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The Ritchie Boys (2004) More at IMDbPro »

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During WWII, the U.S. formed an elite intelligence unit -- mostly German Jewish academics -- at Camp Ritchie... See more » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
A Largely Unknown WWII Story See more (8 total) »


  (in credits order)

Michael Hanrahan ... Narrator (voice: English version)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Werner Angress ... Himself
Victor Brombert ... Himself

Marlene Dietrich ... Herself (archive footage)

Albert Einstein ... Himself (archive footage)
Philip Glaessner ... Himself
Hans Peter Hallwachs ... Narrator (voice)
Fred Howard ... Himself
Si Lewen ... Himself
Thomas Mann ... Himself (archive footage)
Rudy Michaels ... Himself
Morris Parloff ... Himself
Richard Schifter ... Himself
Hans Spear ... Himself
Guy Stern ... Himself

Directed by
Christian Bauer 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Christian Bauer 

Produced by
Christian Bauer .... executive producer
Dagmar Biller .... producer
Bill Howard .... executive producer: Discovery Wings
Patricia Phillips .... executive producer
Donna Zuckerbrot .... producer
Original Music by
Aaron Davis 
John Lang 
Cinematography by
Dietrich Mangold (director of photography)
Film Editing by
David Kazala 
Production Management
Jan Bullerdieck .... production manager
Josie Crimi .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Anna Zöllner .... assistant director (as Anna Zoellner)
Art Department
Florian Siegrist .... graphic artist: title
Greg Robertson .... graphic artist (uncredited)
Sound Department
Steph Carrier .... sound re-recording mixer (as Stephan Carrier)
Stacy Coutts .... sound re-recording assistant
Robert Di Gioia .... sound recordist: narration
Joseph Doane .... assistant sound editor
Paul Germann .... sound editor
Ed Segeren .... senior sound technical engineer
Harald Stuckmann .... sound recordist
Sebastian Wagner .... sound recordist
Editorial Department
Paul Deakin .... on-line editor
Lorraine Grant .... colorist (as Lorraine Grant-Dipasquale)
Sue Howard .... assistant editor
Wolfgang Landgraeber .... commissioning editor: WDR
Claudia Schreiner .... commissioning editor: MDR
Hubert von Spreti .... commissioning editor: BR
Other crew
Klaus Albrecht .... production finance director
Lea Bauer .... production office
Maria Duncan .... production finance director
Michael Erhard .... production office
Sonja Hachenberger .... production office
Richard Hanet .... business and legal affairs
Bob Hartman .... business analyst (as Robert Hartman)
Michael Kot .... production executive: History Television
Toby Sax .... production accountant
Martin Sell .... production coordinator
Helen Weiss .... researcher
Anna Zöllner .... researcher (as Anna Zoellner)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Germany:43 min (TV version) | Hong Kong:90 min | USA:90 min (theatrical version)
Black and White (archive footage) | Color
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Took three years to make and seven years to fund and research.See more »
[first lines]
title cards:Between 1933 and 1939, countless Germans, Austrians, and Czechoslovakians flee their home countries. For them, a visa to the United States is the most valuable document in the world.
Guy Stern:I emigrated to America in October 1939. Germany permitted people like myself to leave, provided you didn't have very much. We arrived in New York with $3 - my mother had $3 and I had $3. America was a fantasy at that point, which turned out to be a reality.
Guy Stern:[lecturing] Who were the first ones who did any stock-taking of what was emerging unique in literary history abroad? Because, if you look at the tradition of literature...
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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful.
A Largely Unknown WWII Story, 12 July 2010
Author: ( from Washington, D.C.

"The Ritchie Boys" were a group of young refugees from Hitler's Europe pressed into service because of their language skills by U.S. Army intelligence. Unless you knew one of them (I knew at least two), it's unlikely you would be aware of the critical contribution this operation made to the American war effort. Indeed, if the documentary film is accurate, the Battle of the Bulge -- Hitler's last desperate effort to break through Allied encirclement == could have been foiled before it began, because the Ritchie Boys had collected intelligence about the massing of German troops prior to the offensive.

All of the Ritchie Boys interviewed for this film were Jews. Each had a personal stake in the war. And each had the personal satisfaction of interrogating enemy soldiers in their own language and extracting information through techniques learned at Camp Ritchie, MD, which contributed important, often crucial intelligence about the actions and plans of the foe.

The interviews were conducted roughly 60 years after the fact, and the reliability of memories may be questionable. Film clips, many documenting events not quite related to the narrative, comprise the rest of the film. Missing entirely is any real overview of the Camp Ritchie enterprise. Nevertheless, the individuals interviewed have compelling personal stories to tell -- both why and how they came to the U.S. and what they did during the war.

It's a fascinating group of people in or approaching their 80's: professors, an American diplomat, a distinguished psychologist, an artist, a successful businessman, reliving their experiences for the camera, acknowledging both the pain of separation from their childhood homes and their satisfaction at having given something extremely useful back to the country which had taken them in. Unlikely soldiers to be sure but youngsters with precious knowledge that the United States put to effective use. One would have liked to know more about how it came to be organized and what happened to all the other Ritchie Boys who weren't "available" to be interviewed because they died on the field of battle.

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