|Index||8 reviews in total|
This film has a solid plot and remains quite faithful to the historical
events which it portrays. Some scenes involving the conspirators are
necessarily conjecture but they always remain plausible and certainly do
compromise the facts for the sake of dramatic license.
There is a good mix of action and dialogue throughout the film and a tense soundtrack which does a lot to add to the atmosphere. The performances of many of the actors are first-rate. Ian Richardson as General Beck and Ken Colley as Field-Marshal Keitel are characteristically convincing. The presence of Helmuts Lohner and Griem as General Fromm and Field-Marshal Rommel respectively help to give the film a greater feeling of audio authenticity which adds to the effect of excellent costumes and sets. Jonathan Hyde is a convincing Goebells and demonstrates a wonderful range. The best performance by far is that of the little-known Welsh actor Mike Gwilym who puts in a masterly portrayal of the fast declining Hitler.
True story of "Operation Valkyrie", the plot to kill Hitler,and how
despite all the odds in it being successful fell completely apart
leaving those who executed it ending up being executed themselves by
Hitler's secret police, the dreaded Gestapo, and SS troopers.
It seem so simple at first with German war hero Count Cluse Von Stauffenberg, Brad Davis, getting together with a number of fellow German Army officers with a secret plan to knock off the German Fuhrer Adolf Hitler, Mike Gwilym. With Hitler no longer in charge they then plan to sue for peace with the allies thus preventing their beloved Germany from being plastered off the face of the earth. The plan soon runs into a number of roadblocks with no one willing to risk their lives in a suicidal attempt to kill Hitler along with themselves.
Stauffenberg who's already given his right arm as well as left eye, in being wounded during the fighting in North Africa, for the Fatherland isn't that eager to give up his life in stopping that madman, Hitler, from destroying the country that he loves. Hitler plans to fight the remainder of the war to the very last man, as well as woman and child, in his scorched earth strategy of holding off the allied advance thus destroying the German nation and people in the process by doing it.
The film has us see how the plot to assassinate Hitler started when the war began to turn against Germany in the early Spring of 1943. With devastating losses in both North Africa and the USSR it became evident to many in the German General Staff that Germany had already lost the war. With only a miracle like the new super-weapons that both Hitler and his Propaganda Minster Joseph Goebbles, Jonathan Hyde, have been boasting about Nazi Germany's days were numbered. It was that stark reality that had Von Stauffenberg decide to go on with the plan to assassinate Hitler. As it turned out the perfect plan had many pitfalls the major one being that even if Hitler was killed would the German Army and people go along with those renegade German officers who killed him?
Getting to see Hitler in his bunker-the Wolf's Lair-in East Prussia Stauffenbrg manages to place a suitcase bomb within a few feet of his Fuhrer only to have it placed along side a table leg by another German officer that, with the explosion being directed away not towards the German leader, ended up saving Hitler's life. With Stauffenberg and his fellow conspirators thinking that Hitler was killed in the explosion they prematurely came out into the open, in trying to take over the government, and thus with no one in the military as well as general public supporting them sealed their own fate.
Stauffenberg and Co. not only ended up losing their lives in their attempt to put an end to the Hitler Regime but the lives of some 5,000 other Germans, mostly their friends and family members, in the remaining nine months that the war in Europe was to continue. As noble as their cause and intentions were in ridding the world of Adolf Hitler the attempt on his life, and him surviving it, only helped not hurt the German Dictator which was the exact opposite that Stauffenberg & Co. expected it to achieve.
By miscalculating their support in the German General Staff, a number of whom suddenly got cold feet and switched sides, and the German people Stauffenberg's, and the generals, plan went up in smoke together some nine months later with Hitler's Germany that at the time it failed to eliminate. That feat was accomplished by the victorious allies and ironically Hitler himself who's insane actions, in his conduct of the war, did more to help the allied forces to destroy him and his Nazi Regime then almost anything else!
I have come across the 3 movies relating to Operation Valkyrie with Col. Stauffenberg as the main focus. This is the one that i watched most recently but it was the first one made being (1990). Followed by that is Stauffenberg of (2004) and Valkyrie starring Tom Cruise (2009). Now after watching all 3, they are all good watches. I probably enjoyed the (2004) one the most as it had more feeling but 2009 because of the budget and modern look was visually better. After the (1990) and (2004) movies being made am surprised Tom Cruise opted to make another one as the the first 2 fulfill the explanation & feeling. They are all pretty much the same storyline as it is based on a true story with little movie differences here and there. Overall a good watch and doesn't wander off the truths of the incident that we know to be historically true or what we feel is the correct presentation. In many movies actors have tried to play Hitler, so just a little comment on the Hitler in this movie, decent performance. But for me the most defining Hitler i have come across in cinema has to be in ' Downfall' 'Der Untergang' : Bruno Ganz. Also the Himmler in Downfall is the best representation in terms of look i have ever seen. And as we are talking about Nazi representation in movies, the best Heydrich i have seen is in ' Aushwitz the Nazis and the Final Solution'. Although the Himmler in that documentary narrated by Samuel West is terrible. Imagine if all the actors who have represented Nazi personalities so well came together for one movie, now that would be epic for people who show a strong interested in ww2 movies. However in relation to this topic: for me someone should of just blown a bullet into his head rather than beating round the bush coming up with so many complicated ways to kill him yet failing on all accounts.
Televisión version about July 20 Plot professionally shot by Lawrence
Schiller . This version (1980) about the historic events results to be
an adequate retelling about the ¨July 20 plot¨ in which a group of
officers attempt to take control of the German government , including
magnificent actors and acceptable direction . This is a fine movie
about the July 20 plot of 1944 lead by Wehrmacht Colonel Count
Stauffenberg ; being made with good American actors as well as British
and passable production values , though in television style . The
picture contains brief remarks about Claus Graf Von Stauffenberg
(1907-1944) , but focusing mainly the July Plot . The film packs a
colorful cinematography by Freddie Francis and atmospheric musical
score by Lawrence Rosenthal . This story about Stauffenberg and the
famous event from how was orchestrated the dangerous plot has been well
played by Brad Davis as Stauffemberg , Madolyn Smith Osborne as his
wife Countess Nina Von Stauffenberg , Kenneth Colley as Field Marshal
Wilhelm Keitel , Michael Byrne as Gen. Olbricht , Jonathan Hyde as
Professor Joseph Goebbels , Rupert Graves as Axel Von Dem Bussche ,
Helmut Griem as Field Marshal Erwin Rommel , Vernon Dobtcheff as
Fellgiebel and Mike Gwilym as Adolf Hitler .
There are various adaptations about this famous plot and his main participant , Stauffenberg ; they are the followings : First German version about July 20 Plot professionally directed by G.W.Pabst in 1954 with Bernard Wicki ; German adaptation titled 'Stauffemberg (2004)' with Sebastian Koch, Christopher Buchold , Hardy Kruger Jr , Remo Girone and directed by Jo Baier who bears special remembrance to 'Valkyrie' (2008) by Bryan Singer with Tom Cruise , Tom Wilkinson David Scofield , Bill Nighy Christian Berkel and Kenneth Branagh.
Adding more details over the widely described on the movie , the deeds happened of the following manner : In the early part WWII Stauffenberg (Brad Davis) served with distinction as an officer in a Bavarian cavalry regiment in Poland , France and North Africa where in 1943 he was deeply wounded. He was saved by the expert supervision of Dr. Ferdinand, Germany's most famous physician . Reporting back for service , he was appointed chief of staff of the Army Department. During his convalescence he revised his attitude . He made no secret of his utter contempt for Hitler and Nazism . He resented any form of totalitarianism, especially National Socialism, and criticized Hitler as the Antichrist . The meticulous Stauffenberg then decided to join the conspirators against Hitler with the goal of liquidating the Nazi regime and replacing it with a new social state that would maintain the good name of fatherland . Always impelled by Christian morality and angered by the excesses of Nazism, Stauffenberg became the leader of the conspiracy . At the center of the plot were such senior officers as Gen. Von Tresckow , chief of staff in Army Group Center on the Russian front , Col.Gen Friedrich Olbricht (Michael Byrne) , head of supply Section of the Reserve Army , Major Gen. Erwin Van Witzleber and General Beck (Ian Richardson). Added to these senior members were a number of younger officers (Rupert Graves) who believed who Third Reich was a catastrophe for Germany and were willing to gamble their lives on the outcome of the plot . Others knew of the plot but did not take an active role in it. Among them were Field Marshal Erwin Rommel (Helmut Griem) , popular war hero, General Canaris and Field Marshal Hans Von Kluge , army group commander in France . In March 1943 General Tresckow decided that the time had come for action. A British-made bomb time , disguised as a bottle of brandy, was placed on the Fuehrer's plane , but the bomb failed to explode and it was never discovered . Then General Von Tresckow agreed with Stauffenberg that the assassination attempt must be made at all costs: 'We must prove to the world and to future generations that the men of the German Resistance movement dared to take the decisive step and wager their lives on it'. When Hitler (Mike Gwylin) called a conference of his close military advisers at the headquarter at Rastenburg, Staufffenberg arrived and in his briefcase along with papers and reports, was a British time bomb. He set the timer on the bomb and brought it into the conference room. After greeting the Fuehrer , he placed the briefcase on the floor beside Hitler and the excused himself: 'I must make a telephone call'. And the bomb exploded . Meanwhile , Stauffenberg , certain that all in the hut had been killed was a plane bound for Berlin , but he learned to his amazement that Hitler had not been killed by the blast . Officers who were in the plot were dismayed and virtually paralyzed into inaction. Officers loyal to Hitler as Otto Remer had taken control of the War Ministry and arrested the conspirators . General Fromm (Helmut Lohner) hurried to cover his tracks,he had four officers shot by a firing squad in the courtyard below.Beck was killed with a coup de grace.Hitler's vengeance was terrible .The conspirators were handed over to the tortures of Gestapo,many more were killed in a a massive blood purge. Some were strangled with piano wire and their bodies hanged like animal carcasses on huge hooks General Fromm , who had been active in ordering the executions could not save himself,principal leaders met a barbaric death, among them the Adm . Wilhelm Canaris . Field Marshal Von Witzleben 's execution was typical , the old man was pushed into a cellar prison,placed under the first meat hook and stripped to the waist,a running noose was placed over the hook and wound around his neck,he was lifted and allowed to fall with the whole weight of his body ,young cadets ,forced to view the gruesome spectacle , fainted .
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Well directed by Lawrence Schiller, a modest well-paced telling of the
plot to rid the world of Hitler. This drama is set in 1944, German war
hero Count Claus von Stauffenberg(Brad Davis), who lost a hand and an
eye in action, ramrods a secretive group of high level officers in the
attempt to assassinate Adolph Hitler(Mike Gwilyn). The scheme is daring
and methodical; but succeeding would show the German population just
what evil Hitler is doing with concentration camps. Plus the group
willing to carrying out the plot have been convinced by von
Stauffenberg that the Third Reich is crumbling, Hitler is losing his
mind and that the German army is actually losing the war.
Being made-for-TV, there is little violence to speak of, no strong language and flat acting. Also in the cast: Ian Richardson, Helmut Lohner, Madolyn Smith Osborne, Johathan Hyde and Kenneth Colley.
The plot to kill Hitler was a failure. And the film? Hmm. A partial
The lead cast all give competent performances and deliver the dialogue in unconvincing German-American accents. Except for Mike Gwilym (Hitler), who delivered his lines in a bizarre Welsh-German accent (which does actually work better) for this film before apparently going into retirement aged 40. If only Hitler had done the same!
Some of the supporting actors, for example Ian Richardson as General Beck and Helmut Griem (who may have had an advantage with the accent), as Rommel, make more impression.
I understand the film is historically accurate, but the pace is all a bit flat. OK, it's aimed at a 'family' audience. But really, a little less conversation, a little more action would have been welcome.
This is not a film I'd want to watch again.
Great acting and drama that is better than Valkyrie which was released in 2009. It shows more of the family side side of the man. Hitler's doubts are also exposed. It's sad that the mass murders that were done. It's hard to believe that such an environment of hatred against another race of people (especially innocent ones) can be created. It's hard to believe all the attempts to assassinate Hitler failed. The whole history of World War 1 and 2 should be taught in detail in all schools, to educate everyone on the evils that are possible. And also to identify the build up of similar leaders that look to destroy others for no reason. Looks like Iran and Russia may be possible future countries in which leaders similar to Hitler may rise to power. The goal should be to educate and arm people to avoid such powers.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The July 20, 1944 a plot to kill German dictator Adolf Hitler by a
group of Germans opposed to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and led by Colonel
Claus von Stauffenberg has caught the attention of filmmakers over the
years, the most recent being 2008's Valkyrie. The Plot To Kill Hitler
is a 1990 TV movie that details that plot. So what does this
dramatization of the plot have to offer?
The cast is somewhat mixed. Brad Davis a good choice for the role of Colonel von Stauffenberg thanks to his bearing a good resemblance to the real life figure. Yet Davis comes across as rather flat in his performance for the most part though he has some nice moments such as early in the film when he's coming to terms with the loss of his left hand. Faring somewhat better is Madolyn Smith Osborne as his wife Nina as the movie focuses quite a bit on the relationship between the two of them. The supporting cast fairs somewhat better with Ian Richardson's spot on performance as General Beck, Helmut Griem as Field Marshal Erwin Rommel and Jonathan Hyde as Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels. That said some of the supporting performances don't work at all such as Rupert Graves as a would be assassin and Mike Gwilym as an over the top Hitler. The result overall is a mixed bag acting wise despite some good performances but that isn't completely the fault of the cast.
The production values for The Plot To Kill Hitler are about average for a TV movie. The movie was shot in Eastern Europe and it looks like it. That isn't really a bad thing since it does bare a very good resemblance to Second World War Germany. But it becomes exceedingly obvious in places like the early scene set in Tunisia for instance. Also certain places like Hitler's eastern front headquarters the Wolf's Lair come across as less then convincing for the most part. The costumes and props come across much better in recreating the era then the sets do. Perhaps the best aspects of the production values are the cinematography of Freddie Francis and the fine score done for the film by composer Laurence Rosenthal both of which elevate the movie a bit. The overall result though is less then impressive though.
That could really be said about the script by Steven Elkins. Elkins script gets across the basic facts of the July 20 plot but to be honest it really does little else. The dialogue and characterizations are one dimensional to say the least with the only purpose of getting the basic points across. The movie does takes some big liberties with events such as suggesting that the July 20th bomb plot was more or less a spur of the moment event while ignoring the aborted attempt made a few days prior, all done presumably for the sake of getting the basic points across. There's an especially glaring historical error involving Hitler consulting an astrologer about the course of the war, something that was widely rumored but later found to be untrue. The result then is that the movie becomes rather uninteresting for the most part, even for someone interested in the history more then the drama.
As a movie, The Plot To Kill Hitler comes across as little more then average between its mixed cast, average production values and less then impressive scripting. As a history lesson, it gets across the basic facts of the July 20th plot even though it takes so considerable dramatic liberties with the events. In short then, it does the job it sets out to do but surprisingly does little else.
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