Monday, 16 August 2010
The History of WW2 in movies and TV…
Part 1: Pre-war Germany, the war clouds begin to gather
It was a time of political unrest, WW1 “the war to end all wars” had left Europe a bloody mess and Germany was left not just to lick its wounds but pay the price. Some say the Treaty of Versailles was too hard on Germany some will say otherwise; the important thing to remember is that the German people thought it was. A German Solider and veteran of WW1 Adolf Hitler certainly did and it created a monster. Hilter was a talented public speaker and took advantage of his countries unrest to create the Nazi Party.
Hitler: The Rise of Evil
Director: Christian Duguay
Main Cast: Robert Carlyle, Matthew Modine, Live Schreiber, Peter O’Toole
To Portray this part of history is a bit of a pitfall for any filmmaker, how do you portray a man so recognized as one of the Evilest men of our time. The Rise to Evil shows you a Hitler that seems socially inept and even a little unhinged at times. However from witness’s accounts at the time Hitler was actually very charming, he would become frantic when talking publicly (as seen in numerous videos of his speeches) and towards the end of the war he was particularly erratic. Not this early though.
That’s probably the biggest niggle about this 2 part TV movie made in 2003, there are several historical inaccuracies; ranging from dates, people being omitted or played differently from how history portrays them. There are other liberties taken but as a portrayal of pre war Germany and the rise of the Nazi party it’s very good.
Robert Carlyle has the difficult task of getting the man on screen and we all know he’s very good at the psychotic characters. His Hitler is morose and un predictable, not to mention crazy but not really how the real Hitler was at that point in his life, according to the history books he was more charming. When Carlyle’s performance really takes off is in his public speaking scenes where he has clearly studied the footage of Hitlers speeches.
The production is fantastic and looks incredible and the rest of the cast give committed performances, overall Hitler: The rise of evil looks and feels great but it does glorify this man slightly and does turn Hilter into a bit of a pantomime villain. Especially in the earlier scenes when he’s played a bit like young Voldermort from Harry Potter. Also would have preferred this film if it had been in German or that the cast at least attempted German accents but like I said little niggles in what is quite an enjoyable period piece, just don’t treat it like a history lesson.
Country of Origin: UK
Running Time: 177 mins