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Third Reich Cinema

Richard Eichberg – Der Tiger von Eschnapur AKA The Tiger of Eschnapur (1938)

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Synopsis:
First part of two-film adaptation of Thea von Harbous novel “The Indian Tomb.” The focus of the elaborate adventure film is a dramatic love triangle: Chandra, the Maharajah of Eschnapur, lives happily with his wife Sitha. But Sithas former lovers Sascha from Germany in the palace arises, the revival of passion between the two
grounds for malicious intrigue. Prince Ramagani of secretly planning a coup d’etat, uses the occasion to the Maharajah of Sascha and Sitha raise. Both flee around
the world to Berlin, constantly haunted by Chandra and his entourage. Read More »

Richard Eichberg – Das indische Grabmal AKA The Indian Tomb (1938)

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Synopsis:
Second and last part of the filming of Thea von Harbous Roman: After their daring escape from the jealous and the Maharajah Chandra intriguing Prince Ramagani reach Sitah the Maharani and her German lover Sascha back to India.
In the Palace of Eschnapur is the decisive confrontation between the main actors: Ramaganis coup attempt by Sascha and Sitah – given their lives for Chandra sacrifices – frustrated. Sascha Ramagani finally kills and is reconciled with the Maharajah. Read More »

H.A. Lettow & Ernst Schäfer – Geheimnis Tibet – The Enigma of Tibet (1943)

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In 1938 Nazi leader Heinrich Himmler sponsored an expedition to Tibet lead by several Nazi SS scientists to study the regions flora and fauna, and to take scientific measurements of the Earths magnetic fields. The expedition was also sent to find traces of the orgins of the “Aryan” race in Tibet which was where Himmler thought evidence of could be found. This film is a Nazi era documentary of that expedition. Read More »

Ferdinand Diehl – Die Sieben Raben AKA The Seven Ravens (1937)

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A peasant father sends his seven sons to fetch water for their sickly young sister but when he curses them for not returning soon enough, they turn into ravens and disappear. Many years later when the sister is grown up, she sets out in search of her brothers but that will be a long and dangerous journey.

This very gothic horror fantasy animation from the Third Reich is a masterpiece. It is based on one of the German fairytales by Grimm brothers and about 120 puppets were used during the production. Read More »

Gustav Ucicky – Flüchtlinge AKA Refugees (1933)

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Propaganda film detailing the plight of ethnic Germans, known as “Volga Germans”, in the Soviet province of Manchuria. Read More »

Luis Trenker – Der verlorene Sohn AKA The Prodigal Son (1934)

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Synopsis:
“Mountain-film” specialist Luis Trenker plies his trade with his usual expertise in the Austrian Velorene Sohn (Prodigal Son). Trenker himself plays the leading role of Tonia Feuersinger, a Tyrolean mountaineer bound and determined to scale the American Rockies. He also wants to journey to the States to court pretty American tourist Lillian Williams (played by pretty American actress Marian Marsh). Leaving his broken-hearted local girlfriend (Maria Andergast) behind, Tonio treks to New York, but never quite makes it to the Rockies; instead, he gets a welding job on a skyscraper, then achieves success as a prizefighter. In the end, however, he realizes that his heart is still in the Tyrol and thus returns to the arms of his hometown sweetheart. Though aimed at the German-speaking clientele, Verlorene Sohn was financed in Hollywood by Universal Pictures.
— allmovie.com Read More »

Leni Riefenstahl – Der Sieg des Glaubens AKA Victory of the Faith (1933)

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Der Sieg des Glaubens (English: The Victory of Faith) is the first documentary directed by Leni Riefenstahl, who was hired despite opposition from Nazi officials that resented employing a woman — and a non-Party member too. Her film recounts the Fifth Party Rally of the Nazi Party, which occurred in Nuremberg from August 30 to September 3 in 1933.

Like her Nazi documentaries of 1935, the short Tag der Freiheit (Day of Liberty) and the classic propaganda feature Triumph of the Will, Der Sieg des Glaubens has no voiceover commentary and few explanatory titles. The activities captured by Riefenstahl’s cameras include the welcoming of foreign diplomats and other politicians at the Nuremberg train station; Adolf Hitler’s arrival at the airport and his meeting with important party members; massive Nazi troop parades; and Hitler’s speech on the tenth anniversary of the National Socialist movement. Read More »