Valkyrie (2008) Poster



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The "central communications center" (teleprinter room), which appears several times in the film, is a highly accurate depiction. Nearly thirty historically correct original teleprinter machines of various types, were used. Some were provided by collector/technical consultant Henning Treumann, and some borrowed from other sources. All the machines were fully operational, and, in the film, are all printing authentic archival messages from the Nazi era, fed from off-screen teletype machines and notebook computers.
Philipp von Schulthess, who plays Tresckow's aide in "Valkyrie", is the grandson of Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg. In the movie Countess Nina Von Stauffenberg is pregnant with the mother of Philipp von Schulthess.
Germany has strict laws against displaying the swastika, though artistic displays are specifically exempt. Filmmakers usually use incorrect swastikas to avoid causing public outrage. The producer wanted swastikas for authenticity, so the crew posted warnings around the filming locations. Still, a local resident filed an official complaint with the city, who pressed charges against the owners of some filming sites.
Initially, Germany's Ministry of Defense would not allow filming on Bendler Block. They relented after appeals from Tom Cruise and screenwriter/producer Christopher McQuarrie. The entire crew started every night of filming with a moment of silence in memory of Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg.
The film grossed 200 million dollars worldwide making it the fifth highest-grossing World War II film of all-time.
David Bamber (Adolf Hitler) is the only non-German cast member who speaks with a German accent. The filmmakers felt that audiences would be distracted by Hitler speaking in Bamber's natural British accent. The resulting difference in accent, however, is not too unrealistic, as Hitler was a native of Austria. German is the main language spoken in both Germany and Austria, but Hitler's Austrian accent made him stand out while he was among his (mostly) German subordinates.
This film hinges on the common belief that Adolf Hitler owed his survival to the last-minute change in venue from an underground bunker to the above-ground conference room. However, MythBusters (2003) tested this myth and confirmed Hitler would've survived in either case.
Tom Cruise had personally chosen Carice van Houten to appear as his wife, after seeing her in another World War II film, Black Book (2006).
Some scenes had to be re-shot when the original film was destroyed after being treated with the wrong chemical during development.
Tom Cruise was attracted to the role after seeing a picture of Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, and noticing how similar he looked.
The film's opening prologue is a quotation of a Nazi mandatory loyalty service oath for Soldiers of the German Armed Forces. It states: "I swear by God this sacred oath: That I shall render unconditional obedience to Adolf Hitler, Führer of the German Reich and people, Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, And that I shall at all times be ready, as a brave soldier, to give my life for this oath . . . "
Eleven extras playing Wehrmacht soldiers were injured on the set when they fell out of a moving lorry (truck). One suffered a serious back injury, the rest had bruises, cuts, and head injuries. An insurance company investigation concluded that an extra closed the side panel improperly, causing it to open while the lorry was in motion.
Two cast members appeared in Downfall (2004), about the last ten days of Adolf Hitler's life. Christian Berkel played Ernst-Günter Schenck, an SS Doctor. Thomas Kretschmann played SS-Gruppenführer Hermann Fegelein, Heinrich Himmler's adjutant and Eva Braun's brother-in-law.
Waldemar Kobus (Police Chief Von Helldorf) also appeared in the German film Stauffenberg (2004), playing Wolf's Lair officer Lieutenant Herber.
The screenplay for this film was featured in the 2007 Blacklist; a list of the "most liked" unmade scripts of the year.
The film was originally scheduled for release on August 8, 2008, then moved up to June 27, 2008. The producer couldn't find a suitable location for the battle sequence in which Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg loses his eye and hand, halting production and moving release to October 3, 2008. Filming resumed in June 2008, and release was moved to February 13, 2009. After a successful test screening, release was finally moved to December 25, 2008.
(at around 42 mins) When Christian Berkel's character is having the initial conversation with the other conspirators about the application of explosives and says "The trick is not to be around when they go off" is the same line David Niven says to Gregory Peck's character in The Guns of Navarone (1961).
The film takes place from March 13, 1943 to July 21, 1944.
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(at around 41 mins) When Adolf Hitler signs the revised Valkyrie, the fountain pen clipped to Colonel Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg's bag is a Pelikan M100, produced in Germany during World War II.
After the conspirators were executed by order of General Fromm, the subtitle correctly states that Fromm himself was executed on 12 March 1945. However, because at trial he was not directly connected to the conspiracy, he was instead convicted of 'cowardice before the enemy'. For this conviction he was executed by military firing squad. Interestingly, at his death Fromm was technically a civilian, having been discharged from the Army on 14 September 1944.
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Stephen Fry mentioned on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross (2001) (on a night when Tom Cruise was another guest) that he was offered a role. He was also very complimentary about Tom Cruise's knowledge of World War II.
Carice van Houten, Waldemar Kobus, Christian Berkel and Halina Reijn appeared in Black Book (2006), Paul Verhoeven's movie based on World War II.
Carice van Houten, who plays Countess Nina Von Stauffenberg, was the longtime companion of Sebastian Koch, who played Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg in the critically acclaimed German television movie Stauffenberg (2004).
The majority of this movie's main cast, who played Nazis, were English/British actors: Kenneth Branagh as Major-General Henning von Tresckow; Bill Nighy as General Friedrich Olbricht; Tom Wilkinson as General Friedrich Fromm; Terence Stamp as Ludwig Beck, and Eddie Izzard as General Erich Fellgiebel.
Some sequences in Valkyrie were shot at Studio Babelsberg, in Potsdam, Germany. Babelsberg was in existence during the time frame depicted in the film, and was used for the filming of movies approved by the Nazis' Reich Minister of Propaganda, Josef Goebbels, who appears as a character in Valkyrie.
Tobias Moretti was slated to play Adolf Hitler, but had to decline due to schedule conflicts.
This is the second movie in which Kenneth Branagh, Kevin McNally, and Ian McNeice have appeared together. The other was Conspiracy (2001). Both movies are based on true events from World War II and both are stories from the German side. Here they are Adolf Hitler's enemies, while in the other they are following Hitler's regime.
Patrick Wilson was originally cast in the film but he dropped out due to scheduling conflicts.
The song played over parts of the end credits (Track number one on the soundtrack album, "They'll Remember You") uses lyrics from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's poem "Wanderers Nachtlied" ("Wanderer's Night Song"): "Ueber allen Gipfeln / Ist Ruh, / In allen Wipfeln / Spuerest du / Kaum einen Hauch. - Die Voegelein schweigen im Walde. / Warte nur, balde / Ruhest du auch." This translates into English as, "Over all the summits / it is calm. / In all the treetops / you can feel / hardly a breeze - The birds remain silent in the woods. / Just wait, soon / You'll rest as well."
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Kenneth Branagh was originally going to play the villain in Mission: Impossible III (2006) when David Fincher was attached to direct. When Fincher bailed, Branagh considered taking over as director, but he decided to star opposite Tom Cruise in Valkyrie (2008) instead.
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Bill Nighy, Kevin McNally, David Schofield, and Tom Hollander all appeared in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise.
Three actors in the movie are born on December 12: Kenneth Cranham in 1944, Tom Wilkinson in 1948 and Bill Nighy in 1949.
In the novel that inspired the film Edge of Tomorrow (2014), the author uses the word "Valkyrie"; Tom Cruise was the star of that movie too, and his character in the book won the order of the Valkyrie.
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Tom Cruise (Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg) and Kevin McNally (Dr. Carl Friedrich Goerdeler) both appeared in films entitled "Legend": Cruise in Legend (1985) and McNally in Legend (2015).
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Bill Nighy and Tom Wilkinson both appeared in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011).
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The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

Much of the movie takes place in the offices of Bendlerblock which served as the offices for the military operations of the Third Reich's military command. The courtyard of Bendlerblock is where Colonel Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg and the other conspirators were executed. Some of the filming of the movie took place at the actual building. This building is now the Memorial to the German Resistance (German: Gedenkstätte Deutscher Widerstand). The statement in the final slide of the movie is from a plaque near the site of execution at the Memorial.

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