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Genocide (1982)

A chilling, heartbreaking testament to the strength and suffering of the Jewish people and the courage and heroism of those who came to their aid. With beautiful narration by Orson Welles ... See full summary »


Arnold Schwartzman


Martin Gilbert, Marvin Hier (as Rabbi Marvin Hier) | 1 more credit »

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Won 1 Oscar. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Elizabeth Taylor ... Narrator (voice)
Orson Welles ... Narrator (voice)
Simon Wiesenthal Simon Wiesenthal ... Himself
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Neville Chamberlain ... Himself (archive footage)
Winston Churchill ... Himself (archive footage)
Dwight D. Eisenhower ... Himself (archive footage)
Joseph Goebbels ... Himself (archive footage) (as Josef Goebbels)
Hermann Göring ... Himself - at Nuremberg Trials (archive footage)
Rudolf Hess ... Himself (archive footage)
Heinrich Himmler ... Himself (archive footage)
Adolf Hitler ... Himself (archive footage)
Ralph Metcalfe Ralph Metcalfe ... Himself - in 100m Final at the 1936 Olympics (archive footage)
Martinus Osendarp Martinus Osendarp ... Himself - in 100m Final at the 1936 Olympics (archive footage)
Jesse Owens ... Himself (archive footage)
Pope Pius XII Pope Pius XII ... Himself (archive footage) (as The Pope)


A chilling, heartbreaking testament to the strength and suffering of the Jewish people and the courage and heroism of those who came to their aid. With beautiful narration by Orson Welles and Elizabeth Taylor the film begins by providing a look at the flourishing Jewish community in pre-war Europe and then traces their grim trajectory through the ghettos, camps, and prisons of the Nazi regime, introducing the lost victims and brave heroes along the way. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

19 April 1984 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Genocidio See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Moriah Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The film was originally designed to be presented in a multi-screen format at a Los Angeles museum, with one 35mm projector, two 16mm projectors, and 18 slide projectors. Only after completion was it reformatted to be shown in standard film theaters. See more »


Narrator: Small wonder then, that the 9.5 million Jews who still lived in Europe at the end of the First World War looked forward with great hope to the new world, the world of Democratic Europe, the world President Wilson promised would be made safe for democracy.
See more »


Featured in The 54th Annual Academy Awards (1982) See more »

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User Reviews

Graphic Look at Tragic Events
22 May 2012 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Genocide (1981)

*** 1/2 (out of 4)

Elizabeth Taylor and Orson Welles narrate this Oscar-winning documentary that takes a look at the horrors Jews had to suffer at the hands of Hitler and Germany during WWII. The documentary starts off talking about what life was like for the Jews pre-WWII and year by year it gives a rundown of how things were changing and eventually getting to the point where it turned to mass murder. GENOCIDE isn't an easy film to watch but it's certainly an important one that takes a look at a very important subject. I think film buffs will enjoy the quality behind the material and if anyone is doing research for a school project or whatnot then there's certainly a lot of information here about these tragic events. It should also be said that there are some very graphic photos and videos here of people in horrific physical shape and countless images of death. The images of a hole dug fifteen feet into the ground and filled with bodies is something you can never get over or used to no matter how many times you see it. We hear about the "Angel of Death," a German doctor who was doing experiments on people including removing body parts and trying to change genetics so that Germany could create one race. The brutality of these images are impossible to forget and it's just amazing that anyone could do this type of thing. Welles' narration is perfect and he hits all the right notes and of course that voice is just something you could listen to all day. Taylor, on the other hand, is good at times but there are moments where she just goes way over the top. In one of the most horrifying sequences, a woman gets thrown into a hole full of bodies and more bodies are being thrown on her and she has to dig her way out from all the bodies. This is emotional enough without having Taylor's narration adding all sorts of dramatics to it. I think there were times where her emotional narration wasn't needed. With that said, the documentary is still very impressive and is worth watching if you can take the graphic subject matter.

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