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Hitler: The Last Ten Days
Hitler The Last Ten Days
Actors: Alec Guinness, Simon Ward, Adolfo Celi, Diane Cilento, Gabriele Frezetti
Director: Ennio De Concini
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
PG     2008     1hr 46min

Hitler: The Last Ten Days is cinema at its most powerful. Oscar® winner Alec Guinness portrays the dictator in one of his most memorable performances. Spanning the final days from Hitler's 56th birthday to his death, this ...  more »

     
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Movie Details

Actors: Alec Guinness, Simon Ward, Adolfo Celi, Diane Cilento, Gabriele Frezetti
Director: Ennio De Concini
Creators: Ennio Guarnieri, Mischa Spoliansky, Kevin Connor
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Studio: Legend Films
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen
DVD Release Date: 06/03/2008
Original Release Date: 01/01/1973
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1973
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 1hr 46min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 14
MPAA Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English

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Member Movie Reviews

Sandra P. from ASHEBORO, NC
Reviewed on 9/17/2014...
This is the very best, factual yet fascinating movie you will ever see about the "last ten days" of the reign of a mad man.My father, ( now gone on) was 98 or 9 , and I had never seen him watch a movie..sat captivated by this portrayal of Hitler in the Bunker,. It is in fact a complete accurately written score, as verified by survivors and Germans alike such as his secretary. Everything, from Ava Braun taking a piece of raw parsley to mask her secret smoking habit from Hitler, given to her by Hitlers (Jewish) vegetarian cook no less, to all the henchmen coming in to see him, and the Goebbells murdering their 6 children by arsenic..it is so real! I have watched and enjoyed this movie many times, and guarantee you will absolutely love it!!

Movie Reviews

Alec Guinness is Hitler!
Roger Kennedy | 07/17/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This vivid portrait of Hitler in his wanning days is nothing short of magnificent. This movie combines drama with documentry. Actually footage is cleverly interspaced during the movie to provide shocking reality checks to the bizarre events occuring in the bunker. In this movie we can see how Hitler became the victim of his own doomsday prophetcies. His cruelty remained with him to the last, and Guiness provides a emotional look at the last few days of his life. There will certainly be a debate over this movie and "The Bunker" with Anthony Hopkins. For me this was always the better film in terms of its intensity. The movie almost seems like a play and it moves along rapidly to its bitter finish. Some may think Guinness is too high strung in his Hitler, but his acting is nonetheless superb. Its seems almost like playing Hitler has become a main theatrical role to play. If so then Alec Guinness provides the leading example."
Don't Listen to ...
Roger Kennedy | 09/18/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"... ... ...I thought this film was an unparalleled masterpiece of the fusion of cinema and ACCURATE history. I am a total World War buff and I can tell by watching this film that the filmmakers based much of this on the testimony of Hitler's private secretary, Traudl Junge, who was with the Fuhrer in the bunker and was friends with Eva Braun, as well as Albert Speer and other survivors who had first hand contact with Hitler and knew what the atmosphere was like down in that dank, somber, surreal and depressing bunker. The whole feel that they are out of touch with everything and live in some mystical, surreal existence is captured to perfection (Traudl Junge testified to that fact). I have read Toland's "Hitler," as well as numerous books about the war and Hitler's character, including "Hitler's Mind: the Secret Wartime Report," and I can tell you that Alec Guiness' portrayal of Hitler is nothing short of a miracle. Hopkins' portrayal in The Bunker is your typical mad, raging and over the top Hitler that we are used to seeing. He did a poor job and that film is vastly inferior to this one. Guiness must have had a real, personal interest in Hitler as a character and figure, and when he combines that with his amazingly brilliant acting talent, the results are as if you are watching what it was really like to know and deal with Hitler during those last days of the war. The understated psychotic zeal, the moments of romantic extravagance, the oh so Germanic and Wagnerian tragic sensibility of either total victory and domination or absolute destruction and annihilation of the German people, they're all portrayed here with excellent subtlety. Indeed, Wagner's heroic Lohengrin is played to great effect in the opening scene in one of the most beautiful juxtapositions I have ever seen in film. This is sheer genius. Somebody said that this is a foreign production. It's got to be British; only the Brits can produce something of such magnificent accuracy backed up by a wonderfully subtle artistry with underlying themes of the apocalypse. One can tell that The Bunker is an American production, so vastly inferior to this in that it has literally no subtext. Hitler: The Last Ten Days is a remarkable achievement, rich and even philosophical in its portrayals. There is so much to this great film I cannot continue anymore. Never again will Hitler be portrayed so accurately by an actor. Alec Guiness, you are (or were) the Man! Buy this film now!"
Alec Guinness--An Outstanding Hitler
James T. Wheeler | TUCSON, AZ United States | 06/23/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"At long last, this 1973 British-Italian production has come out on DVD. I found it well done, although a bit unusual. The director seems to have wanted Hitler's Germany to appear in an ironic way, showing Nazi pomp and circumstance one minute and Germany's devastation and starvation the next. The film moves in and out of these moods and from black-and-white to color. Some reviewers have found this strange if not humorous. I believe it's meant to be ironic and to mock the ridiculous theories of the Third Reich.

"Hitler's Last Ten Days" tells an important story not only from an historical standpoint but also to help in understanding today's world. Moreover, the movie follows the facts pretty well, with an occasional lapse of literary license. In an insightful scene, Hitler declares that SS Gen. Fegelein, who had married Eva Braun's sister Gretl, was guilty of treason in the last few days of the Third Reich. Hitler rightly saw that Fegelein was in league with his boss, SS Reichsfuhrer Heinrich Himmler, to present Hitler's corpse to the Allies as a peace offering. In contrast, Hitler is shown cursing out his new wife Eva at the end of the movie for betraying him by committing suicide before he did. That was a sheer invention of the screenwriters. Nevertheless, I'm giving the movie five stars for its fine acting and overall impact.

It's difficult to compare "Hitler's Last Ten Days" to other productions covering the end of Hitler and his Third Reich. These are all done in a straight, serious vein and include a made-for-TV piece, "The Death of Adolph Hitler," from the BBC, 1973, starring Frank Finlay as Hitler. Also, there is 1981's "The Bunker" with Anthony Hopkins as Hitler--another TV drama done for HBO. Finally, we have the very theatrical and gloomy German production, "Downfall," with Bruno Ganz playing the Nazi dictator, 2005. While all these all have their moments, I think the one with Alec Guinness is the best. This is for its wit, irony, and above all, Sir Alec's performance. His is the best Hitler rendering I've seen to date, with Derek Jacobi a close second in the TV miniseries, "Inside the Third Reich," 1982.

To be a bit critical of "Hitler's Last Ten Days," Simon Ward plays a fictional Nazi soldier who starts out as a hero-worshipper but later becomes disenchanted with Hitler's ways. Though entrusted with a copy of the dictator's political testament at the end he tears up the document once he escapes from the bunker and is never seen again. Also odd is the fact that no one plays Albert Speer in "Hitler's Last Ten Days," despite Guinness's Hitler saying he was, "a genius." Moreover, Speer did play a key role in Hitler's end game, as most authors and historians will agree.

It must be pointed out that "Hitler's Last Ten Days" has not been digitally remastered, as would help its audio and video quality. Also, casting is surprising in places with Italian actors playing Germans. But that may be nit-picking since they all do a decent job. Finally, there are no special features or subtitles with the new DVD, which is unfortunate. The price of the DVD is modest so we may have to wait further for a collector's edition.

To make up for the lack of special features in "Hitler's Last Ten Days," viewers might wish to acquire the documentary DVD, "Death in the Bunker." It was produced in 2005, by Spiegel TV of Germany. This is an excellent production and carries interviews with several eye witnesses. These include Traudl Junge, one of Hitler's secretaries, Rochus Misch, the telephone switchboard operator and SS bodyguard, and even Dr. Schenk, one of Hitler's attending physicians. There are a number of other good testimonials, too. It's apparent that several wartime films were remastered and blended into the DVD. Other clips are left as they were which may be disappointing but perhaps are meant to stand out in contrast.

In summing up, "Hitler's Last Ten Days" is an important and valuable production. The portrayal of Hitler by Alec Guinness is first-rate, if not somewhat mocking to the dictator's depleted emotional state. I'd strongly recommend that others interested in Hitler and World War II add this DVD to their library. Now to complete the picture we need a DVD of Marvin Chomsky's "Inside the Third Reich." Despite the literary license it takes, "Inside the Third Reich," with its all-star cast, deserves to be remastered on DVD and made available to the viewing public.
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