|Index||9 reviews in total|
In 1944, a group of high command officers plot an attempt against
Hitler, and one of the leaders of the conspiracy, Stauffenberg
(Sebastian Koch), goes to a meeting with the Fuhrer in charge of
exploding the place. However, Hitler survives and the officers are
"Stauffenberg" is another great example of the powerful German cinema. Based on a true event, with remarkable performances, tight direction and excellent reconstitution of a dark period of the contemporary Germany history, it is highly recommended indeed a must-see film - for fans of war movies. My vote is seven.
Title (Brazil): "Operação Valkiria" ("Valkyrie Operation")
The picture is a Staufenberg mini-biography and focusing the July 20 plot of 1944.His life and the famous event from how was orchestrated the dangerous,risked plot has been splendidly directed by Jo Baier.The film is correctly based on true events and real Nazis characters and well played by a sensational plethora of German actors.The real deeds are the following: Claus Schenk Graf Von Stauffenberg (Sebastian Koch)served as Lieutenant Colonel on the General Staff ,in the early part of WWII got distinction as an officer in a Bavarian cavalry regiment in Poland,France and North Africa.In April 1943 he was wounded in the face,in both hands,and in the knee by fire from a low-flying Allied plane,he kept one eye and lost his right hand and part of his leg.During his convalescence revised his attitude.He made no secret of his utter contempt for Hitler and Nazism,then he decided to join the conspirators with the goal of liquidating the Nazi regime and replacing it with a new social state that would maintain the good name of the fatherland.At the center of the plot were seniors officers Gen.Henning Von Tresckow(Ulrich Tukur,starring in Amen by Costa Gravas),,Fielf Marshall Erwin Witzleben((Joachim Bissmeyer),General Olbricht(Rainer Bock),General Beck(Remo Girone),General Friedric Fromm(Axel Milberg).Added to these seniors were a number of younger officers who believed that the third Reich was a catastrophe for Germany and were willing to gamble their lives on the outcome of the plot,among them was Werner Haeften(Hardy Kruger Jr).Other knew of the plot but did not take an active role in it,among them were Field Marshal Erin Rommel popular war hero and Field Marshal Hans Von Kluge ,army group of France.Hitler(Udo Schenk) called a conference of his close military advisers at headquarters at Ratenburg.The compound was protected by numerous electric fences and barbed wire,with blockhouses and checkpoints.Stauffenberg arrived at Rastenburg ,in his briefcase along with papers and reports, was a British time bomb,he set the timer on the bomb and brought it into the conference room and he placed it on the floor and then excused himself but he would must make a telephone call.Several minutes passed when at this moment a tremendous explosion blasted the room and several bodies flew out of the smashed windows and wrecking the ceiling.Meanwhile,Stauffenberg,certain that all in the hut had been killed was a plane bound for Berlin,but he learned to his amazement that Hitler had not been killed by the blast .Officers who were in the plot were dismayed and virtually paralyzed into inaction.Officers loyal to Hitler as Otto Remer(Muti) had taken control of the War Ministry and arrested the conspirators.General Fromm hurried to cover his tracks,he had four officers shot by a firing squad in the courtyard below.Beck was killed with a coup de grace.Hitler's vengeance was terrible .The conspirators were handed over to the tortures of Gestapo,many more were killed in a a massive blood purge.Some were strangled with piano wire and their bodies hanged like animal carcasses on huge hooks.General Fromm,who had been active in ordering the executions could not save himself,principal leaders met a barbaric death, among them the Adm. Wilhelm Canaris.Field Marshal Von Witzleben 's execution was typical,the old man was pushed into a cellar prison,placed under the first meat hook and stripped to the waist,a running noose was placed over the hook and wound around his neck,he was lifted and allowed to fall with the whole weight of his body ,young cadets ,forced to view the gruesome spectacle ,fainted.
OPERATION VALKYRIE (originally titled STAUFFENBERG for its 2004
television release in Germany) is a condensed, powerful, and realistic
telling of the attempted assassination of Adolf Hitler by his own
military supporters on 20 July 1944. Unfortunately now in the shadow of
the highly touted VALKYRIE released this past year as the Hollywood
version of the incident OPERATION VALKYRIE is getting little attention
from viewers. Now that it is available on DVD perhaps it will gain the
importance it deserves.
For one aspect, the film is written, filmed and acted by Germans and the result is a different kind of felling than the later VALKYRIE: the tenor of the film suggests a growing lack of hope and a recognition of the insanity of Hitler by the a larger portion of the German populace than we have been lead to believe. It bears more a sense of reality than of a thriller movie.
Sebastian Koch is wholly credible as Oberst Claus Graf Schenk v. Stauffenberg - a devoted military man under the spell of Hitler's influence in the early years of the rise of the Third Reich who gradually pays attention to the rumors and reports of Hitler's aloof response to his murders of thousands of people. In a particularly touching scene a Polish Jew named Polja (Katharina Rivilis) recounts the horrors that the war has imposed on her family and her descent into insanity from Hitler's plan and execution of that plan for the genocide of the Jews. Stauffenberg is so deeply touched by this crowning encounter that he requests immediate transfer to the African Front and it is there that he is nearly killed in action, losing a hand and an eye. From the moment he awakens in a Munich hospital he begins his plan to exterminate Hitler (an impressive mute role by Udo Schenk), a plan that ultimately fails and results in Stauffenberg's assassination - a film clip of which opens the film before the credits.
The cast is excellent and the pacing and forward momentum of the story as written and directed by Jo Baier makes for a film that strikes the viewer in bullets aimed for the mind and heart. If too much of the peripheral activity of the times around the 1944 event is edited, remember that the film was originally a made of television experience to be viewed by the German populace and accepting part of the history depicted is still tainted by the horror of the Hitler guidance of Germany. Well worth watching. Grady Harp
There is no question to honour the activity and exploit of Stauffenberg, but if you are not enough informed about the background of this heroic deed, you are getting really fast an uncritical illustration. It is historically incorrect to focus the whole "coup d'état" of the 20 July 1944 on Stauffenberg. It seems that it was Stauffenbergs own motivation to fulfill the assassination, but there were a lot of other people, who were involved in the preparation. Beck and Olbricht were leading characters long time before, for example. In this movie they just appear as minor characters compared to Stauffenberg. At least it should be "mentioned" that there were two other tries to kill Adolf Hitler the days before the 20th July. I know that it is almost impossible to realize a historical moment as the 20th July in less than two hours, but there were as well a lot of scenes which could be deleted: for example Stauffenbergs "turning point" in Tunesia and this "more funny scene" with this Swabian guy or the long discussion with his wife wasn't that important for the plot...more concentration of basics would have been better. However, I am a great admirer of Sebastian Koch and he was acting fantastic as Stauffenberg. Very deep and clear and not exaggerated at all in opposite to some other characters in this movie. (O. Dietrich was horrible as Goebbels...he should continue to make comedy!)
The assassination attempt on Hitler in July, 1944 is one of the most
important events in modern German history. It has been reconstructed
of times - none have really been successful. "Es Geschah am 20. Juli" and
"Der 20. Juli", both in 1955, were the first early attempts of
"Vergangenheitsbewaeltigung" in Germany, both were made for the cinema
screen, both with well-known actors of the time that were old enough to
experience the event.
Several re-filmings (To name two more successful ones: Operation Walküre, The Plot to Kill Hitler) were less successful. Filming in color was not enough to make a good story out of a weak one.
"Stauffenberg", on German TV was a much advertised and, rumor has it, expensive event. The cast filled with actors the audience is used to seeing on TV, not one a really good one.
The plot is ok, but runs through the timeline very quickly, starting in 1933 and running to the Summer of 1944 in about 3-4 minutes, without delivering any input. Too little emphasis is placed on the historical context to show the drama of the situation, and if the attempt was to portray the characters decently, not enough is done here. Without historical knowledge of the time, it is hard to follow the characters, their roles and positions.
Hitler and Goebbels (portrayed by Udo Schenk and Olli Dittrich) both look like they have just climbed out of their tombs. The attempt to make them look really evil, fails. In his short appearance, Olli Dittrich makes of Goebbels an insecure, hysterical zombie - it made me laugh.
A few moments of the film did keep me on edge, although I knew the outcome, especially shortly before the execution of Stauffenberg and the other "enemies of the state" - a plus.
Yet: I am still waiting for THE excellent portrayal of the event.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I've watched this movie three times over the years, and it is hard not to compare it to "Valkyrie". I'm aware that the respective budgets differed a lot, but good scripts don't have to cost millions, and "Stauffenberg" could definitely benefited from a better script. First off, the movie is very rushed. From the first scene to the start of the conspiracy, it is just 16 minutes. The co-conspirators are given just a short scene, and the whole idea behind the coup (the "Walküre" plan) isn't explained; the plot is much better portrayed in "Valkyrie". The morning of 20 July starts 30 minutes into the movie, with the remaining hour following the events of that day. This is here that the poor explanation of the plot results in further confusion. As it appears to have been thrown together in such a slap-dash fashion, the viewer is left with the impression that the plot didn't have a chance of succeeding. Other problems are poor casting (a pathetic Goebbels) and an overly melodramatic scene in Tresckow's HQ, where a woman who has survived a massacre describes the event in a way meant to be emotional, but which is just cringe-worthy for being so over the top. This version might be for those who think that German dialogue in WW2 movies tops the need for a good script, and for those who cannot stand Tom Cruise.
This film was made in Germany for a lot less than what Tom Cruise made
his overpriced epic for... and it is a far better movie.
What does it do right. Hey, for starters, it's in German. You get the feel for the language and the culture that you simply don't get with Cruise's overpaid Hollywood buddies doing bad optional German accents.
Secondly, it's a more honest look at Von Stauffenburg the man. Von Stauffenburg was a guy who initially supported the Nazis. (In fact, almost all of the July 20 conspirators did, they only turned against Hitler when Germany started losing the war. Kind of like Congressional Democrats!) You also see how his religious convictions guided him. Certainly, God would endorse his actions because he was in the right. (Well, uh, no. What a kookie prankster, that God.)
Essentially, you get less drama, more character interplay and study. Almost all the same characters are here in this film. The only character who is kind of given the short shift is Hitler himself. He only appears in two scenes and get very little dialog. Sorry, if you are going to make a film about killing Hitler, we need to see more Hitler.
Historical details are gotten right. For instance, General Beck commits suicide, but this movie points out he botched his attempt and had to be finished off. This one focuses on Von Stauffenburg more, while Cruises version goes into strange discussions of internal German politics that slowed down the plot.
Now, the only reason this film is getting a second look is because some clever people decided to re-release it alongside the Cruise movie.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Stauffenberg" is one of the most famous German television movies from
the 21st century. It runs for 90 minutes roughly and was written and
directed by Jo Baier, based on the actual events of course. If you have
seen Tom Cruise's "Valkyrie" or are just curious about history, you
will certainly know about the basics here. This is the story of the man
who tried to assassinate Hitler with a bunch of his friends when it was
very obvious that the Fuehrer was leading Germany into disaster. Apart
from Sebastian Koch ("The Lives of Others"), who plays the title
character, there are more known actors here. At least, German movie
fans should be aware of Tukur, Milberg, Krüger Jr., maybe Kunzendorf
and also Olli Dittrich in a small performance as Joseph Goebbels that
could not be any more different though compared to what he usually
I thought this was a pretty good watch. First of all, I am happy they did not feel the need to stretch this towards 2 hours, but kept it very essential at 1.5 hours. And yet it was complete. I personally found the film was at its best in the second half, when the assassination attempt already happened and the main characters, for the most part, were not aware that he survived the movie. It is also not a problem at all that the final pivotal moments of Stauffenberg's assassination was included also right at the start of the film as almost everybody who considers watching this will know about the title character's fate and those who don't will at least know that Hitler was not killed by Stauffenberg. Good job from everybody involved. A rewarding watch in terms of story, acting and the visual side as well. I certainly recommend giving this one a chance.
Not to be confused with the Tom Cruise movie that just came out, this five year old German TV movie 'just happened' to be released on DVD in America right after that movie, uh huh... Anyway, it was surprisingly good quality for a TV movie and it was interesting to see the differences between the two movies. Of course 'Valkyrie' was able to go more into depth with the characters because it was a half an hour longer but there were many scenes that were very similar in both movies. This movie shows us the fate of the main character in the first scene. Bad idea! Luckily, I had already seen 'Valkyrie' so the whole movie wasn't ruined for me.
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