6.2/10
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26 user 17 critic

The Empty Mirror (1996)

PG-13 | | Drama, History, War | 29 January 1999 (USA)
Adolf Hitler faces himself and must come to terms with his infamous career in an imaginary post-war subterranean bunker where he reviews historical films, dictates his memoirs and ... See full summary »

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7 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Norman Rodway ...
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The Typist
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Woman in Black
Lorri Scott ...
Floating Female Spirit
Raul Kobrinsky ...
Jailer
Randy Zielinski ...
Hitler Youth
Shannon Yowell ...
Hitler Youth
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Hitler Youth
Elizabeth Hershey ...
Hitler Youth
Chris Levitus ...
Hitler Youth (as Christopher Levitus)
Chip Marks ...
Hitler Youth
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Storyline

Adolf Hitler faces himself and must come to terms with his infamous career in an imaginary post-war subterranean bunker where he reviews historical films, dictates his memoirs and encounters Eva Braun, Josef Goebbels, Hermann Göring and Sigmund Freud. Written by MG

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

If he looked in the mirror, what would he see?

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for disturbing war images and thematic material | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

29 January 1999 (USA)  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$4,688 (USA) (7 May 1999)

Gross:

$10,750 (USA) (21 May 1999)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Did You Know?

Goofs

The actor playing Hitler has blue eyes, as you can see when he uses a magnifying glass at the start of the film. The real Hitler had brown eyes. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Adolf Hitler: Before us lies Germany, within us marches Germany, and after us comes Germany!
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Connections

Features Triumph of the Will (1935) See more »

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User Reviews

A
22 October 2000 | by (Los Angeles, CA) – See all my reviews

A superficial pass over The Empty Mirror will lead to superficial conclusions. I saw this several years ago at an American Cinematheque screening in Los Angles. The director (himself Jewish) tried to take a look at Hitler as a man, unsullied by the gross oversimplifications that typically underscore such material.

Most people feel a need to discard Hitler as merely "insane" and "evil" because it conveniently avoids the stickiness of trying to develop an understanding of his psychology. Most other material about Hitler and the Third Reich may try to offer honest insights, but more often then not devolve at some point into oblique moral condemnation "All you REALLY need to know is that they were all very NAUGHTY/BAD/EVIL." They don't trust you to be intelligent and reach your own conclusions.

The Empty Mirror takes a reasonably unclouded look - the majority of Hitler's lines are taken directly from _Mein Kampf_ and his interaction with other significant figures of the era provide us with insight (conjectured but believable) into his thought processes, motives, and rationalizations.

The movie occurs in a surreal, dripping dark stone bunker which the camera never seems to quite capture the dimensions of. It's more of a "dream" state than actual location as the rooms change, occupants shift, uniforms taken on and off.

See the movie yourself. The director is for once not insulting our abilities and is providing an opportunity to reach our own conclusions. Swallow your distaste for the subject for an hour and a half and try to objectively form your own opinion.

Remember that this is the last movie hitler would ever want anyone to see - one that demystifies the "Fuhrer-myth" by showing him to NOT necessarily be a 2-dimensional cartoon hellbeast, but alas, merely a man.


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