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Son of Hitler (1979)

The leader of a right-wing German political party discovers that an illiterate woodcarver is actually the son of Adolf Hitler. He kidnaps the young man from a mental institution and ... See full summary »


Rod Amateau


Burkhard Driest (original screenplay), Lukas Heller (original screenplay)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Bud Cort ... Willi Hitler
Peter Cushing ... Heinrich Haussner
Felicity Dean ... Valeska
Leo Gordon ... Tuennes
Anton Diffring ... Gernheim
Heinz Bennent ... Ostermayer
Dieter Schidor Dieter Schidor ... Sommer
Burkhard Driest Burkhard Driest ... Muller (as Burkhardt Driest)
Lynn Cartwright ... Annie
Peter Kern Peter Kern ... Asylum Attendent
Til Kiwe ... Dr. Puttkamer
Peter Capell ... Fritz Buchmann
Herbert Fux ... Older Tramp
Rolf Zacher ... Younger Tramp
Larry Dolgin Larry Dolgin ... Karl


The leader of a right-wing German political party discovers that an illiterate woodcarver is actually the son of Adolf Hitler. He kidnaps the young man from a mental institution and prepares him to start the Fourth Reich. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis






UK | West Germany



Release Date:

January 1979 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Hitler's Son See more »

Filming Locations:

Munich, Bavaria, Germany

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



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Did You Know?


The name of the political party, NEIN! stands for "Never Encourage Intellectual Nonsense". See more »


Policeman: Date and place of birth?
Willi Hitler: Er, Berlin February 22, 1944
Policeman: Christian name?
Willi Hitler: Wilhelm.
Policeman: Father's name?
Willi Hitler: Adolf.
Policeman: Family name?
Willi Hitler: Hitler.
See more »


Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Hitler's Harlot (2014) See more »


Son of Hitler
Music by Denis King
Lyrics by Benny Green
See more »

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User Reviews

Peter Cushing and Bud Cort
30 April 2014 | by kevinolzakSee all my reviews

1978's "Son of Hitler" is known among Peter Cushing fans as one of his four 'lost films' on the heels of his resurgence in "Star Wars," and like its immediate followups "Touch of the Sun" and "Black Jack" was simply a vanity project for their respective filmmakers, in this case actor/writer/producer Burkhard Driest, who managed to finance this $5 million disaster outside his native Germany. Co-writer Lukas Heller certainly had a sterling record with director Robert Aldrich ("What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?" "Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte"), while director Rod Amateau had been more involved in television than films. In the title role, Bud Cort at least was well cast, his Wilhelm Hitler depicted as a woodcarving innocent who has been raised in the mountains, knowing nothing of his parentage until he comes down and becomes an object of derision among the Munich passersby. Acknowledging his existence is Nazi sympathizer Heinrich Haussner (Cushing), leader of the political organization NEIN! (Never Encourage Intellectual Nonsense), the height of the film's nonexistent humor. Along with his hulking but kindly assistant Tuennes (Leo Gordon), Haussner spends the first half tracking down his quarry, whom he is certain will help Germany rise again to a similar role of prominence, eventually swiping him from an insane asylum. The remainder consists of endless scenes depicting his teaching this naïve illiterate to imitate the speech and movements of his infamous father; he insists he can do it, but doesn't want to. Bud Cort was an inspired choice, evoking a Chaplinesque pathos that must have been intentional, but there's virtually nothing amusing to be seen throughout its laughless 94 minutes. Veteran Hollywood villain Leo V. Gordon actually does fairly well in a surprisingly sympathetic part, but native Teutonic villain Anton Diffring is sadly wasted in a supporting role garnering a meager five minutes screen time. Worst of all is the downbeat, yet more than appropriate ending, as both Cushing and Gordon wind up dead, and young Hitler back at the asylum, his true identity essentially discredited (the ironic fate of the picture itself). Watching Peter Cushing's Haussner climb up the steps to the roof to blow his brains out is probably the last thing a dedicated fan would enjoy seeing, considering the film's scripted intention as a 'comedy.' Among Cushing's lost quartet, this may have enjoyed the highest budget, making "Touch of the Sun" and "Black Jack" look even more like the glorified home movies they are, yet has to rank even lower simply because of its lofty, wrongheaded ambitions (the others never aspired to be anything more than what they were). The most commonly used description over the years remains 'what were they thinking?' while a disappointed Bud Cort himself referred to it as a 'booger,' Burkhard Dreist's constant, obsessive interference essentially insuring his 'dream project' would never see proper release, a stubbornly insane movie made for an audience that never existed.

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