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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 <email@example.com>
Of all the gang around Adolf Hitler probably the sickest and most degenerate was Joseph Paul Goebbels. Minister for propaganda and public enlightenment, he was one of the few who was not trying to cut a deal for himself when the Third Reich was in its last days. He stayed loyal to the master to the bitter end.
If Dr. Freud could have gotten Dr. Goebbels on the couch I'm sure his notes would have been fascinating. Like Somerset Maugham's protagonist Philip Carey in Of Human Bondage, Goebbels was born with a club foot and that together with a raging libido was the story of his life. When he was a nobody he couldn't get a date, when he became minister his job included supervision of the German film industry. He had a casting couch that put L.B. Mayer's and Darryl Zanuck's to shame.
This film concerns his obsession with one he couldn't get. Claudia Drake who laughingly rejects him while he was trying to earn a living as a tutor pays for it the rest of the movie. She and father H.B. Warner and husband Donald Woods. Goebbels never forgot a slight in real life.
Wolfgang Zilzer plays Goebbels and it's a change from Martin Kosleck who usually played Goebbels when he was a character in film. If you want to see a good portrayal of Goebbels in a good film I highly recommend The Bunker where Cliff Gorman and Piper Laurie played Joe and Magda Goebbels. She's a cipher here and that's wrong in and of itself. She was as sick as he was, maybe worse. But she completely put up with his womanizing because she didn't believe in letting the grass grow under her feet. There's a fine account of that in Albert Speer's memoirs.
Making Magda a peripheral character in the story is a big mistake. And the general shoddiness of production doesn't help either. In fact at the end of the film the narrator says this story isn't finished and how could it be in 1944.
Still this World War II propaganda has some good moments in it and should be seen as a curiosity.
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