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Young Dr. Paul Joseph Goebbels, an unsuccessful playwright, is forced, in order to support himself, to take a position as tutor in the household of Herr Quandt. His first attempt to force himself upon women comes when he becomes interested in a young actress, Maria Brandt, daughter of Colonel Brandt at whose home he is lodging. He is driven from the house by Colonel Brandt. That night, acting as an usher for a meeting of the new German Socialist Party, Goebbels hears Hitler speak, and becomes an ardent follower. He is made propaganda head, becomes known as the "Scoundrel of Berlin", and his machinations strike terror into the hearts of innocent girls. Maria Brandt, who is working as a bit player in a theatre in Hannover, again meets Goebbels. Through his efforts, although unknown to her, Maria is made an overnight star. He then procures a contract for her at the famous UFA studios of Berlin. Maria, who has become interested in a young doctor, Hans Traeger, shuns Goebbels' attentions. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Where are all the snarling and brutish Nazis in this propaganda film?
I rented this film from Netflix because I was hoping to see yet another over the top propaganda film from WWII--the type that are almost funny because the acting and characters are so over the top. However, I was very surprised to see that "Enemy of Women" was actually rather restrained. Heck, I could even see some viewers actually feeling a bit of sympathy for the focus of the film--Dr. Josef Goebbels! The film begins as Berlin is in ruins--and a radio broadcast by Dr. Goebbels is telling the people that everything is peachy. Then, the film goes back in time to 1925 and eventually works its way back to where the film began. You see Goebbels as a rather insecure man--a guy who has a difficult time with women. He is secretly in love with his landlord's daughter, Maria. When he makes a very awkward advance on her, her father throws him out of the home. And, inexplicably, Goebbels spends the entire rest of the film trying to win her love. However, along the way, Goebbels shows that he's a lover not to be trifled with and uses the power he achieves from the Nazi party to get his revenge.
This entire film is weird--very weird. That's because it seems like a real biography of the man--though most of it is fiction. Yes, there was a Goebbels and he was a sick and twisted jerk--but oddly, the Goebbels in this film is a bit vulnerable. Sure, he's evil...but somehow not altogether hateful. Because of this somewhat human aspect, the film is a standout for the genre, as propaganda films usually try very hard to de-humanize the enemy. Mind you, this did not make Goebbels look exactly good---but he was indeed human and vulnerable. Overall, it's well made and actually ages pretty well. Just remember that this is NOT a real biography, as the real Goebbels was much more complex and sick.
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