American based Federation World Airlines has just acquired a Concorde jet, which will make its inaugural commercial flight from Washington, D.C. to Paris, and then to Moscow as a goodwill ... See full summary »
This film is a compendium of the facts and fiction of the events leading up to the disaster. For dramatic effect, Sabotage was chosen as the cause, rather than electricity lashing out at a couple of tons of hydrogen.Written by
Charles Holland <email@example.com>
Several of the depictions of escapes from the airship as it was crashing were loosely based on fact. These include the cabin boy who was doused with water from a bursting ballast bag, and the circus acrobat who escaped by swinging from a loose mooring rope. However, unlike the film, the cabin boy was doused by water before he jumped out, and the acrobat did not hold onto a rope but onto the side of the passenger deck. See more »
When the two Luftwaffe officers meet Col. Ritter at the airfield to brief him about his mission, they refer to the possibility of him being awarded the Knights Cross to his Iron Cross. As this takes place in 1937 immediately after the Spanish Civil War and before the outbreak of WW2 in September 1939, it would have been impossible because the Knights Cross did not exist until the world war started when new awards of the Iron Cross were instituted and the Knights Cross was also introduced as a higher grade. See more »
Absorbing but slow-moving disaster film could have been so much better...
Even the presence of someone like GEORGE C. SCOTT can't save THE HINDENBERG from being a less than extraordinary recreation of the famous tragedy at Lakehurst, N.J. when the German dirigible fueled by hydrogen caught fire during its landing during a lightning storm.
The most compelling footage comes toward the end of the film, when the craft is about to land and we know the unthinkable is about to happen. The special effects (designed by Alfred Whitlock) are especially strong here and combined with actual black and white footage of the event, it is mind boggling to watch. Ironically, the craft was so close to landing, with men on the ground already holding onto the landing ropes to secure the craft for its safe approach.
Unfortunately, the script Robert Wise directs is sub-par as far as interest in the characters. I'd be tempted to call it "Grand Hotel in the Sky" but there's not even enough soap-opera element to the cast of passengers that make any of them memorable, including ANNE BANCROFT, as a Countess, GIG YOUNG and BURGESS MEREDITH.
The plot is mostly fiction about a crew member causing a bomb to explode and ignite the huge aircraft, not really substantiated by the known facts although it makes for a compelling story. Historically correct or not, it's a film worth seeing but don't expect a disaster film comparable to THE TOWERING INFERNO or TITANIC.
What's really fascinating is seeing what the inside of the dirigible is like for passenger travel, truly elegant and comfortable...a reminder of the sort of elegance that greeted those aboard the TITANIC.
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