In this notorious Nazi propaganda historical costume melodrama, a conniving, ambitious Jewish businessman, Süß Oppenheimer, snares a post as treasurer to the Duke of Wurttemburg by ... See full summary »
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In this notorious Nazi propaganda historical costume melodrama, a conniving, ambitious Jewish businessman, Süß Oppenheimer, snares a post as treasurer to the Duke of Wurttemburg by showering the corrupt duke with treasure and promises of even greater riches. As the Jew's schemes grow more elaborate and his actions more brazen, the dukedom nearly erupts into civil war. Persuaded by the Jew, the Duke all but scuttles the constitution and alienates the assembly by lifting the local ban on Jews in Stuttgart. In a final outrage, the Jew rapes a wholesome German girl and tortures her father and fiancée. When the Duke succumbs to a sudden heart attack, the assembly of Elders try the Jew and sentence him to death for having "carnal knowledge of a Christian woman". Written by
Kevin Rayburn <firstname.lastname@example.org>
While the film is only partially based on Lion Feuchtwanger's 1925 historical novel "Jud Süß", as well as Wilhelm Hauff's 1827 novella, neither the film nor the written works correspond to the actual historic sources regarding the actual Joseph Süß Oppenheimer as still accessible at the Landesarchiv Baden-Württemberg. See more »
When Aktuarius lays the dead body of Dorothea on the doorsteps and puts his head on her chest, her right eyelid clearly moves for a few seconds. See more »
One of the most notorious anti Semitic movies ever made, filmed in Germany in 1940, under the close supervision of Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels. This was based on a real case and a further novel by Jewish author Lion Feuchtwanger - obviously, the Nazis completely distorted the source material so that this film is completely anti-Semitic. The movie was a huge success at its time millions of Germans watched it and SS boss Heinrich Himmler made viewing the movie mandatory for every member of his organization. Today the film is banned in Germany.
In 18th century Germany, the foolish duke of Wurttenberg decides to make the Jewish businessman Joseph Suss Oppenheimmer his financial adviser. Soon disaster will come to the dukedom, in the form of a higher cost of living (under advice from Suss, the duke sharply rises all sort of taxes). Suss also advices the duke to let the Jews enter Wurttenberg (from where they were banned from residing). Eventually, the members of Wurttenberg council, decides to rise against the duke and his adviser.
Ironically, in some ways the message of the movie looks different today than originally intended. To a modern audience, the Germans in the movie are so naïve, ignorant and narrow minded that they seem off putting, while Suss appears to be, until he turns into a rapist and torturer toward the end, not such a bad guy, just a sharp, quick if a bit ethically loose businessman. Putting tolls in the roads of Wurttenberg doesn't look to be such a bad thing, while the politicians of the council opposing Suss seem uptight, arrogant and pompous. The character of Faber seems an unbearable, prejudiced young hothead, while his wife Dorothea, the Christian girl Suss strives for and that will be one of the causes of his downfall (played by Kristina Soderbaum, wife of director Veit Harlan) is so dumb and foolish, one feels she is not really worth the trouble. Even the portrayal of the rabbi of the community seems almost positive to a modern audience: he tells Suss to be very careful in his political dealings with the Germans, lest this backfire on the Jewish community. In this way, the movie takes for granted the anti Jewish prejudices of the German people of the day that we no longer take for granted. Ferdinand Marian gives an amazing multifaceted performance as the cunning but magnetic Suss, without him the movie would be far less powerful than it is. Finally, I give this movie a high rating because I think is very well made I certainly find its message hateful.
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