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Triumph of the Will (1934)

Cast: Hermann Goring, Hermann Goring, Martin Bormann, more...
Director: Leni Riefenstahl, Leni Riefenstahl
    see all cast/crew...
Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Synapse Video
Genre: Classics, Documentary, Foreign, Germany
Running Time: 120 min.
Languages: German
Subtitles: English

Triumph of the Will (Triumph des Willens) is a filmed record of the 1934 Nazi Party Convention, in Nuremberg. No, it is more than just a record: it is an exultation of Adolf Hitler, who from the moment his plane descends from Valhalla-like clouds is visually characterized as a God on Earth. The "Jewish question" is disposed of with a few fleeting closeups; filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl prefers to concentrate on cheering crowds, precision marching, military bands, and Hitler's climactic speech, all orchestrated, choreographed and illuminated on a scale that makes Griffith and DeMille look like poverty-row directors. It has been alleged that the climactic rally, "spontaneous" Sieg-Heils and all, was pre-planned according to Riefenstahl's specifications, the better to take full advantage of its cinematic potential. Allegedly, propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels resented the presence and intrusion of a woman director, but finally had to admit that her images, achieved through the use of 30 cameras and 120 assistants, were worth a thousand speeches. Possibly the most powerful propaganda film ever made, Triumph of the Will is also, in retrospect, one of the most horrifying. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

It can't happen here by MKaliher November 26, 2008 - 11:33 AM PST
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful
I don't get it: some geeky guy with a bad haircut who talks funny appears to be the object of some kind of veneration; flag-waving mobs are stomping Dixie Chick CDs, chanting "Long live the fatherland!" and "Kill him, kill him!;" then a whole lotta people who sound like Richard Perle, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, and Karl Rove recite a litany of the many ways the nation has been wronged, and call for a decisive military victory and a return to national supremacy. Is this a documentary from 1934 or 2004?

History requirement by Misshaped April 12, 2004 - 5:21 PM PDT
13 out of 13 members found this review helpful
I suggest you first rent the documentary on Leni Riefenstahl so you can have some background on this interesting female director. When you decide to watch Triumph of the Will, make sure to have the commentary on, as well as subtitles or you will miss out on a lot. This should be a history requirement since it shows the leaders of Nazi Germany from their point of view and how they wanted to be percieved. Very powerful imagery.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.81)
123 Votes
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