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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 <email@example.com>
Among his reasons for sacrificing a visual effects interpretation of the climatic crash sequence for the real deal, Robert Wise felt that the newsreel footage was too iconic to recreate and that the special/visual effects would not do it justice. There was even an attempt to tint the newsreel footage to make the scenes work in color, but this idea, along with the concept of bleeding the color out up to the moment of the explosion, was scrapped. 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" is a Robert Wise film in which he depicts the last voyage of the blimp from Germany to Lakehurst, New Jersey. He adapted the screenplay from Michael Mooney's book, in which the Hindenburg might have been a victim of sabotage from someone on board.
This film has all the elements for a great disaster! The usual cast of colorful characters played by terrific actors (George C. Scott, Anne Bancroft, Burgess Meredith, Katherine Helmond, Charles Durning, etc), a nice twist to a factual tale about sabotage bringing down the symbol of Nazi power, and an outstanding display of the effects during the explosion sequence. Wise used the actual newsreel footage, shot it freeze-frame style and spliced it in with the characters as they try to escape death. The best part of the movie by far!
"The Hindenburg" does drag in some spots but the viewer needs to pay close attention to what is going on, who everyone is, what issues they have, why they are on the zepplin and how this adds to the story. Pay close attention to The Countess played by Anne Bancroft, by far the best character in the movie.
This happens to be my favorite disaster movie for a number of reasons. First off, the sabotage plot unfolds nicely and I actually believe that the Hindenburg was downed as an act of sabotage. I have always believed this. Second, I love the detail Wise's team did with the ship's interior sets, you actually feel as if you are flying on the ship, and the third, the last sequence with the explosion occurs. Effects were pretty damn well done! If you want to see a true disaster come about, revolving around a suspenseful story with great characters, rent "The Hindenburg"
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