A unique slant, profiling the life of Adolf Hitler as a child and his rise through the ranks of the National German Workers' Party prior to World War II.
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Won 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 3 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »
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Complete series cast summary:
 Ernst Röhm (2 episodes, 2003)
 General Erich Ludendorff (2 episodes, 2003)
 President Paul von Hindenburg (2 episodes, 2003)
 Eva Braun (2 episodes, 2003)
Terence Harvey ...
 Gustav von Kahr (2 episodes, 2003)
 Dr. Joseph Goebbels (2 episodes, 2003)
 Hermann Göring (2 episodes, 2003)
 Rudolf Hess (2 episodes, 2003)
 Sophie Gerlich (2 episodes, 2003)
 Friedrich Hollaender (2 episodes, 2003)
 Blandine Ebinger (2 episodes, 2003)
Julie-Ann Hassett ...
 Angela Raubal (2 episodes, 2003)
 Adolf Hitler (10 yrs) (2 episodes, 2003)
Simon Sullivan ...
 Adolf Hitler (17 yrs) (2 episodes, 2003)
 Anton Drexler (2 episodes, 2003)
 Alois Hitler (2 episodes, 2003)
Filip Hess ...
 Egon Hanfstaengl (2 episodes, 2003)
Brendan Hughes ...
 Lieutenant Guffman (2 episodes, 2003)
Howard Lotker ...
 Hans (soldier) (2 episodes, 2003)
Robert Russell ...
 Franz von Papen (2 episodes, 2003)
David Fisher ...
 Georg Bell (2 episodes, 2003)
Hana Frejková ...
 Frieda (2 episodes, 2003)
Wolfgang Müller ...
 Gregor Strasser (2 episodes, 2003)
Christopher Ettridge ...
 General Kurt von Schleicher (2 episodes, 2003)
 Adolf Hitler (2 episodes, 2003)
 Klara Hitler (2 episodes, 2003)
 Geli Raubal (2 episodes, 2003)
 Helene Hanfstaengl (2 episodes, 2003)
 Fritz Gerlich (2 episodes, 2003)
 Ernst Hanfstaengl (2 episodes, 2003)


The movie describes the life of Adolf Hitler from childhood to manhood, and how he became so powerful. It describes his poor childhood in Austria, it describes the first world war from his point of view, and how he became the strongest man in Germany. The movie show us how Hitler turned from a poor soldier into the leader of the Nazis, and how he survived the attempts to kill him. It describes his relationship with his mistress Eva Braun, and his decisions and enemies inside Germany and inside the Nazi party. Written by rsilberman

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


"The only thing necessary for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke


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Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

18 May 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hitler - Aufstieg des Bösen  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(video) | | (DVD edition)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


All Nazi-themed costumes and props (flags, medallions, pins, tie-tacks) were destroyed after filming wrapped, to prevent any items linked with Nazism from finding their way into the hands of neo-Nazis. See more »


When Ernst Hanfstaengl listens to Adolf Hitler speak the first time you can briefly see a Swastika flag behind Hitler in one shot. It is not until later that Hitler comes up with the swastika symbol and introduces it at Hanfstaengl's dinner party. See more »


President Paul von Hindenburg: [upon ceremony of Hitler's Chancellorship] Do you solemnly swear to carry out the obligations of the office of Chancellor without Party interests and for the good of the nation?
Adolf Hitler: I do.
President Paul von Hindenburg: And do you further swear to uphold the Constitution, support the President and respect the right of the Reichstag, so help you God?
Adolf Hitler: I do.
See more »


Featured in Cinemania: I anodos kai i ptosi tou Nazismou (2008) See more »


Etude in E, Op.10 No.3
Written by Frédéric Chopin
(tune Ernst Hanfstaengl plays on piano at Christmas)
See more »

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User Reviews

Soaring Performances Carry The Story of Hitler's Evil
28 January 2006 | by (Troy, NY) – See all my reviews

I agree with many of the negative reviews posted here, for reasons I will go into later on. But this miniseries is powerful and convincing because the talented cast really captures the dark truth of Hitler's world.

Peter Stormare is perfect as Ernst Rohm, the brutal Brownshirt leader. Each scene he has with Hitler is explosive! Hitler is so evil he dominates everyone but the thuggish, primitive Rohm -- and he clearly digs Rohm for just that reason. The interplay between Stormare and Carlisle illuminates the way Hitler relished Rohm's brutality, but later sacrificed him for political reasons.

Jena Malone turns in a heartrending performance as Geli Raubal, Hitler's doomed niece and the victim of his unspeakable perversions. Without revealing any of the sexual filth directly, Jena Malone plays out all the horror of the slow extinction of a young girl's spirit. She uses her eyes and voice to suggest all the horror that will be visited on millions in the years to come. And she's brilliant! Zoe Telford very nearly matches Jena Malone with her portrayal of Eva Braun. Eva is clearly sick, cruel and heartless -- but at the same time almost pitiably dependent on her Adolph's twisted tenderness. The aborted lovemaking scene between them (hinting at the spine tingling truth of Hitler's enormous self-loathing) is both chilling and erotic.

Liev Schrieber gives a deliciously weasel-like performance as Putzi Hanfstaengel, the spineless man-about-town who is seduced by Hitler's promises of wealth and power. While a brute like Rohm simply loves the idea of crushing skulls under his boots, Schrieber's character is one of many Germans who abhors Nazi violence but can't resist the quick and easy route to money and power. His weak-willed fawning over Hitler soon loses him the respect of his wife, played with style and sensuality by the stunning and regal Julianna Margulies. They provide a true portrait of marriage and betrayal.

These performances carry the mini series along, easily overcoming occasional weaknesses in the script. There is one exception. Regrettably, Matthew Modine's acting chops just aren't up to snuff. His noble lunk-haid journalist ruins every scene he has -- the viewer can hardly wait for Rohm's brown-shirts to stomp that smug, righteous look off his ignorant, corn-pone low-rent Hollywood golden boy face. But the story still works.

Now in regard to the factual inaccuracies of the script -- Hitler's perversions and cruelty are rendered in a vibrant, compelling drama. But the battlefield record of Corporal Hitler is badly distorted. As if afraid the audience can't handle the idea of evil and courage in the same person, the writers make Hitler look like a whining coward who "begged" for an Iron Cross. As if anyone in the Kaiser's Army could get a medal just by whining about it! The movie makes it look as if Hitler were a coward in the trenches, when he was a fearless soldier. They also suggest his comrades despised him, when in reality he was widely admired by officers and enlisted men alike. The depressing thing is that the mini-series succeeds so well in representing Hitler as a monster in honest ways -- but they just couldn't resist the cheap shot.

All in all, however, Hitler: RISE OF EVIL is a soaring success highlighted by powerful performances.

28 of 47 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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