BBC2 Playhouse: Season 7, Episode 13

Journal of Bridget Hitler (6 Feb. 1981)

TV Episode  -  Drama
7.2
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Title: Journal of Bridget Hitler (06 Feb 1981)

Journal of Bridget Hitler (06 Feb 1981) on IMDb 7.2/10

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Cast

Episode credited cast:
...
Siobhan McKenna ...
...
Interviewer
...
Janis
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Nicola Blackman ...
Make-up girl
Shevaun Briars ...
Young Bridget
Alan Chuntz ...
Shultz
Tom Gerrard ...
Stormtrooper
Renee Goddard ...
Angela
Vincent Hall ...
Young Patrick
Alan Haywood ...
General
Lorri Lee ...
Lola
Denis Lill ...
Vicki Luke ...
Interviewer
Max Mason ...
Floor manager
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Drama

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6 February 1981 (UK)  »

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1.33 : 1
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An interesting curiosity
6 August 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Bridget Hitler was Adolf Hitler's sister-in-law, being married to his half-brother Alois. Originally from Dublin, Ireland, she met Alois there, came back to London and married him there in 1910. The couple settled in Liverpool. Alois went back to Germany - deserting his family

  • in 1914. In 1939 Bridget and her son moved to the USA and decided to


remain. After the war Bridget wrote a 'memoir' claiming Adolf Hitler lived in Liverpool in late 1912 and early 1913 to avoid conscription into the Austrian army. Historians dismissed this as fabrication and Bridget herself later admitted she invented the story in an effort to sell the book (which failed).

In 1978 the novelist Beryl Bainbridge (true to her stock in trade of taking historic subjects and giving them a fictional twist) worked the story into a novel "Young Adolf" and this television adaptation appeared three years later. The production was interesting because we saw the 'real' Bridget Hitler (played by actress Siobhan McKenna) being interviewed while actors were made up and prepared to play historical figures. There was also extensive use of what at the time were pioneering special effects to create sets which transformed from one time and place to another. No doubt today (compared with CGI) it would look pretty crude, but at the time every trick in the book was used to make this a real spectacular.

Unfortunately it wasn't very dramatic. Adolf was an idle dreamer who became a sadistic megalomaniac (sorry if I've given away the ending). The performances were good but not exceptional (despite the hard work that seems to have gone into research and make-up). A lot of speculation is expended on AH's possibly incestuous relationship with his niece and the 'decadance' of 1920's Berlin. So - an interesting curiosity of its time, but not ground-breaking or original.


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