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The Hindenburg (1975)

A film that chronicles the events of the Hindenburg disaster in which a zeppelin burst into flames.



(screen story), (screen story) | 2 more credits »

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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Edward Douglas
Captain Ernst Lehman (as Richard A. Dysart)
Joseph Spah
Major Napier
Albert Breslau
Stephen Elliott ...


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 <charley@themovies.com.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Of 97 aboard, eight had a motive for sabotage. One had a plot. See more »


PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

25 December 1975 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hindenburg  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (Westrex Recording System) (35 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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 »


When the FBI men come to interview Mrs Raesch about her letter to the German ambassador the caption reads that they arrive at her home at 6:45 AM. However during the interview inside her home a wall clock in the back ground reads 1:50 PM. PM since it is clearly daylight outside. See more »


Goebbels: There is no resistance movement, Colonel!
Colonel Franz Ritter: That's reassuring, coming from the Minister of Propoganda.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The film opens with the 1936 Universal logo followed by a newsreel prior to the credits. See more »


Edited into Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) See more »


I Won't Dance
Written by Jerome Kern, Jimmy McHugh, Dorothy Fields and Otto A. Harbach
See more »

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User Reviews

The Hindenburg is a bomb!
16 March 2003 | by See all my reviews

The problem with making true stories is that the viewer already knows the outcome of the story. Most true stories center on someone's life thus giving the filmmakers a chance to show us insights we the viewer may not have known. When doing a film about an incident, the filmmakers are challenged to keep our interest high despite knowing how it all comes out.

The problem with "The Hindenburg", and it's a big one, is that the filmmakers have created a possible though unlikely scenario to explain why the infamous blimp exploded just prior to landing in 1936. The scenario created is that the explosion was caused by sabotage via a mad bomber. This would have worked fine had they remembered one thing. We already know coming in that the Hindenburg exploded and killed 36 people. Any tension that could have been created is then lost. When George C. Scott as a sympathetic(?) Nazi figures it all out it's a race against time to see if he can find the bomb and then diffuse it. But we know that can't happen so the only real tension in the whole movie is waiting to see which of the big name cast members are going to die. And it is a long, tedious wait until the final scenes.

Director Robert Wise incorporates real footage of the explosion with staged shots that mix together nicely. Again this comes in the last 10 minutes of the movie so we have to wait a while for the expected explosion. The final scenes are quite compelling. Unfortunately the first 110 minutes or so are a raging bore as we meet the cast and watch their individual stories. Anne Bancroft, Burgess Meredith, Charles Durning, and others join Scott for the flight but none of these characters are the least bit interesting. Only when their lives are in peril does any interest perk us up. And the only interest we have is seeing who survives but not caring who does and doesn't.

Director Wise has had a distinguished career but "The Hindenburg" will not be remembered as one of his best works. In the large group of disaster films of the 70's this was the worst up to that point ("The Swarm" and "When Time Ran Out" would come later and were much worse). It isn't even fun to watch in a bad movie kind of way the way you can with "Earthquake" or the later "Airport" movies. With all the talent involved "The Hindenburg" should have gone a different direction with its script. As it stands it's a dud.

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