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:
Colonel Franz Ritter
Countess Ursula von Reugen
Karl Boerth
Martin Vogel
Edward Douglas
Emilio Pajetta
Captain Ernst Lehman (as Richard A. Dysart)
Joseph Spah
Major Napier
Peter Donat ...
Reed Channing
Albert Breslau
Mrs. Mildred Breslau
Mrs. Channing
Stephen Elliott ...
Captain Fellows


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)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

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



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


A model of the Hindenburg was constructed for filming. The model was over 25 feet in length, and was able to be flown by suspension cables in front of a backdrop. The film also used matte paintings of the airship, which used photographs of the model. The model was donated to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC, where it is on display. See more »


The passenger list that Mildred Breslau looks at before takeoff has many errors. Errors include Franz Ritter listed as Franz Kessler, Martin Vogel as Otto Vogel, Valerie Breslau as Irene Breslau, and Ursula von Reugen as Ursula von Scharnwitz. Additionally, there are 51 passengers; when in reality there were only 36 passengers aboard on the Hindenburg's last flight. This list appears to be from an earlier version of the screenplay. See more »


Reed Channing: There's a new voice sweeping the fatherland Loyal Germans understand As they rally round its exciting sound How their hearts expand There's a new voice keeping the fatherland To its ancient noble bounds Helping restless men start to build again Showing where and how? There's a lot to be said for the Fuhrer Why I hardly know where to begin For our pride in Aryan purity security Thank Berlin All the bold youthful steps he is taking Make you feel that something special's in the air What has got to...
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Spoofed in DuckTales: The Uncrashable Hindentanic (1987) See more »


You're a Sweetheart
Written by Harold Adamson and Jimmy McHugh
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User Reviews

"Next time, let's take the Titanic."
18 January 2009 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

No film that Pauline Kael despised on principle (in this case the principle that it was directed by Robert Wise) can be all bad, and so it proves with The Hindenburg, which falls somewhere between a countdown-to-catastrophe period political thriller a la Tora! Tora! Tora!, 70s conspiracy movie and by-the-numbers disaster movie. It's as a disaster movie that it fails the most: the destruction of the Hindenburg was simply too quick to make for much of a climax, and playing the famous black and white newsreel footage intercut with unimpressive cutaways to the less than stellar cast at the end feels like a real cheat, especially since it's often clumsily handled. On the plus side it offers a clever screen story from legendary Monday Mystery Movie TV scribes William Levinson and Richard Link that sees George C. Scott's reluctant Luftwaffe Colonel sent by Goebbels on the airship's last voyage to uncover a plot to destroy the ship and thus embarrass the Nazi regime that uses it for their own propaganda. While the real investigations in Germany and America give the film some momentum, unfortunately the search for suspects among this particular sedately paced Airship of Fools is less than urgent: indeed, it's pretty obvious who is behind the plot and how Scott will react when he uncovers him.

That the supporting cast is more solid than glittering doesn't help: Anne Bancroft's aristocratic old flame has little to do but bemoan the way the Nazis have taken over her estate, cheat at cards and smoke the kind of cigarettes you don't get over the counter, but still manages to make more of her part than the script does; Roy Thinnes does well as the Gestapo man hitting on a young Jewish passenger because "I'm anxious to try one before they run out"; Richard Dysart does the good German wondering what's happening to his country routine as one of the owners (who historically was more than happy to cosy up to the Nazis if it was good for business); Charles Durning keeps the glowering to a minimum as the pro-Nazi captain; Gig Young is clearly drunk in a couple of scenes (yes, I know he's playing a drunk, but he slurs even when he's supposed to be sober half the time); while star-that-never-was William Atherton lurks in the rigging moodily before saving the ship from the danger that his own incompetence puts it in the first place. Shame they couldn't have afforded a couple of British actors for Burgess Meredith and Rene Auberjonois' parts. However, it does boast one of Scott's more natural and likeably underplayed performances before his penchant for drunken Long John Silver impersonations took over, managing to keep it all together until things go bang. The production design is excellent, Albert Whitlock's special effects, while dated, are often impressive and there's a lovely score by David Shire that's recently been released as an extremely limited edition CD. And it's hard to write off a film entirely that has one nervous passenger suggest "Next time, let's take the Titanic."

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