Hans Detlef Sierck (more commonly known in the west as Douglas Sirk) made Nazi cinema. Yes I knew he was around the Nazi propaganda war machine but I did not know he directed. HITLERS HOLLYWOOD is right at the centre of this. Aspiring to make ‘Great Cinema’, this new documentary asks the audience, do any of these films made in this period of history, reach the mark. We know of the abhorrent JUD SUSS and DER EWIGE JUDE but what about TITANIC, DIE VIER GESELLEN and THE MAN WHO WAS SHERLOCK HOLMES?
HITLERS HOLLYWOOD could have gone one of two ways. One would be this. A tame tale of the Nazi agenda. Sticking to the numbers and rhetoric. The other would be. A glamorised dream about how the Nazi’s might have been on to something in the art of cine. What comes out is more the first and less the second. Which is a good thing. Its a little clinical at points but is also revealing. I has insight into what drove the industry. It does lack a timeline to the actual trajectory of the war but it cleverly parallels stars like Bergman’s work in the industry with that of its actual stars. Is it commendable? Certainly. Informative? Yes definitely. Worth you money? I would spend mine.
The extras are thin on the ground. What you do get is From Caligari to Hitler: German Cinema in the Age of the Masses. If you have Caligari from Eureka then you have this, if not then you need this. An exceptional documentary that is better than HITLERS HOLLYWOOD.
DUAL FORMAT SPECIAL FEATURES
- Option of the original German language version with optional English subtitles OR with English language narration by Udo Kier
- From Caligari to Hitler: German Cinema in the Age of the Masses Director Rüdiger Suchsland s 2014 documentary on the social and cultural impact of German Cinema during the Weimar Republic (1918-1933)