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Thank you so much for HITLERS MADMAN, TCM!


LornaHansonForbes
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Wow

This is one of those times where I'm so psyched from seeing a movie for the first time that the following review is going to be a complete and total mess, so just forgive me for the loose chain of thoughts.

This was an incredible film, easily the most impressive I've ever seen from Douglas Sirk and I'm a fan of a lot of his movies. Just an unflinching, devastating, visually striking, brave, bold, and utterly compelling work. Beautifully shot, wonderful sets (those woods!), outstanding visual composition, rich subtext, I guess the only complaint I could give is that the performances are uneven- The ostensible hero gives a very wooden performance, but most of the ensemble is outstanding including, but not limited to, John Carradine in what is rather a small supporting role given that it is the title part. he kills the final scene.

One hell of a movie from one hell of a year-1943-The year movies got real and grew up in my book.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED- A four star movie in my book.

 

(I digress from the positivity to gripe that Maltin in his review, gives this thing 2 1/2 stars. I did not think I could have any lower opinion of that man, but there it goes a few steps down in the basement. Seriously, I don't mean to sound elitist but anybody who could see this movie and give it less than at least three stars has no business reviewing films.)

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from the trivia section for the movie on imdb:

 

Although this film was originally filmed by poverty-row studio Producers Releasing Corp. (PRC), the word got out in Hollywood that the picture was far and away the best thing PRC had ever done; eventually MGM executives got a look at it, were suitably impressed, bought it from PRC and it was released as an MGM picture.
 
The footage with Ava Gardner, Frances Rafferty and Leatrice Joy Gilbert was shot by Universal Pictures and inserted into the film after it was purchased from PRC.
 

 

While in Germany before the war, director Douglas Sirk actually met Reinhard Heydrich at a party, and later recalled that "he made my blood run cold".
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Hibi--I missed the movie, but in the trailer, Gardner can be seen at 1:38 seconds in; she is second from left, in a Nazi version of a police lineup--she is partially blocked by a Nazi officer, but her face is visible.  She has no lines.

 

No wonder I missed her! Thanks.

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Ava's scene is in the first 20 minutes, I think. It's BRUTAL, although she has no lines- Village women are being lined up to be selected for medical exams and then to be sent to the Russian Front to be used by the soldiers. She does a great job just with her facial expressions.

 

I think I saw that part, but I didnt notice her.......

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I digress from the positivity to gripe that Maltin in his review, gives this thing 2 1/2 stars. I did not think I could have any lower opinion of that man, but there it goes a few steps down in the basement. Seriously, I don't mean to sound elitist but anybody who could see this movie and give it less than at least three stars has no business reviewing films.

 

Maybe he was actually counting up the number of stars in the movie. Sometimes I think that's how he does those things.

 

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Ben M.'s column in the December Now Playing was on HITLER'S MADMAN (http://www.tcm.com/this-month/article/35501%7C0/Ben-Mankiewicz-Top-Pick-of-the-Month.html).

 

Earlier in the year, J. Hoberman in the NY Times wrote admiringly about the movie (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/06/movies/homevideo/triumph-of-the-will-fascist-rants-and-the-hollywood-response.html?_r=0).

 

After reading their columns, I was determined to see what sounded like a very good movie.  

 

You've confirmed their high opinions of the movie, Lorna!

 

But I forgot to record it on Saturday night!  Fortunately, there's a Warner Archive DVD available, which I may now have to purchase.  I've been a big fan of Douglas Sirk's iconic later films (e.g., ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS), so I'm very much looking forward to seeing his first Hollywood film.

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But I forgot to record it on Saturday night!  Fortunately, there's a Warner Archive DVD available, which I may now have to purchase.  I've been a big fan of Douglas Sirk's iconic later films (e.g., ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS), so I'm very much looking forward to seeing his first Hollywood film.

 

 

Thanks for the links!

 

I just recently bought ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS on DVD and I've seen it maybe 15 or more times, and I'll NEVER see it (or any of Sirk's other films) the same way again (and I don't mean that in a bad way.)

 

the print of MADMAN that they showed was not pristine, but by no means in bad shape, and it actually gave the film a nice, newsreel-like quality, which i liked...so i'd say get that Warner Archive DVD.

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someone recently started a thread here about 1943 and i did not post in it, just because i have gone on and on and on about how much I love 1943- but it really is the year movies got real and grew up and seeing this movie this weekend just drives that point home.

 

(it's getting to be my favorite year.)

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I have seen less movies from 1943 than from any other year from the 1940's, although i couldn't point to a specific reason why.

 

I like that when you look at the Message Board main index, there appears to be a thread titled "Thank You So Much for HITLER"!

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I have seen less movies from 1943 than from any other year from the 1940's, although i couldn't point to a specific reason why.

 

I like that when you look at the Message Board main index, there appears to be a thread titled "Thank You So Much for HITLER"!

 

 

Oh LORD!

I wasn't fully satisfied with the title of the thread, now I'm doubly unsure!

 

my list of favorite films from 1943 is a few posts below.

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my favorite films of 1943 (newly amended)

 

Casablanca

The Human Comedy

Shadow of a Doubt

Five Graves to Cairo

Heaven Can Wait

Hitler's Madman

So Proudly We Hail!

The Ox-Bow Incident

Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man

The Return of the Vampire

 

I have seen all of these except for Five Graves to Cairo, although I have that one recorded (on your recommendation, I believe). I liked all of the other films that you've listed, too.

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I have seen all of these except for Five Graves to Cairo, although I have that one recorded (on your recommendation, I believe). I liked all of the other films that you've listed, too.

 

Say what,,,   there is a film I have seen that you haven't?     I'm shocked!  

 

Anyhow check out Five Graves to Cairo when you have the chance.    Solid film.

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Other noteworthy films from 1943 off the top of my head would be the Phantom of the Opera remake from Universal, holy matrimony, the song of Bernadette, for whom the Bell tolls -although I do not like it, the mad ghoul

 

Shoot!!!!

SAHARA I forgot SAHARAthat one is so good and I actually consider it to be a defacto sequel to Casablanca.

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Other 1943 films that haven't been mentioned yet that made my top ten of the year (or runner-ups) list are:

 

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (my favorite of the year, since Casablanca was technically a 1942 movie)

 

Air Force 

Day of Wrath

The More the Merrier

Thank Your Lucky Stars

The Seventh Victim

I Walked with a Zombie

Destination Tokyo

Forever and a Day

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It was great seeing HM the other evening, followed by two more of Douglas Sirk's 1940s films, A SCANDAL IN PARIS and LURED. I enjoy these films, which TCM airs fairly regularly. What would have made it a perfect night would've been if they had also shown another mid-40s Sirk gem, 1944's SUMMER STORM. As far as I can tell, this UA release has never been on TCM. It is in the public domain, and a decent print of it was released on dvd a few years ago.

 

Set in pre-revolutionary Russia, it tells the story of a young femme fatale, scheming and driving men mad in her hamlet. It is atmospheric and moody, and has some interesting casting. No suprise in George Sanders playing a cad, nor really in Edward.Everett Horton playing a buffonish, decadent wealthy man (despite the role supposedly serious, he comes off as his usual comic relief). But the revelation back then was casting 20 year old Linda Darnell as the femme fatale; the role changed her image overnight, after five years playing the innocent girl-next door ingenue, and revitalized her career. Suddenly, she was in the pin-up sweepstakes, as the film publicity had her posing in revealing costumes, amongst bales of hay, a la Jane Russell's for THE OUTLAW. In the future, Darnell would usually be cast as a femme fatale, which seemed to fit her better than her previous image.

 

It would be awesome if TCM could air this rare film.

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