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Munich, 1918. German-Jew Max Rothman has returned to much of his pre-war life which includes to his wife Nina and their two children, to his mistress Liselore von Peltz, and to his work as an art dealer. He has however not returned to being an aspiring painter as he lost his dominant right arm during the war. He is approached by an aspiring painter, a thirty-year old Austrian war veteran named Adolf Hitler, who wants him to show his works. Although he doesn't think the paintings are all that original and he doesn't really like Hitler as a person, Rothman takes Hitler under his wings if only because of their camaraderie of being war veterans, and knowing that Hitler had nothing and no one to come back to after the war unlike himself. Rothman believes that Hitler has promise if only he can find his original artistic point of view. In part out of need for money, Hitler, on the urging of Captain Karl Mayr, agrees to work for the army as a political spokesman in anti-Semitic propaganda. ... Written by
Writer/director Menno Meyjes reports that before the script was written, Steven Spielberg's Amblin company was interested in the project. But Spielberg told Meyjes he couldn't bring himself to help make a movie he thought would dishonor Holocaust survivors. Nevertheless, he considered the script an excellent one and encouraged the director to push for its realization, but without Amblin. See more »
The cigarette lighter used by Max is a type that didn't exist until after WWII. See more »
[George Grosz crashes and drunkenly runs stumbling in, looks around at the paintings on display, and begins to vomit]
George, so glad you like it.
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Max is a speculative story about Hitler and a Munich art dealer.
Max has good acting, and some interesting ideas. But it is a mediocre film that is full of historical flaws. Namely, in 1918, Hitler was already working for the Abwehr in the role of political agitator, and anti-Marxist. As far as it is known, Hitler never pursued his interest in painting in a practical sense after the first world war, although Hitler always had a verbal opinion on the matter. (This is where I give the film kudos for at least giving us a hint at Hitler's artistic vision.) Another flaw, unless of course it was purposely contrived by the film's director, presents Hitler as a pathetic loner, shouting at disinterested war veterans and German civilians. The opposite is true. Hitler captivated his audiences from the start with his oratory. Also, Hitler was never intimidated by women, in fact women were among the basis of his popularity and entrance into the powerful circles of Munich society. Hitler was a man of willpower, I doubt that a Munich art dealer, or anyone else for that matter, could have successfully dissuaded Hitler from his self-appointed destiny.
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