Third Reich Cinema

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 »

Douglas Sirk – Zu neuen Ufern AKA To New Shores (1937)

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Quote:
“The film is a melodrama in the high Sirk style (Leander is a cabaret singer in 1840s London who takes the rap when her lover passes a bad check and gets deported to the penal compound that was then Australia), but with a great deal of music, performed by Leander in the wrenchingly emotional style that has made her as much of an icon to German gays as Garland is to the US community.” Read More »

Willi Forst – Frauen sind keine Engel (1943)

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“Frauen sind keine Engel” was made on a moderate budget and has generally found not as much attention as that which has been rightfully accorded to his ‘Viennese trilogy’ made at about the same time. Please don’t expect the outward splendour of some other Forst films, even though script, acting and direction leave nothing to be desired. However, like many of Forst’s more important films this one not only provides great entertainment, but is also a thorough examination of the relation of fiction/art and reality. Read More »