IMDb > The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl (1993)
Die Macht der Bilder: Leni Riefenstahl
Quicklinks
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
Overview
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
Promotional
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl (1993) More at IMDbPro »Die Macht der Bilder: Leni Riefenstahl (original title)

Videos
The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl -- 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.

Overview

User Rating:
8.0/10   1,143 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Down 5% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writer:
Contact:
View company contact information for The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
June 1994 (USA) See more »
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
2 wins See more »
NewsDesk:
Leni Riefenstahl: 1902-2003
 (From WENN. 9 September 2003)

User Reviews:
A glimpse of the German soul as well as a documentary See more (21 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)

Leni Riefenstahl ... Herself
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Marlene Dietrich ... 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)

Adolf Hitler ... 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)
Fritz Schilgen ... Himself - Lighting Olympic Cauldron (archive footage)
Luis Trenker ... Himself

Directed by
Ray Müller 
 
Writing credits
Ray Müller 

Produced by
Jacques de Clercq .... producer: Nomad Films
Dimitri de Clercq .... producer: Nomad Films
Waldemar Januzczak .... producer: Channel 4, London (as Waldemar Januszczak)
Hans Peter Kochenrath .... producer: ZDF (as Hans-Peter Kochenrath)
Hans-Jürgen Panitz .... producer: Omega Films
 
Original Music by
Ulrich Bassenge 
Wolfgang Neumann 
 
Cinematography by
Michel Baudour 
Walter A. Franke 
Ulrich Jänchen  (as Ulrich Jaenchen)
Jürgen Martin 
 
Film Editing by
Vera Dubsikova 
Beate Köster 
 
Set Decoration by
Michael Graser 
 
Production Management
Werner Bertolan .... production manager
Stefan Koenig .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Nicole Front .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
Tomas Bastian .... sound
Heimo Sahliger .... sound
Alfred Schuhmann .... sound mixer
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Barbara Dolainsky .... assistant camera
Horst Kettner .... underwater cinematographer
Norbert Platzer .... assistant camera
Hermann Sowieja .... assistant camera
 
Editorial Department
Stefan Mothes .... editor: video
Moritz Peters .... assistant editor
 
Other crew
Martin Angres .... video team
Kevin Brownlow .... film-historical advisor
David Culbert .... film-historical advisor
Brend Fischer .... video team
Martin Loiperdinger .... film-historical advisor
Felix Moeller .... archive researcher (as Felix Mueller)
Knut Muhsik .... video team
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Die Macht der Bilder: Leni Riefenstahl" - France (original title)
"The Power of the Image: Leni Riefenstahl" - USA (TV title)
See more »
Runtime:
180 min
Country:
Language:
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Filming Locations:
Company:

Did You Know?

Movie Connections:

FAQ

Is it true that Riefenstahl was a skilled mountaineer?
See more »
20 out of 22 people found the following review useful.
A glimpse of the German soul as well as a documentary, 4 April 2003
Author: B24 from Arizona

In this year that Bowling For Columbine -- an unapologetically political and controversial film -- has won the Oscar for best documentary, the story of Leni Riefenstahl and her work seems very timely indeed. This engaging montage of primary and contemporary interviews with her, together with samples of her oeuvre beginning in the era of silent film, accomplish precisely what a documentary is designed to do. Director Mueller spares no effort to uncover his subject's motivation, even as he focusses on the history and nature of her art.

There is some irony at work here. We see a very German director attempting to dissect thoroughly the life and craft of another very German director. Not that there is any comparison to be made between the subject matter of one to the other, but when Riefenstahl takes Mueller to task for his filmmaking style in drawing her out, we cannot help but find delight in it. And his bit of eavesdropping on her between takes is priceless.

Far from the perennial films about the Holocaust that portray Germans as something less than human, this documentary offers ample evidence that genius and human frailty are universal and far from mutually exclusive attributes in all sorts of people. But if one may deduce anything at all about the nature of the German soul in contrast to that of, say, a typical American, the life of Leni Riefenstahl as offered here stands out vividly by example of first one and then the other seemingly contradictory characteristic. She was after all the "nice" girl who stayed home and played patriot while Marlene Dietrich was the "bad" girl who betrayed her country. One can almost smell the cordite in the air during their related encounters.

Much is made of the fact that Ms. Riefenstahl protests too much. Indeed that is a complaint one hears often about Germans who lived through the Hitler epoch seeing nothing, hearing nothing. But that surely begs the question, considering that it was and is a nation of eighty million descended from a vast cross section of central European races, including uncounted geniuses, saints, and criminals alike. If there is anything uniquely German about such a pose, it is only that they tend to be meticulously accurate in everything they do, whether for good or evil. The most annoying thing about Germans is their uncanny zeal in trying to find exact words that reflect logical and complicated reasons for everything -- including their own behavior. Under that circumstance, it is but a short step to denial once no easy answers appear.

As a bilingual viewer of this documentary, I had the benefit of second-guessing the subtitles as well. Some were wildly wrong, and none could capture the tonal nuances, the careful phrasing, and the subtle interplay between Mueller and Riefenstahl as they parried one another's verbal thrusts. While far less original and profound than the master's work being discussed, Mueller did a very creditable job here.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (21 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl (1993)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Her use of filters JackBluegrass
@fenugreek Nobbes
Response to 'SHE IS A DOG' perigo22
See more »

Recommendations

If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
Paragraph 175 Sunshine The Harmonists Blind Spot. Hitler's Secretary Desire
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Documentary section IMDb France section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.