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The Strange Death of Adolf Hitler (1943) HD online

The Strange Death of Adolf Hitler (1943) HD online
Language: English
Category: Movie / Drama / War
Original Title: The Strange Death of Adolf Hitler
Director: James P. Hogan
Writers: Fritz Kortner,Fritz Kortner
Released: 1943
Duration: 1h 14min
Video type: Movie
A clerk in 1942 Vienna who has a gift for mimicry, is arrested for doing a Hitler impression. The Gestapo decide to give him plastic surgery to look like Hitler so he can take his place in public, acting as a decoy for assassination attempts.
Cast overview, first billed only:
Ludwig Donath Ludwig Donath - Adolf Hitler / Franz Huber
Gale Sondergaard Gale Sondergaard - Anna Huber
George Dolenz George Dolenz - Herman Marbach
Fritz Kortner Fritz Kortner - Bauer
Ludwig Stössel Ludwig Stössel - Graub (as Ludwig Stossel)
William Trenk William Trenk - Col. Von Zechwitz
Joan Blair Joan Blair - Duchess Eugenie
Ivan Triesault Ivan Triesault - Prince Hohenberg
Rudolph Anders Rudolph Anders - Maj. Mampe
Ernö Verebes Ernö Verebes - Count Godeck
Merrill Rodin Merrill Rodin - Hans Huber
Charles Bates Charles Bates - Viki Huber
Kurt Katch Kurt Katch - Corp. Karl Frobe
Hans Schumm Hans Schumm - Maj. Profe
Frederick Giermann Frederick Giermann - Heinrich Himmler (as Fred Gierman)

This film represents one of a small handful of American films which featured the word Hitler or Hitler's, and both referencing Adolf Hitler, in their titles and were ones made around the time of the Second World War. These World War II movies include Hitler's Children (1943); Hitler's Madman (1943) aka Hitler's Hangman; Hitler--Dead or Alive (1942); The Hitler Gang (1944) aka Hitler & co.; the documentary short, Hitler Lives (1945); The Strange Death of Adolf Hitler (1943); Hitler's Women aka Women in Bondage (1943); the comic short, The Devil with Hitler (1942) and Hitler - Beast of Berlin (1939).

Reviews: [7]

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    This is a wartime b-film from Universal that represents a time capsule for today's audience. Donati plays a clerk in 1942 Vienna who has a gift for mimicry. Unfortunately, his impression of Adolf Hitler doesn't go down well with the Gestapo: they arrest him. But then they think twice and decide that his gift is of use to the Reich. They give him plastic surgery and transform him into the spitting image of Hitler and force him to do their bidding, otherwise they'll arrest his family. Meanwhile, his wife (Sondergaard) is told that he's been executed as a traitor. And his two sons? They're brain-washed little Nazi-kids who are quick to distance themselves from the memory of their "traitorous" father, and quick to inform on their own mother when she tries to escape Austria. The wife having seen her life ruined decides to get revenge for herself, and others who have suffered, by killing Hitler. And therein lies the tragic irony that ends the film. As for topicality, there's talk of Stalingrad being the downfall of the Nazi war machine, which is interesting since this battle was going on during the film's production. There's also the curious aspect that Hitler's name is only mentioned in the title of the film, yet his name is never mentioned in the film itself. In fact, the film strains at times to avoid speaking his name, as if he's a kind of Lord Voldemort from 'Harry Potter' ("He who must not be named"). Hitler is described as "him" "that fiend" "the Fuehrer" and even "Corporal Shicklgruber" but never "Hitler." It's odd, as if they were afraid he might actually sue them. The film itself is a solid, straightforward story with the requisite propaganda included. The actors are fine, although Donati is not quite a close enough copy of Hitler to be that believable. Multi-talented German émigré Fritz Kortner not only co-wrote the story, but wrote the script and played the part of the head of the underground. One last note: actor Goerge Dolenz is the father of Mickey Dolenz of 'The Monkees' fame.
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    I will not add anything much to the previous comments for this feature. I just discovered it today. I had heard of it, but not more. I first thought I already saw it, but I confound with MAGIC FACE, starring Luther Adler, who plays in the Frank Tuttle's film an actor who looks like Hitler and decides to impersonate him against the Nazis will, of course. In this very film, STRANGE DEATH OF ADOLF Hitler, the main character is forced by the German to impersonate the Führer, a ringer, to protect him against a criminal attempt.

    I won't tell you the climax, another user already had, unfortunately.

    But it's rather a very good propaganda film for this time.
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    Another great film about Hitler, great acting and a great story, similar to others about impersonation - but well worth watching...
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    In recently occupied Vienna, good-natured Ludwig Donath (Franz) jokes about a recent speech made by Hitler and before he knows it, the Gestapo come calling for him. He is taken from his family and that's it. He's in big trouble. However, his powers of mimicry spare his life as he is given an assignment to help the Nazi cause. His wife Gale Sondergaard (Anna) follows her heart as her hatred for the Nazis builds, especially when her children are taken from her. She decides on a plan.

    It's a short film that moves at a good pace even if the story is a little crazy. Donath's impressions are all the same and he doesn't sound like Hitler. Sondergaard is good as always and I guessed what was going to happen at the beginning of the film. Still, it keeps you watching.
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    The great Gale Sondergaard could easily have played more leading roles than the few she did. She was beautiful, commanding, elegant, mysterious and regal. She played some of the most memorable spider women on film, typecast perhaps, but that's Hollywood for you. In this B anti-Nazi propaganda drama, she is the wife of Ludwig Donath, a loyal Austrian businessman who becomes a victim of the Nazi's, simply because he does an uncanny imitation of the fuhrer. To show him who's in charge, the Nazi's keep him prisoner from his family and turn him into the spitting image of Hitler himself. It isn't just a case of changing his mustache; he's under constant watch. Sondergaard watches sadly as their two sons are turned into Hitler youth, and when she tries to make an appeal to Hitler himself, a chance encounter stirs up her hatred and has a shocking twist that will leave the audience with mixed feelings.

    While Donath has limited screentime (as both the unfortunate husband AND Hitler), he is equally gentle in one role and calculating while being commanding as Hitler. Unlike Bob Watson, Donath only got one shot to play the fuhrer. Sondergaard is mesmerizing, strikingly beautiful and noble, a nice twist from the dragon ladies she usually played. This shows how society changes when governments change, indicating that certain Austrians weren't as loyal to the peace of their beautiful country if it threatened their own personal safety. Seeing two boys go from loving children to potential future fascists is quite angering. It's a reminder that even in the worst of political times, remaining true to one's own personal ideals is more important than the safe existence of complacency. The twist at the end left me with mixed feelings, but with how the film is written, I was willing to accept that sudden shocking finale. Bravo to Sondergaard for surprising me with a graceful but determined performance.
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    THE STRANGE DEATH OF ADOLF HITLER is an odd little film. I remember seeing as a 10 year old who was at the time fascinated by WWII and the Fall of the Third Reich. This movie showed up one afternoon on the TV in our basement club house and I found it an ironically twisted tale similar to the O. Henry's"The Gift of the Magi" only in this version the husband saves his wife by imitating Hitler and the wife ultimately saves her husband by killing him. Definitely worth a look,though finding a copy of the film in descent shape is virtually impossible.
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    Chaplin's "Great Dictator" may rank with the college film professor crowd as the imperial double people who look like Audi. But here, this is something clever. If you like the Sherlock Holmes WWII fests then slide this one in your disc player for an enjoyable evening.