6.3/10
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67 user 28 critic

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 ... 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. One had a plot. By some miracle, 62 survived. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Charles Durning was filming Dog Day Afternoon (1975) in New York concurrently with this film in California and was flying back and forth between both sets throughout. See more »

Goofs

As the passengers cross the tarmac from the hangar to board the Hindenburg, we can see the lower part of the gondola and the lowered staircases. However, the sunlight covers the whole ground and shines off the tops of everybody's heads. There is no shadow or any other indication of the large airship balloon which should be over their heads and shadowing the entire area. See more »

Quotes

Ursula, The Countess: Marvelous feeling on an airship.
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Crazy Credits

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

Alternate Versions

In 1987, the BBFC passed this film with a PG rating for home video release with a run time of just 109 minutes (PAL) (25fps) which is about 113 minutes at NTSC conversion (24fps). In 2009 they then passed the film again with a PG rating for DVD release with a run time of 120 minutes (PAL) (25fps) which is the same as the theatrical time of 125 minutes at NTSC conversion (24fps). This suggests any video releases from 1987 through the 1990s in the UK were cut by around 12 minutes at 24fps. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in The Sonny and Cher Show: Episode #2.5 (1976) See more »

Soundtracks

Mountaineer March
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by John Cacavas
[opening newsreel sequence]
See more »

User Reviews

 
Absorbing but slow-moving disaster film could have been so much better...
29 August 2006 | by DoylenfSee all my reviews

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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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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

Color | Black and White (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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