Third Reich Cinema

Veit Harlan – Jud Süß AKA Jew Seuss (1940)

In this notorious Nazi propaganda historical costume melodrama, a conniving, ambitious Jewish businessman, Süß Oppenheimer, snares a post as treasurer to the Duke of Wurttemburg by showering the corrupt duke with treasure and promises of even greater riches. As the Jew’s schemes grow more elaborate and his actions more brazen, the dukedom nearly erupts into civil war. Persuaded by the Jew, the Duke all but scuttles the constitution and alienates the assembly by lifting the local ban on Jews in Stuttgart. In a final outrage, the Jew rapes a wholesome German girl and tortures her father and fiancée. When the Duke succumbs to a sudden heart attack, the assembly of Elders try the Jew and sentence him to death for having “carnal knowledge of a Christian woman”. Read More »

Fritz Hippler – Der ewige Jude AKA The Eternal Jew (1940)

Under the guise of a brutally honest documentary, this malevolent propaganda film aims to be an “indispensable tool in the hands of the Aryan race”, designed to depict the “true” Jew when the masks of western civilisation fall off. Read More »

Erich Engels – Sherlock Holmes – Die graue Dame (1937)

A bizarre cash-in, Die Graue Dame is a quasi-Holmes picture based on a theatrical play entirely unrelated to the works of Doyle and released shortly after the Bruno Güttner-starring Der Hund von Baskerville (1937). Here, young Jimmy Ward – played by Hermann Speelmans (1906-1960), who’d featured in the vile Nazi propaganda feature Hitlerjunge Quex: ein Film vom Opfergeist der Deutschen Jugend (1933), an immorality tale designed to drum up recruitment into the Hitler Youth – infiltrates a criminal gang, only to reveal at the last moment that he is, in fact, none other than an undercover Sherlock Holmes. One can only presume that the ‘John’ – who, according to the credits list, acts as Holmes’ ‘servant’ – was intended to be none other than the hapless Dr Watson. ~Alan Barnes, Sherlock Holmes on Screen Read More »

Luis Trenker – Der Berg ruft! AKA The Mountain Calls (1938)

Synopsis:
The Italian mountaineer Carel wants to be the first man to stand on the top of the Matterhorn. Since the climb is very difficult, he agrees to try it together with the British mountaineer Whymper. But due to an intrigue this agreement is dropped and the two men try it on the same day with two different teams and then disaster strikes. Read More »

Frank Wisbar – Anna und Elisabeth (1933)

IMDB says:
Anna a young girl is thought of having the ability to heal people mysteriously. Elisabeth a middle aged aristocratic woman, is disabled and puts all her hopes in meeting Anna and having her disability heal by her. Read More »

Frank Wisbar – Die Unbekannte AKA The Unknown (1936)

Here’s a film that’s very rare and had no commercial exposure after the war due to the sad fact that the last 8 minutes have only survived without any sound. The copy isn’t perfectly sharp and has a timecode.
Nevertheless it might be quite interesting to see another pairing of Sybille Schmitz and director Frank Wysbar from Fährmann Maria fame. Here Schmitz play a mysterious woman who is down and out as a singer in cheap bars before she meets a scientist and hopes again for a future, being slowly reborn again again. However we all know that it is for naught because the film starts with her body in the morgue. Read More »

Veit Harlan – Verwehte Spuren AKA Covered Tracks (1938)

Séraphine and her mother arrive in Paris to visit the 1867 World Exhibition. In an overcrowded city they must be accommodated in separate hotels. During the night the mother, who wasn’t feeling very well, gets suddenly worse. When next morning Séraphine goes to meet her every trace of her presence has disappeared and everybody denies having ever met her. The bewildered young woman must find someone who believes her. Read More »