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The Hindenburg (1975)

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

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(screen story), (screen story), 2 more credits »
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Title: The Hindenburg (1975)

The Hindenburg (1975) on IMDb 6.1/10

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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Ritter
...
The Countess
...
Boerth
...
Martin Vogel
...
Edward Douglas
...
Emilio Pajetta
...
Captain Pruss
...
Lehman (as Richard A. Dysart)
...
Joe Spah
...
Major Napier
Peter Donat ...
Reed Channing
...
Albert Breslau
...
Mrs. Mildred Breslau
...
Mrs. Channing
Stephen Elliott ...
Captain Fellows
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Storyline

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

Plot Keywords:

nazi | zeppelin | luftwaffe | germany | flying | See more »

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 December 1975 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hindenburg  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

(Technicolor)|

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The full-size gondola built for the film is now in the possession of a Lakehurst, NJ-area historical society, who have been known to display it at local airshows and other aviation-related events. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Martin Vogel: Out Ritter, I've taken over!
See more »

Connections

References Gone with the Wind (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

There's A Lot to be Said for the Fuehrer
Music by David Shire
Lyric by Ed Kleban
Performed by Peter Donat, Robert Clary (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of my favorite Movies...
28 November 2002 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

This film is a unique illustration of the Hindenberg disaster, which occurred on the evening of May 6, 1937 in Lakehurst, New Jersey when the gigantic hydrogen-filled zeppelin exploded on landing. Although a common theory for this event's cause was a discharge of electricity from the atmosphere triggering the fire, here it is suggested as form sabotage. As a result of the explosion, 36 people (one third of those on-board the German airship) were killed.

The movie goes along quite well in the way it is presented as a series of chronological events leading up to the explosion. The cast is flawless and in turn so is the superb and vivid acting. George C. Scott (as Colonel Franz Ritter, a German security officer) and Anne Bancroft (as the reluctant Countess) seem to be very suited and prepared for their parts as the main characters in the film. Other passengers to watch for include: Gig Young (as the sly Edward Douglass), Burgess Meredith (as gambler Emilio Pajetta) and Robert Clary, from the hit sitcom, "Hogan's Heroes", (as Joseph Spahn, a comedian.) These and many others provide an enjoyable overall performance in the movie while not only based on historical accounts, also provides other common genres of drama, suspense, comedy and even elements of romance between the two main characters.

This film may have a general theme of seriousness, as Colonel Ritter proceeds to investigate an array of people aboard who are suspects to an anti-Nazi conspiracy, yet it also resolves to make way for other moods as well. For example, midway through the film there is a very amusing sequence in which passenger Reed Channing (Peter Donat) plays on the airship's famous baby grand piano and sings a song entitled: "There's A Lot to be Said for the Fuhrer" while Joe Spahn performs. This scene obviously demonstrates how both passengers are clearly against the Nazi party, and here it is also interesting to note that during WWII, actor Robert Clary actually was confined to the Nazi concentration camps as countless other unfortunates were subject to during the Holocaust. There are also several humorous one-liners spoken throughout the film, such as: "Next time we'll take the Titanic!" followed by other memorable quotes.

As the film progresses, complications arise in the piloting of the Hindenberg as the crew and passengers encounter a brief experience with turbulence and St. Elmo's fire, (a flickering bluish glow sometimes appearing during storms) and repairing a rip in the fabric cover on the port side of the airship as it hovers over the frigid Atlantic Ocean. Events such as these, and Colonel Ritter's continuing investigation, prove to bring together desired elements of suspense, which certainly add up nearing the movie's climax ending.

Shortly before the Hindenberg's doomed landing, Ritter finally discovers the suspected sabotage and the passenger behind it in a perplexing turn of events. In doing so, he also finds that this well-planned demolition is i n the form of a timed-bomb that has been hidden in the airship's structure and that it is up to him to reach in time for deactivation. The last few thrilling seconds before the explosion in which Colonel Ritter slowly struggles to defuse the bomb have enough apprehension to make it seem an eternity as he meticulously works, but to no avail. From the moment in which the bomb goes off, there is enough action to keep you on the edge of your seat until the movie's end. The last few minutes (which combine both color, black and white images, and still frames of the fire as innocent passengers attempt to escape the flames) are exceedingly well filmed as well as both exciting and horrific. Through this vivid portrayal, one may wonder just what it would have been like to witness this tragic disaster. To any viewer its plain to see just why "The Hindenberg" received a special achievements award for its sound and visual effects and nominations for best cinematography and film editing.

With excellent writing credits provided by Nelson Gidding and under the careful direction of Robert Wise "The Hindenberg" proves to be a genuine and enjoyable movie to watch. This is a film that will undeniably age well, still seeming as timeless as it was the first time through. One of my favorite movies of all time, "The Hindenberg" can be highly recommended.


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