This Nazi propaganda film tells the story of a young truck driver who is having trouble making ends meet until he is exposed to the teachings of Adolf Hitler, and he joins the S.A., aka ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Heinz Klingenberg ...
Wera Liessem ...
Rolf Wenkhaus ...
Erich Lohner
Hedda Lembach ...
Margaret Lohner
Herr Brand
Elise Aulinger ...
Frau Brand
Joe Stöckel ...
Helma Rückert ...
Genoveva Huber
Max Weydner ...
Alexandr Turow
Philipp Weichand ...
Fritz Greiner ...
Herr Baumann
Magda Lena ...
Frau Baumann
Rudolf Frank ...
Manfred Koempel-Pilot ...
(as Manfred Koempel)
Theo Kasper ...
Spitzer (as Theo Kaspar)


This Nazi propaganda film tells the story of a young truck driver who is having trouble making ends meet until he is exposed to the teachings of Adolf Hitler, and he joins the S.A., aka Storm Troopers, and manages to convert his father--a former soldier with Marxist leanings--and his girlfriend of the rightness of the Nazi cause. Written by A.Nonymous

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Release Date:

27 May 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Storm Trooper Brand  »

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Die Fahnen hoch
by S.A.
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Goose-steppin' out with my baby...
6 June 2004 | by (Minffordd, North Wales) – See all my reviews

The movie 'Cabaret', filmed in the 1970s but set in Berlin just before Hitler's rise to power, features a very annoying scene in which a smug policeman explains that he allows these new troublemakers (the Nazis) to beat up communists because they keep the communists in line; he smugly predicts that some other bunch of hooligans will come along to keep the Nazis in line. With our post-war hindsight, we're apparently meant to view this attitude as wrong-headed. Ach, ja, if only those German bureaucrats had been more sympathetic to the poor dear communists, those nasty Nazis never would have taken over. Sorry, but I disagree. As terrible as the Nazis were, the communists were worse. Stalin killed more people (including more Jews) than Hitler. If Germany had gone communist circa 1932, the Holocaust probably would have happened anyway ... possibly with an even higher death toll. Let's recall that Hitler and Stalin were on the same side in WW2 until the borscht got a little too hot.

'S.A.-Mann Brand' is blatant Nazi propaganda, but (unlike many later and better films made by the Third Reich) at least it wears its Nazi politics on its armband, I mean sleeve. Heinz Klingenberg plays Hans Brand, a handsome young lorry-driver who's been having trouble earning a living in Germany's post-war economy. Ach, ja, but now that this nice Herr Hitler is making a few changes, things should be better soon, nicht wahr? (As I said, this movie is propaganda.) Brand gets a job as a stormtrooper, and soon things are goose-stepping along nicely. Brand's father (Otto Wernicke) harbours some Marxist beliefs, prompted by his bitter memories of the Kaiser and Germany's disastrous Weimar economy. The father approves when his stormtrooper son starts dating Vera (Elise Aulinger), a German fraulein with some radical Marxist notions. Surely a good National-Socialist man can love a communist woman?

Erm, nope. This film clearly states that communism is bad (as opposed to Nazism) and not to be tolerated under any circumstances. SPOILERS COMING. It turns out that Vera is a hopeless stooge for Anton Huber, a demagogue who talks about the plight of the poor German people but who really wants to foment a communist revolt so that he can hand Germany over to the Soviet Union. Fortunately, Vera sees the error of her ways. She helps Brand betray Huber to the German authorities, and she pledges herself to the new German cause. Brand's dad throws away his copy of the Communist Manifesto and he decides to vote for this new fellow Adolf who has such interesting ideas. All the Nazis live happily ever after. (Now if only Hitler would do something about those pesky foreigners...)

'Stormtrooper Brand' is Nazi agitprop, but that's not the problem. 'Triumph of the Will' serves the same agenda, but that film is a brilliant testament to the power of cinema. 'Stormtrooper Brand' manages to make Nazis look dull and boring and bourgeois. I enjoyed Otto Wernicke's performances as police detective Lohmann in two of Fritz Lang's best films, but here Wernicke gives a dull and stolid performance with a bad make-up job. The photography and sound recording are dodgy. If a propaganda film makes its point well (as 'Triumph of the Will' does), I can admire the filmmakers' proficiency while despising their agenda. 'Stormtrooper Brand' is just bad, full stop. Significantly, after this film was released, most of the Reich's subsequent films were much more subtle in their sermonising. I'll rate this movie barely one point out of 10.

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