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The Ritchie Boys
The Ritchie Boys
Actor: Ritchie Boys
Director: Christian Bauer
Genres: Indie & Art House, Educational, Documentary, Military & War
NR     2007     1hr 30min

Run out of Germany by the Nazis, a small contingent of German Jewish intellectuals exacted the perfect revenge--returning to Europe as U.S. soldiers to defeat the enemy. Groundbreaking and unforgettable, THE RITCHIE BOYS i...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: Ritchie Boys
Director: Christian Bauer
Genres: Indie & Art House, Educational, Documentary, Military & War
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Educational, History, Military & War, History, Jewish Heritage, Military & War, Military & War
Format: DVD - Black and White,Color
DVD Release Date: 11/20/2007
Original Release Date: 01/01/2007
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2007
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 1hr 30min
Screens: Black and White,Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 3
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English, German

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Movie Reviews

Funny interrogators of World War II
Brendan M. Howard | Kansas, USA | 11/24/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Put me to use. That's what the so-called Ritchie Boys asked of the U.S. Army in World War II, and they got what they wanted. These new recruits, alien refugees--some fresh off the boat from Europe--were shipped off to Camp Ritchie to learn how the German military did its thing so they could interrogate prisoners in warzones. It's a World War II story that hadn't been told yet, and the Ritchie Boys themselves make for engaging watching and a wonderful story. These are soldiers most of us can relate to, people who weren't so good at handling firearms but became single-minded in their work to charm, confuse, and terrify POWs who showed up and had information they wanted.

This is an excellent addition to the growing sub-genres of Jewish and World War II documentaries, and sports skillful use of talking-head inteviews, music, and archival footage.

DVD Extras: A full 43 minutes of deleted scenes and personal accounts fill out the disc."
Part of a new country, protecting an old homeland
Jason | Backwater, Alabama | 08/08/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Making their way to America with little to nothing, many Jewish immigrants escaped German persecution, and prepared for their own kind of war while living in the United States. Each having their own reason to enlist, most did it for personal and/or ideological reasons, the immigrants soon became part of the Military Intelligence Training Center (MITC) at Camp Ritchie, Maryland. Sometimes called the Military Institute of Total Confusion because of its revolutionary, unpredictable nature, these soldiers were to be used for the unique purpose of interrogating German prisoners of war.

With intimate knowledge of the enemy, the Ritchie Boys used their ingenuity and imagination to not only display conspicuous gallantry, but also engage in psychological and intelligence endeavors beneficial to the Allied efforts. A typical soldier can be trained for war in half a year. Becoming a fluent interpreter, translator, and interrogator in any foreign language simply can't be accomplished in that amount of time; as such, the Ritchie Boys had an invaluable purpose.

The majority of the documentary is about each soldier's role during the war, and the various interesting details each can remember. Telling stories of their experiences during war with humility and comedy, recalling past events and how they're affected today, is hilarious at times and very inspiring at others. Displaying other-worldly courage, one of the Ritchie Boys (Werner Angress) even jumped from a plane on D-Day, without having gone through Airborne training! As someone who has been skydiving several times, this astonishes me. Another soldier (Si Lewen) was part of a direct broadcast to German soldiers, an attempt to convince the enemy soldiers to surrender. Since the broadcasts were initially from speakers adjacent to the microphone, high fatalities were guaranteed. Countless other stories amaze throughout the documentary, and I'm quite sure I could listen to these guys for quite some time.

Former soldiers, military history buffs, and proud Americans should know about the important contributions made by Jewish immigrants during one of our nation's most precipitous moments. Since I fit all three of the above qualifications, it's obvious that I loved the Ritchie Boys."
One of the Best
G. Taylor | 12/08/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I first saw this as a special on the Discovery Network's Military Channel. I had to wait several months before it became available on Amazon but it was worth the wait to own it. These men's stories are compelling and fascinating. This dvd should be shown in every civics class in the country (provided we started HAVING civics classes again).

The men who trained at Camp Ritchie were almost exclusively European Jewish refugees who had just recently escaped from the Nazis. Yet they all volunteered to return to Europe to serve their newly adopted country.

They all took this very seriously but the dvd does make use of the usual humorous soldier stories. Such as the one where two of the Richie Boys who are now with the US Army in a forward area doing POW interrogations complete a fake prisoner interrogation report stating that they have captured Hitler's latrine orderly and he gave them very detailed information on the fuhrer's private parts. They sent it to their immediate superiors and they all had a good laugh. Until someone forwarded it to a higher HQ and a Colonel from Washington showed up to meet the latrine orderly for himself!

This is a must for any student of WW II."
Not to be Missed
Cary B. Barad | Baltimore, MD | 09/23/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is a nostalgic and historically important film comprised of present day interviews and films of the period. It gives a very moving account of these patriotic and extraordinarly brilliant intelligence officers who were forced from their European birthplace in their youth and who found acceptance in their new homeland--the USA. During WW II their gratitude was expessed by exemplary military service which they carried out without blind vengeance or injustice."