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The Hindenburg (1975)

A film that chronicles the events of the Hindenburg disaster in which a zeppelin burst into flames.

Director:

Robert Wise

Writers:

Richard Levinson (screen story), William Link (screen story) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
George C. Scott ... Colonel Franz Ritter
Anne Bancroft ... Countess Ursula von Reugen
William Atherton ... Karl Boerth
Roy Thinnes ... Martin Vogel
Gig Young ... Edward Douglas
Burgess Meredith ... Emilio Pajetta
Charles Durning ... Captain Max Pruss
Richard Dysart ... Captain Ernst Lehman (as Richard A. Dysart)
Robert Clary ... Joseph Spah
Rene Auberjonois ... Major Napier
Peter Donat ... Reed Channing
Alan Oppenheimer ... Albert Breslau
Katherine Helmond ... Mrs. Mildred Breslau
Joanna Moore ... Mrs. Channing
Stephen Elliott Stephen Elliott ... Captain Fellows
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Storyline

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 <charley@themovies.com.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Of 97 aboard, eight had a motive for sabotage. One had a plot. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 December 1975 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Hindenburg See more »

Filming Locations:

Munich, Bavaria, Germany See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Mono (Westrex Recording System) (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)| Black and White

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

WLS radio announcer Herbert Morrison was present at the scene of the Hindenburg crash, along with his engineer Charlie Nehlsen, and recorded an eyewitness account of the unfolding tragedy. The audio clip plays at the end of the film. Nehlsen's recorder was running a bit slow, so when the recording is played back at normal speed, the pitch of Morrison's voice is raised slightly. The slight cracking at one point was caused by the shockwave of the explosion reaching the recorder just after Morrison shouts "It's burst into flames!" See more »

Goofs

When the FBI men come to interview Mrs Raesch about her letter to the German ambassador the caption reads that they arrive at her home at 6:45 AM. However during the interview inside her home a wall clock in the back ground reads 1:50 PM. PM since it is clearly daylight outside. See more »

Quotes

Ursula, The Countess: The German Air Force is not at all like it used to be, but then again, nothing is.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The film opens with the 1936 Universal logo followed by a newsreel prior to the credits. See more »

Alternate Versions

Deleted scenes were added back into the film for television airings, including one in which Goebbels shows Ritter a display of items used in attempted anti-Nazi attacks, including a bomb found on board the ocean liner "Bremen". See more »


Soundtracks

There's a Lot To Be Said for the Fuehrer
Music by David Shire
Lyric by Ed Kleban (as Edward Kleban)
Performed by Peter Donat (uncredited), Robert Clary (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Tragedy In Lakehurst
31 October 2009 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

If a film about The Hindenburg had to be made it certainly would have been made in the decade of the disaster film, the Seventies. But this film labored under a unique handicap that none of the other disaster films of the decade had.

Unlike the sinking of the Titanic or the blowing up of Mount Krakatoa and certainly not like any of the potential but fictional disaster events that were film subjects, The Hindenburg was recorded on sight with newsreel cameras and on radio with Herbert Morrison's never to be forgotten broadcast. A lot of people now still remember it, let alone back in 1975.

What Robert Wise did and maybe more successfully than any other director was make full use of the famous newsreel footage and carefully edited it into his film, with slow motion techniques into the personal attempts by the cast to try and escape the holocaust. The Hindenburg received Oscar nominations for sound, cinematography, and art&set design with a special award for special effects. Yet no nomination for editing which the main plus this film has going for it.

Of course we don't know what ever really happened to the Hindenburg and the film takes account of all the theories put forth. It also uses the real names of the people who were passengers, crew, and officials of the Third Reich. The Nazi government had a big stake in the dirigible fleet they had built, they were as much propaganda value for them as Max Schmeling in boxing and Gottfried Von Cramm in tennis.

Of course had they had access to helium to float the big guys this might never have happened. But the USA had a near total monopoly on the world's helium and was not selling it to Hitler. Hence they used the lighter, but flammable hydrogen with the result of the tragedy.

George C. Scott and Anne Bancroft head the cast as a Luftwaffe official and a worldly old world countess traveling to the USA to visit her deaf mute daughter going to school for same in Boston. The Nazis didn't believe in helping those they considered defectives, another lovable quality about them.

The Hindenburg is a sobering and near factual account of what happened in Lakehurst, New Jersey that afternoon. It's one of the best of the Seventies disaster films and should not be missed.


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