7 October 2011 | MartinHafer
Not exactly historically accurate, but more thoughtful and well made than the typical propaganda film.
This film purports to dramatize Hitler's rise to power from the end of WWI to his bringing the world into WWII. While most of the facts are true, because this is a propaganda film it occasionally stretches the truth or gives a few outright lies--though not that many. So, when you watch it, don't expect all of it is gospel truth but a well made film intended to make Hitler look as awful as possible--which isn't really that difficult! I know quite a bit about Hitler, as a history teacher and because I took classes on him and read about him extensively while in college. A very disturbed but fascinating guy, that's for sure! And the film does a decent job in portraying him.
Bobby Watson plays Hitler--as he'd done in other films of the time. He bore a very close resemblance to Hitler. While this is not really a good thing, it kept him busy during WWII making such propaganda comedy films as "Nazty Nuisance" and "The Devil With Hitler". Here, however, he plays the Nazi leader in a non-comedic role. In total, Watson played Hitler in 9 films! In addition, the actors they chose to play such notable Nazis as Hess and Röhm looked remarkably similar to their real life counterparts--showing the studio actually took some time with this film to get the look right. So, despite a relatively low budget, the studio took this project very seriously.
For the most part, the film does follow the career of Hitler. The most sensational part of the movie, his relationship with his niece, Geli, was actually probably even sicker than the film portrays. I don't think audiences of the day wanted a THOROUGH examination of his life with her--some of the allegations are too nasty to list on IMDb (they probably would not allow it). The film implied that Hitler killed her, but it's more likely his very bizarre sexual demands and obsessive demand for her attentions led to her suicide.
The biggest inaccuracy in the film was the constant portrayal of Hitler as an abject coward or a man easily manipulated by his staff. Now I am NOT an apologist for him--he was evil personified. But, unfortunately, he was not a coward. For example, despite the film showing him with hysterical blindness during WWI (a story that is inconsistent with him as a soldier), Hitler LOVED WWI and loved danger--often volunteering for insanely difficult missions. He really was gassed during the war, got blown up another time and received two Iron Crosses--something practically unheard of for someone who was not an officer. In war, he was in his element and thrived. Frankly, this true picture is a worse image--a war-loving monster instead of the abject coward and blow-hard they showed him to be in the movie. And, a man who was all too aware of the evils his henchmen did! Overall, a very good bio of Hitler. Well constructed and acted--and fascinating throughout.