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Hitler's S.S.: Portrait in Evil (1985)

Not Rated | | Drama, War | TV Movie 17 February 1985
The story of Helmut and Karl Hoffmann. Both come of age at the start of Hitler's power in Germany. Helmut joins the SS and eventually becomes a successful flag rank officer. Karl joins the ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Karl Hoffmann
... Helmut Hoffmann
... Mitzi Templer (nightclub singer)
... Reinhard Heydrich
... Becker (SS assistant to Dietrich)
... Ernst Röhm (SA Chief)
... Uncle Walter (bartender)
... Albrecht Hoffman
... Prof. Ludwig Rosenberg
... Gerda Hoffman
... Putzi (The Comedian)
... Heinrich Himmler
Derek Newark ... Theodor Eicke
... Gen. Josef Biegler, SA
... Adolf Hitler
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Storyline

The story of Helmut and Karl Hoffmann. Both come of age at the start of Hitler's power in Germany. Helmut joins the SS and eventually becomes a successful flag rank officer. Karl joins the SA and experiences the darker side of Nazism after the SA is disbanded and Karl is thrown into prison and later conscripted into the German army. Brother is pitted against brother until their relationship, and the Third Reich, stands in ruins Written by Anthony Hughes <husnock31@hotmail.com>

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Plot Keywords:

brother | third reich | hitler | ss | nazis | See All (38) »

Taglines:

Brother is pitted against brother under the shadow of the Third Reich.

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

17 February 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hitler SS: El retrato del mal  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Commentators and critics of the film have often remarked that it is unclear exactly what Helmutt Hoffman's job is in the SS, apart from delivering things to his superiors for signature, and in only one instance is anyone actually seen working for him. Based on the dialogue, however, Hoffmann appears to be part of the SD Special Purpose Staff which was known as "Amt z.b.V. Besonderen Verwendung" See more »

Goofs

When Helmut arrives home on leave towards the middle of the series, his younger brother Hans points to Helmut's Security Service (SD) sleeve patch and exclaims "You've been promoted!" The SD sleeve patch actually had nothing to do with rank, and simply indicated an SS member was assigned to the SD. See more »

Quotes

Helmutt Hoffmann: [Upon meeting Reinhard Heydrich] Who's that bizarre character?
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Soundtracks

Wenn die Soldaten,
sung on train to the Night of the Long Knives
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User Reviews

 
Absorbing study of two brothers with opposing viewpoints in Nazi Germany...
3 January 2007 | by See all my reviews

Handsomely produced TV film is an ambitious project in that it follows the rise of the Third Reich while telling the story of a German family, in particular, two brothers (BILL NIGHY and JOHN SHEA) who are swept into the wartime problems when the oldest joins the SS in 1931 and becomes a good Nazi (until he sees the scope of the horror) and the other eventually joins because he's under the illusion that he can change things from the inside.

Although it covers a span of '33 to '45, none of the actors age noticeably, the one weakness in an otherwise carefully detailed production.

This is not the first time this sort of subject has been handled. A less epic, more narrowly focused melodrama of two brothers with opposing viewpoints was made in the 1940s (UNDERGROUND - 1941) with JEFFREY LYNN and PHILIP DORN as German brothers taking opposite viewpoints of the wartime philosophy and directed by Vincent Sherman. Although it was a well done melodrama, it did not attempt to get the full flavor of the Third Reich and its various operations as this film does.

JOHN SHEA is especially impressive as the brother who speaks his mind against some of the Nazi practices and at one point even ends up for awhile in Dachau, the concentration camp. The other brother manages to get him released but there are still many trials and tribulations for both of them before the film reaches a dramatic climax. CARROL BAKER does a nice job as a worried German mother.

David WARNER is impressive as Reinhard Heydrich, the sarcastic and brutal Nazi officer who gets his comeuppance before the war is over. All of the performances are first rate and the story covers a good deal of actual history without ever losing track of its main characters.

Absorbing stuff, lengthy, but well worth watching.


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