Hitler: A Career

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Biography Documentary hosted by Stephen Murray and published by Others in 1977 - English narration

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'Basic Information'

How did a provincial rabble-rouser from Austria rise to become Germany's messianic Fuhrer? Why did Germans from all walks of life embrace the fascist Nazi philosophy and willingly follow Hitler into a titanic conflict and utter destruction?

Joachim C. Fest and Christian Herrendoerfer's meticulously assembled film dissects the Third Reich with a keen analytical blade, charting Hitler's improbable rise, his mastery of imagery and crowd psychology, and his consummate skill in exploiting the weaknesses in others.

Examining the public and private dynamics of Nazism's unhinged dictatorship by making use of an amazing array of never-before-seen film footage from secret archives and private collections, HITLER: A CAREER uncovers the deeper causes behind the rise and fall of Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich.

FEATURING FOOTAGE OF: Adolf Hitler, Eva Braun, Josef Goebbels, Hermann Göring, Reinhard Heydrich, Heinrich Himmler, Rudolf Hess, Benito Mussolini, Erwin Rommel, Albert Speer, Paul von Hindenburg, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Neville Chamberlain, Charles Chaplin, Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein, Ernst Lubitsch & more.

This feature-length documentary - the first such post-war documentary of the Nazi years to be released in Germany - is a bona fide standard by which all other documentaries about Hitler are measured. Aired on the Discovery Channel many years back as Hitler: The Whole Story, this film relies solely on documentary footage and English narration provided by Stephen Murray - there are no talking heads, no deep analysis by modern "experts." This version has English subtitles of Hitler's German speeches as well as those delivered by his henchmen.

Unlike many related documentaries, the war years do not receive primary focus here. Instead, this feature's prime coverage is on Hitler's rise to power from obscurity, his political, oratory, and manipulative genius, and how everyday Germans of that era were fully taken in by his spellbinding theater, unprecedented pageantry, and expert use of imagery.

What Others Have Said About HITLER: A CAREER

Long lines of Germans have been lining up to see a new hit. The central figure - his black hair combed flat across his forehead, his impassioned voice exhorting his followers to build a thousand-year Reich - is der Führer himself. The 2-1/2 hour documentary about him, Hitler: A Career, is the smash of the summer, drawing thousands to the box offices and spurring a nationwide re-examination of the Nazi past.

The footage of Nazi atrocities and the wholesale destruction of German cities during the war never fails to stun audiences, even those Germans who have been immersed in an atmosphere of guilt for 30 years.

To younger viewers the film is a revelation. The school system of West Germany after the war either disregarded the Hitler period or raced through it. Among older viewers the reaction is often uneasiness. Says one Berliner, 76: 'That was how Hitler was. He was black magic, and intoxicated people.'

Producer Joachim Fest, author of a massive biography on Hitler, drew upon film clips of the 1920s, '30s and '40s, setting out to make a movie that would explore how an obscure Austrian postcard artist could win power and put it to such evil purposes.

Says Fest: 'If you want to make a society a little more secure against someone like Hitler, then you must give people an understanding of the forces that were so appealing. There is a big need to know how it all could have happened.'

--TIME Magazine, 1977

Being Jewish, I never thought I would sit through a film about the most evil man who ever lived, Adolf Hitler. Neither did I ever think I would use my valuable time to review a film about him. Yet "Hitler: A Career" (First Run Features) is a film that is so important and so relevant that it must be seen and therefore I feel a duty to comment on it.

I know I am not alone in wondering how a man like Hitler could become a messianic figure to the people of Germany. What was it that caused Germans to embrace the fascism of Nazism and follow him? What we learn from the movie is that many Germans themselves do not have an answer to this and they have lined up to see this documentary that runs for two and a half hours.

In the early 1970's there began a new interest in the Fuhrer and Joachim Fest, who had written the definitive history of Hitler, decided to put everything down on the printed page and then eventually make a movie based on his book. He wanted to make a movie that would look at how an obscure minor artist from Austria could not come to power but use that power for evil.

This film has faced harsh criticism. Some have said that it glorifies Hitler's appeal and does not deal with the consequences of evil. Jews claim that it just looks at the surface of the horrors he brought about and shows Hitler as a "hypnotic spellbinder" who lured Germans into a terrible and criminal war. One critic called the film "dangerous" and claims that the film is so academic that it is above the intellectual capability of the masses. Other critics feel that the film sells the masses short.

The footage of Nazi atrocities and the destruction of German cities stuns. Other scenes evoke nervous laughter especially those scenes when the crowds seem to worship the man. But these issues are not what the film is about. It looks at and carefully explores just how the man rose to power and how he managed to lead Germany to destruction, In order to understand the age of Hitler, we must understand the appeal of the man who. We NEED to know how this happened.

Given the subject, I did not expect this movie to hold me the way that it did. It completely and utterly dissects the Third Reich as it looks at the rise of Hitler. Much of the footage in this film has never been seen before and as the movie examines the causes behind the rise of this evil, we begin to understand. However, I do not think that I will ever comprehend the useless murder of over 6.000,000 of my people.

--Amos Lassen

Hitler: A Career isn’t like any of the other documentaries I have seen about Hitler. There isn’t talk of megalomania or his fatalistic charm. They don’t call him a mad genius who came close to conquering the world. No, the narrator in this documentary calls him what he was, a rabble-rouser who knew how to use fear, brutality, lies, and propaganda to get what he wanted. He played to the people’s wants and desires by tapping into their feelings of self worth that had seemed all but lost after the German defeat in World War I.

Very well put together with some rare “early party” footage. The story gives Hitler’s basic background up to his battle experiences on the Western Front, but it mainly sticks to how he became leader of the German people. What I thought was done skillfully was the way this film dismantled one of his speeches, showing step by step how he would work the crowd. Timing with Hitler was everything and during his speeches he would use this to his advantage, along with body gestures and a specific pattern during the speech that would feed upon the energy and emotion of the frenzied crowd. The film follows him all the way to his demise showing everyone that this man wasn’t so smart and truly had no plans to save his people.

This films digs real deep into what Nazism is, showing the complexities and contradictions of not only the movement but the leader himself. It explores the man and reveals his inequities and lonesomeness that plagued him wherever he went. There is amazing archival footage of Hitler’s early days before he became Chancellor of Germany, when the Party was only a few thousand strong, to those final days in the bunker just before he committed suicide. Why and how the National Socialists rose so quickly can be attributed to Hitler as well as its fall. For we learn that as more and more Germans started to believe in him, the man himself started to believe the propaganda he created. After a few battle victories he helped organize, Hitler thought he had become a great warrior general, those who he dreamed of while listing to the symphonies of Wagner.

Great orators say powerful things. They don’t need to work the crowd so they can get the best response. This DVD brings to light why all those people seemed so in a trance when Hitler spoke and how he used timing and body language to seduce those around him and how he played upon their worst fears to make him look like the only savior on the horizon. Hitler: A Career is one of the best films I have seen that explains how and why so many followed a man who rallied around hate and terror.

--Fumo Verde

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  • Ripped by ........... :mark3478879

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