open four door Mercedes Benz in a motorcade. Adoring crowds wave and give the Nazi salute, including children, women, uniformed soldiers. A woman hands him a bouquet of flowers while holding up a small child in her other arm. Flags with swastikas are flying or hanging on every street.

    [3] At a rally in a large indoor venue, the party faithful members hear speeches by a dozen party bigwigs. Only a couple of sound bytes from each are shown, ending with a brief speech by Hitler.

    [4] Night falls on the city of Nuremberg. There are parades through the old streets by small groups carrying torches. Patriotic songs are sung.

    [5] Dawn over the city. Aerial views of the quiet streets.

    [6] At an enormous campground of tents, young adult men are getting up, washing in communal basins. Breakfast is being prepared in enormous vats. They eat and sing and play good natured games, with lots of smiles all around.

    [7] At the enormous stadium built by the Nazis in Nuremberg, the crowds march in and sit and wait for a speech by Hitler.

    [8] There is a youth rally at another enormous venue, with another speech by Hitler.

    [9] Military parades follow. In fields outside the city, motorized and cavalry troups display their equipment in marches and advances. Then various military groups each in a different uniform march through the old part of the city, past the Cathedral. In a square next to the Cathedral Hitler reviews the marching groups.

    [10] Speech by Hitler to military groups.

    [11] Night falls again, there are fireworks and parades by torch bearing groups.

    [12] In another motorcade, Hitler is hailed by the populace. Many observe from windows opening onto the motorcade route. Others hail him after having climbed onto any high place, even up lamp posts.

    [13] In the same venue of the first speeches, Hitler gives a speech closing the proceedings. This speech, just like all the others documented, have no programs or explanations but are designed to create enthusiasm for a new Germany, united, that can do extraordinary things, that can solve problems and build for a better future, where the ordinary worker is treated with dignity, and all are motivated by patriotic love for the German nation.

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