Pomeranian (NE German) boxer Max Schmelling, a fair, courageous gentleman, becomes world champion and a national hero in the early 1930s, winning the hand of singer Anny Ondra. Just for loosing against younger, fitter colored American Joe Louis, the Nazi regime lifts Max's privileges and sends him to the front, hoping he'll be killed in action. Yet he survives the conquest of Crete and by freeing a British prisoner unwittingly saves his own skin when after the Soviet conquest of his home region, Max is nearly taken PoW. He starts all over, although rather too old, with remarkable results. Written by
Profile of a Great German Boxer but not a War Film
I found this to be a very enjoyable movie indeed and in sharp contrast to the stinging comments made about the movie generally. Yes it is essentially a Boxing movie with a Nazi War theme but there is no blood, minimal violence, no bad language, no offending sex scenes and everything in the film, given the nature of the storyline to do with Nazis, is done in very good taste.
True, it is not a great film and I do not think the director ever intended it. He may have intended a personal message with the film and expressed a love of boxing and also of a German Boxing icon.
Max Schmeling was a respected fighter both before and after the War. Whether he was a Nazi or not is a concern or issue for the film and there are no scenes I recall in the film which show Schmeling in direct contact with anyone acting as Adolf Hitler. His respect for Joe Louis is humbling.
He lived a long life and was successful in business. He has stood the test of life in ways that modern boxing icons such as Bruno, Bugner, Tyson and even Mohammed Ali have not.
Max Schmeling had a Jewish manager and married a Czech woman. There is nothing about the film which could possibly give offence to a German or anybody else unless they were looking to be offended.
Yes the storyline is simplistic enough, there is no dwelling on Max Schmelings involvement in the war or on the exact nature of how he suffered injury and near death in the war. Enough to vaguely refer to it and not wonder more.
Remember the film is for entertainment and is not a documentary. If the latter then some of the films other comments will be more relevant.
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