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Hitler's S.S.: Portrait in Evil (1985)

The story of Helmut and Karl Hoffmann. Both come of age at the start of Hitler's power in Germany. Helmut joins the SS and eventually becomes a successful flag rank officer. Karl joins the ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Karl Hoffmann
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Helmut Hoffmann
Lucy Gutteridge ...
Mitzi Templer (nightclub singer)
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Becker (SS assistant to Dietrich)
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Uncle Walter (bartender)
Robert Urquhart ...
Albrecht Hoffman
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Prof. Ludwig Rosenberg
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Gerda Hoffman
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John Normington ...
Derek Newark ...
Theodor Eicke
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Gen. Josef Biegler, SA
...
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Storyline

The story of Helmut and Karl Hoffmann. Both come of age at the start of Hitler's power in Germany. Helmut joins the SS and eventually becomes a successful flag rank officer. Karl joins the SA and experiences the darker side of Nazism after the SA is disbanded and Karl is thrown into prison and later conscripted into the German army. Brother is pitted against brother until their relationship, and the Third Reich, stands in ruins Written by Anthony Hughes <husnock31@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

brother | third reich | hitler | ss | nazis | See All (38) »

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Brother is pitted against brother under the shadow of the Third Reich.

Genres:

Drama | War

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Details

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Release Date:

17 February 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hitler SS: El retrato del mal  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Hitler's portrait on the Hitler's S.S.: Portrait in Evil (1985) cover/poster is taken from a March 1933 Reichstag election poster, the last one in which Germans had a choice. The poster shows President Paul von Hindenburg and Chancellor Adolf Hitler . The caption states "The Reich will never be destroyed if you are united and loyal: National Socialism." See more »

Goofs

In long shots of the Sturmabteilung headquarters, the first car from the left parked in front is a Mercedes-Benz built in the early 1950s. See more »

Quotes

Putzi: [1939, in a bar full of Nazi's and German soldiers] We hoped you enjoyed our entertainment ladies and gentlemen, that's all we have for you tonight... oh... one thing I almost forgot, someone asked me a request. Would I sing the Polish national anthem... anyone know it? You know it? Well, no matter. It'll be obsolete by Christmas anyway, like the Jews.
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Soundtracks

Wenn die Soldaten,
sung on train to the Night of the Long Knives
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Interesting, if overreaching summary of the rise of the SS
15 October 1999 | by (Boston, USA) – See all my reviews

This was a rather good film. It artfully tells the story of the days just after the Nazi "Machtergreifung", and the power struggle between Himmler's SS (with Heydrich's SD an important part) and Ernst Röhm's SA, through the Hoffman family. Karl, a seeming true-blue National Socialist, joins the SA. His brother Helmut, an opportunist, joins the SS for career advancement, and deluding himself into believing that by being in the SS, he could "Do good on the inside".

This film does an excellent job in examining the motivations of Nazis, and of human feelings through Karl and Helmut's sibling rivalry. The acting was excellent, featuring Jose Ferrer as Helmut's old teacher, who is a Jew. However, I found the actress playing Mitzi to be repulsively vacuous. Tony Randall's cameo appearance was brilliant, among others.

Where this film fails is that it tries to do too much. Ity tries far too hard to address every issue involved in discussing the Third Reich, from Anti-Semitism, to the cause of the war, to the Hitler Youth, to propaganda, and so forth. This causes much superficiality, so that none of these topics is thoroughly addressed. The largest strength to this film, is that it so bravely and accurately portrays a historic episode, known as the Night of the Long Knives, in which Hitler has Röhm, and his SA leadership killed, presumably because they were planning a Putsch against Hitler. It re-examines an old issue, and it does it cunningly.


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