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This film is a compendium of the facts and fiction of the events leading up to the disaster. For dramatic effect, Sabotage was chosen as the cause, rather than electricity lashing out at a couple of tons of hydrogen. Written by
Charles Holland <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The film includes clips from the actual newsreel footage of the airship's explosion and fire. The recording played just before the closing credits is the actual eye-witness account of news reporter Herbert Morrison, describing the Hindenburg disaster. See more »
In the film, the characters of Ernest Lehmann and Hugo Eckener are portrayed as very wary of the Nazi party. In reality, while Eckener hated the Nazis and spoke against them openly, Lehman was very accommodating to the powers in Berlin in order to advance his career and the fortunes of the Zeppelin Company. In fact, while the movie shows Lehman protesting using the ship in the previous year to drop propaganda leaflets, in reality Lehman was eager and glad to oblige in this undertaking, to the extent that he launched the ship in a dangerous wind condition, bashing in the tail. In real life Eckener lashed out at Lehman for endangering the ship to please the Nazis, resulting in Propaganda Minister Goebbels blacklisting Eckener in the press forever after, despite his being a national (and international) hero. See more »
The Hindenburg disaster didn't last more than 3 minutes or so; then, if you want to make a movie with that subject, how do you complete the rest of the time a film is supposed to last? Not an easy task.
Robert Wise puts his best in trying but "Hindenburg" doesn't rise beyond a just standard disaster film. Some good sequences of the ship in the air and good performances from a reliable cast are not enough to raise such level. The plot, sort of interesting with the sabotage focus, is not great either.
Finally, the airship's destruction scenes mixed up with real footage is not bad, but you always wonder if including real shooting (that most of us have seen before), doesn't appear as a sort of cheating the easy way when it comes to movies about real facts; this is not a documentary film and I would have liked to see special effects on the crash we all knew was coming.
Robert Wise was indeed one of the most recognized directors in films and gave as such good products in different genres as "The Sound of Music", "Helen of Troy" or "The Day the Earth Stood Still" just to name a few. But "Hindemburg" -though watchable- is not among his best works and it didn't fulfill my expectations; not with Robert Wise in the direction.
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