MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 14,751 this week

The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl (1993)
"Die Macht der Bilder: Leni Riefenstahl" (original title)

8.1
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.1/10 from 1,163 users  
Reviews: 21 user | 28 critic

A documentary about the life and work of Leni Riefenstahl, a German film director most notorious for making the most effective propaganda films for the Nazis.

Director:

Writer:

Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

Editors' Spotlight

What to Watch: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt. 1

Keith Simanton talks with the cast of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt. 1.


Related News

Leni Riefenstahl: 1902-2003
| WENN

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 32 titles
created 07 Jul 2012
 
a list of 24 titles
created 10 Jul 2012
 
a list of 34 titles
created 25 Aug 2013
 
a list of 22 titles
created 09 Oct 2013
 
a list of 37 titles
created 4 months ago
 

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl (1993)

The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl (1993) on IMDb 8.1/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl.

User Polls

3 wins. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
Director: Leni Riefenstahl
Stars: Joseph Goebbels, Hermann Göring, Rudolf Hess
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Filming of the performance show the Deutsche Wehrmacht (German Army) made during the Reichsparteitag of the NSDAP in Nurnberg 1935. Showing the readiness and the will of the newly build ... See full summary »

Director: Leni Riefenstahl
Stars: Hermann Göring, Rudolf Hess, Adolf Hitler
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The dancer, Diotima, meets an engineer and skier, Karl, in his cottage in the mountains where they fall in love and have an affair. When Karl's young friend, Vigo, meets her she gives him ... See full summary »

Director: Arnold Fanck
Stars: Leni Riefenstahl, Luis Trenker, Ernst Petersen
Documentary | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Part VII of the "Why We Fight" series of wartime documentaries. This entry attempts to describe the factors leading up to America's entry into the Second World War.

Directors: Frank Capra, Anatole Litvak
Stars: Dean Acheson, General Bergeret, A.A. Berle
White Ecstasy (1931)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
Director: Arnold Fanck
Stars: Hannes Schneider, Leni Riefenstahl, Rudi Matt
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Director Hans-Jurgen Syberberg examines the rise and fall of the Third Reich in this brooding seven-hour masterpiece, which incorporates puppetry, rear-screen projection, and a Wagnerian ... See full summary »

Director: Hans-Jürgen Syberberg
Stars: Harry Baer, Heinz Schubert, Peter Kern
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An expedition goes in search of a party lost the year before.

Director: Arnold Fanck
Stars: Gustav Diessl, Leni Riefenstahl, Sepp Rist
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A depiction of life in wartime England during the Second World War. Director Humphrey Jennings visits many aspects of civilian life and of the turmoil and privation caused by the war, all without narration.

Directors: Humphrey Jennings, Stewart McAllister
Stars: Chesney Allen, Leonard Brockington, Bud Flanagan
Leni Riefenstahl (TV Movie 1973)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

Portrait of filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl, shot in her studio in Munich, Germany and in the nearby Alps. With many photos from her own archive and excerpts from her films, including "Triumph ... See full summary »

Director: John Musilli
Stars: Leni Riefenstahl
Olympia (1930)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
Director: Jacques Feyder
Stars: Nora Gregor, Theo Shall, Julia Serda
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Leni Riefenstahl's journey back to Sudan at the age of 97. She attempts to meet with people of the Nuba tribe, in a village she lived in and photographed during the 1970s.

Director: Ray Müller
Stars: Leni Riefenstahl, Adolf Hitler
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

The Jews of Poland (invaded by Germany in 1939) are depicted as filthy, evil, corrupt, and intent on world domination. Street scenes are shown prejudicially, along with clips from Jewish ... See full summary »

Director: Fritz Hippler
Stars: Curt Bois, Charles Chaplin, Albert Einstein
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
...
Herself
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Herself (archive footage)
Walter Frentz ...
Himself - Camerman 1936 Olymipcs
Joseph Goebbels ...
Himself (archive footage) (as Josef Goebbels)
Rudolf Hess ...
Himself (archive footage)
John Herbert Higgins ...
Himself - U.S. Swimmer (archive footage)
...
Himself (archive footage)
Saburo Ito ...
Himself - Japanese Swimmer (archive footage)
Horst Kettner ...
Himself - Leni's Companion
Reizô Koike ...
Himself - Japanese Swimmer (archive footage)
Guzzi Lantschner ...
Himself - Camerman 1936 Olymipcs
Ralph Metcalfe ...
Himself - U.S. Sprinter (archive footage)
Ray Müller ...
Himself
Jesse Owens ...
Himself (archive footage)
Ernst Röhm ...
Himself (archive footage)
Edit

Storyline

This documentary recounts the life and work of one of most famous, and yet reviled, German film directors in history, Leni Riefenstahl. The film recounts the rise of her career from a dancer, to a movie actor to the most important film director in Nazi Germany who directed such famous propaganda films as Triumph of the Will and Olympiad. The film also explores her later activities after Nazi Germany's defeat in 1945 and her disgrace for being so associated with it which includes her amazingly active life over the age of 90. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Edit

Details

Country:

| | |

Language:

Release Date:

June 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Power of the Image: Leni Riefenstahl  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Gross:

$449,707 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

References Olympia Part Two: Festival of Beauty (1938) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Individuals Win
21 December 2005 | by (Virginia Beach) – See all my reviews

Interesting. This is a good documentary about a great documentarian.

I guess the normal form for commenting on this is to take a side on the art/politics controversy. Or perhaps to note film as propaganda tool today.

I think I would rather simply remark that you just cannot watch movies as a lucid viewer without understanding something about who you are in the things. And that means wondering about who the filmmaker thinks you are. And that in turn means considering what it means when a camera is placed or moves in a certain way.

If you do, you will find yourself wondering about the camera of Hitchcock and Welles. Surely that is at least as fundamental as you need to go. But you can go a half step further back and you will find yourself here, with this woman and her dancing eye.

Yes, her personality at 90 is still German, which means she is a romantic idealist and an apologist for her generation. Annoying, but typical. And does it matter? Does it matter if, say, van Gogh was an anti-Semite? You decide. For me, I assume the artist is often the dumbest person involved in the process and the last person to ask. So the art is the thing.

There are three great things she did, and these are apart from the idealization of the body, a constant theme.

She advanced the art of filters to create abstract frames. In this, she was merely one in a line of talents. She was an innovator in creating a new philosophy of the camera. In this, she was a genius. But that wouldn't have mattered if she wasn't also a genius innovator in the art of editing.

She understood that in addition to the story, the images themselves have a rhythm and song apart from the thing depicted. I think she really means it when she says her great propaganda film could have been of any choreographed event. She was a master of exploiting the movement of the eye as well as the movement of the subject, even the rhythm of the greyscales and depths. You need to watch "Triumph" and "Olympia" ignoring the subject, perhaps upside down as I did to see the music.

Having said that, the effect of these two films undeniably altered life. The Nazi film was the single greatest influence in convincing the rural German public to support Hitler. That's huge. But perhaps a larger impact was on sports. Until that point, sports were something you did or read about. You might go to a contest purely for the association of the thing.

What her art did, incidentally, was she made sports cinematic. And we may all be the worse for it.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.


25 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Response to 'SHE IS A DOG' perigo22
Her use of filters JackBluegrass
@fenugreek Nobbes

Contribute to This Page