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  • I was suprised they had made a Tesla movie. The beginning is interesting because it is like a documentary of what different people think of Tesla now. Then the movie starts and it is pretty good. It drags a bit though. The actor who plays Tesla does well. I don't recommend it to people who don't know anything about Tesla, but I think people that know about Tesla and his work will like this
  • If you're unfamiliar with the story of Nikola Tesla, get familiar with it now. In a nutshell, he was one of the rare inventors (actually the only one that comes to mind) who was dedicated foremost to benefitting life on Earth. While other inventors were after glory, gains and economic interests, Telsa simply wanted to improve the planet. In that respect, his ideas for clean, free power came long before our dwindling resources and global warming made it a selfish need of ours. Tesla was a true altruist.

    This film tries to give us the gist of his life. The film takes a melancholy, ponderous approach which will doubtlessly bore many people. There are cryptic, wordless scenes of Tesla observing nature: sunsets, rivers, and of course lightning storms. This is a subtle way of showing how Tesla derived his inspiration from natural elements. However, in using this subtle approach, the director sacrifices momentum of plot.

    Almost secondary is the action. The bitter rivalry from Edison (who, yes, was a sociopathic nut case who did indeed electrocute dogs and cats in public as this movie alludes) as well as the phenomenal accomplishments of Tesla (lighting the World's Fair and building the AC power station at Niagra Falls) are glossed over in light of Tesla's dreamy reveries. And Tesla's grandest scheme, a "free power Earth", was so ambiguously presented that we, the audience, come away feeling slightly unfulfilled.

    Of course, that was the director's intent. We, the humans of planet Earth, are left unfulfilled, because obviously we're not hopping around the globe in free Telsa machines the way he had hoped. We don't even know 1/100th of what we could have possibly had, if history had taken a different turn.

    This movie is to be approached very philosophically and artistically. If you're looking for a factual biopic, you might want to start elsewhere. But whatever you do, learn about Tesla any way you can. On the lighter side, check out Jim Jarmusch's "Coffee & Cigarettes" featuring a bunch of short comedy skits with famous actors & musicians (Bill Murray, Iggy Pop, Cate Blanchett, Steve Buscemi, etc) which revolve around Tesla's idea that the world is an acoustical resonator. For a quick laugh, see one of the skits on youtube starting The White Stripes, called "Jack Shows Meg His Tesla Coil".
  • davecoon1313 October 2006
    I just watched this movie at Google Video. It is an awesome movie. I have just completeted reading 3 biographies of Nikola Tesla, and found the movie to be a pretty faithful re-creation of his life as described in the biographies. There are some things that were not 100% accurate in the film, but it was a great film! The film accurately represents the connection between Katherine Johnson and Nikola. This was well documnted in the biographies I have read of Tesla. The film also shows Edison, Westinghouse, J.P. Morgan, Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens), Marconi, and other big-wigs of that time.

    I was even surprised to see that it looks like they built a full scale version of the Colorado Springs Experiment Station and of the Wydenclyfe Tower! It was a great film!
  • This could have been a 10 rating if it were not for the amateurish production quality.

    Tesla's genius is the stuff of science fiction where a being of superior intelligence finds its way to earth. But it isn't fiction at all. It is a story based on highly documented work and interviews with people who knew Tesla personally and observed, first hand, demonstrations of his concepts put to work.

    I would recommend this movie to those who have a natural curiosity about technology as well as to those interested in human behavior and the potential for new ideas to be thwarted by vested financial interests.

    One cannot see this film without thinking about the multi-billion dollar coal and oil businesses that would be impacted by the development of clean and cheap alternative energy sources.

    Given the fact that government is in the pocket of big money, the chances of another Tesla revolutionizing the energy industry must now be near zero!
  • The movie's English title, "The Secret of Nikola Tesla" alludes to goofy claims made by Tesla in his declining years. In his 80s, Telsa made claims that scientists now doubt were valid. For example, Tesla claimed to have solved the unified field theory of gravity, but never published it. Other claims, like a death ray that could bring down enemy airplanes hundreds of miles away, gave Tesla the reputation of being a mad scientist.

    But Tesla should not be remembered for the eccentricities of his later years. As a young man, Tesla was indeed an amazing genius of electricity and magnetism who was eventually honored on the cover of Time Magazine. He designed in his brain a thing that every person reading these words has used every day of their lives, the electric AC motor. (Until this, alternating current couldn't run a motor!) Before the year 1900, he had invented the first radio transmitter, invented the spark plug, designed a radio controlled torpedo, created several kinds of fluorescent tube lights, designed generators for Edison, and created images of the bones of his hand prior to Röntgen's discovery of x-rays.

    I would encourage readers to see this movie about a very unique scientist. Particularly since every other comment here ignores the movie to make partisan political claims. Apparently this is why Yugoslavia was plunged in a bloody civil war.

    The Movie's English title "The Secret of Nikola Tesla" is misleading, but the amazing accomplishments of Tesla himself make this movie worth seeing.
  • Movie was made almost 30 years ago in a poor country, still all those who speak about Tesla without knowing his personality /reading his memoirs or couple of biographies/ are just not right in their reviews.

    Understanding Tesla, a brilliant, genius mind is very difficult to an ordinary person. If Tesla was as anybody else he wouldn't be him-self, Tesla the Great inventor! People should read more vs. watching stupid blockbusters and asking for every movie to be a blockbuster. The movie perhaps is not the greatest in it's production, but the story is faithful to the relevant autobiography in many details. Movie has depth for those who are able to see it; also it is made for those who wish to learn something about Tesla, not for those who seek pure and mindless entertainment.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I own this movie and recommend it to the Teslafile. This is a strange film with the dialog in both English and Croation without subtitles. It does a good job of illustrating much of the enigmatic Tesla's life and career as a scientist and inventor. The portrayal of his battle Edison and the "War of the Currents" very well done. As a previous reviewer has stated many of Tesla's inventions are all around us including the afore mentioned as motor and the high voltage supply in television sets. His work on energy delivery without wires or other conductors is still poorly understood but NASA has demonstrated a system very similar to Tesla's concept for powering spacecraft and the proposed space elevator. One of his most remarkable predictions is that power that is universally available in the cosmos will eventually drive all of our machines. This may be a forecast of energy from quantum fluctuations and vacuum energy as predicted by quantum physics.
  • I have to say I don't agree with those who think the movie drags. I enjoyed it very much. There were a few points that were sort of background information that may or may not have fit in and perhaps could have been better supported and explained within the movie if they did fit. I don't want to say anything too specific to avoid spoilers.

    I think this was a good movie and would recommend it. I think the actors involved all did a very good job and I do not agree that it was a bad script. Sure, there is always room for improvement especially with older movies and perhaps to the viewpoint of someone who is from a different country than where a movie was created. I am very impressed with the overall presentation of this movie.
  • Tesla also applied his resonance engines in bizarre forms of physical therapy. He created machines that flooded the human body with electrical currents and strong vibrations, intended to soothe aches and promote healing. And Tesla wasn't just the inventor of the "electrotherapeutic" device -- he was also a client. He reportedly became somewhat addicted to administering the treatment to himself, insisting that a session with the machine rejuvenated him on his long stretches of work without food or sleep. Tesla once let his friend Samuel Clemens try out the healing machine. The author is said to have enjoyed the experience tremendously -- until the vibrations brought him a case of spontaneous diarrhea. Tesla marketed this invention, and the Tesla Electrotherapeutic Company was one of the few commercial enterprises of his old age that was marginally successful.
  • I'm a Tesla fan from way back, and have seen better documentaries. Some of the facts are shown, but far more could have been done. For example, Marconi, often credited with the first radio transmissions, didn't accomplish it until several years after Tesla demonstrated a radio controlled model boat. That's a far more complex radio transmission and control circuit than Marconi's. This fact is glossed over quickly, leaving the viewer with the impression Marconi's achievement was better. Marconi did something great, too, but it was Tesla's theories that got him there.

    The story drags and isn't helped by the wooden acting of Peter Bozovic as Tesla. At times, it almost looks like a high school play being filmed. In the middle of the movie is an out of place scene where he figures out AC current and generation, which is good, but they're speaking German, no subtitles. And it's after he's already demonstrated an AC generator and built a powerhouse at Niagra Falls! The DVD also looks like it was copied from a VHS tape, rather dark, and about three quarters of the way through, the movie suddenly backs up about 15 seconds like someone accidentally hit the fast rewind button, then goes back to play. A real professionally made product! Strother Martin tries to make the best of a bad script, as does Orson Welles, but they're just isn't much there. The extras are a documentary made in Russia, in Russian, no subtitles.

    A better documentary is Nikola Tesla, the genius who lit the world.
  • genef-059194 April 2020
    The world would be well advised to know much more about Nikola Tesla than they do. We had our chance to make the world a paradise but suspicion, prejudice and greed stole it from us. I can not say if we deserve a second chance in the event another such intellect should come along and pick up where Nikola left off. There are too many in the world of the same mindset of the despicable snakes J.P. Morgan and Edison. P.S. IMDB put the wrong title on this thread. It is NOT The Secret LIFE...it is The Secret...
  • I just watched this film for the 6th or 7th time, and came here to take a look at some of the cast, and was struck when I saw a review that started off "I've seen better documentaries." This is NOT a documentary any more than the Wolf of Wall Street was. This is a dramatization.

    If you care about film, if you love stories, if you're inspired by life and all it has to offer, along with its frustrations, give this film a serious try. Some films have that 'resonance' where all parts of the added up film have evenly distributed values that make the film ring with emotional truth: This is certainly one.

    I've seen it once. Then some time later I've seen it again, and since then it's become a film I like to watch at least once a year.

    This is a dramatization of Tesla's life and work. And in this respect, with excellent support of an array of good actors, including Orson Welles and Strother Martin (I challenge you to not think of him as the white Morgan Freeman...seriously, down to the smallest detail) who provide a perfect contrast to Petar Bozovic' subtle, if-deadpan deliverance believable of the man himself; the film either grips you or not. If it doesn't, it's okay, there's plenty of other, much higher budget movies out there for you to see. If you're one of the lucky few who unlike the chief villains of the piece can understand what the hell Tesla's talking about, this movie will grow on you and you'll keep coming back to it.

    The image or the sound is not perfect, the transfer from whatever film version there was out there is truly atrocious for something this good. A diamond in the rough, if you will. If you grew up with spotty TV-reception and remember having to fiddle with the bunny-ears on your TV, it may strike the right tone and you'll allow yourself to suspend disbelief.

    This film can really use remastering, on all levels (and i love it so much I might make it my hobby), but to say the script is bad is just plain not true. It is just not what you're used to seeing, but that doesn't make it textbook incorrect. This film IS art. It was made that way, with extraordinary attention to detail all-round.

    If you got here because you watched The Prestige and are curious to find out more about the great Nikola Tesla, watch this film. I'd stick my hand in fire here by saying Nolan must have seen this movie and liked it, because the similarities between certain authentic details in The Prestige and this film are undeniable.

    This film is for those who understand the core concept which has made Steve Jobs so great - he wanted to help the world. Well, before him so did Nikola Tesla, but unlike the late genius, he forgot to factor in that he couldn't make the world rich so long as there is greed and above all ignorance, which is unfortunately just as natural.
  • EasternMafia26 December 2006
    This is the only movie about Nikola Tesla I have watch. Also I have never read any book about him and his inventions. Shame of me.

    There is two movie about? I can't judge witch one is better. But for this one I can say it has a very deep structure. Even about how he have love that woman. How he see the world, colors, sounds even a people. He is not interest in money. I have explore his horoscope and have found this. If somebody is interest in: http://www.astrotheme.fr/en/portraits/f6Y2Z9yL3uAw.htm.

    He has 42 percent of water in his sine and lots of wind... That makes creativity and sensitivity. I DO HAVE 42 Wather and 53 wind - it makes me more crazy than him!

    The thing which concern me in the movie... what about the DC generator? They didn't say anything about? Who invent it? How it works... I know AC generator are more powerful. And it needs a pre-current to make internal magnetism, but who gave it to him? He must used DC generator as well? It doesn't meter... but the concept of the movie is very great... it is all about the bisnis. ''he is going to make a free energy? - that everybody is going to taking the free energy with antennas? - I will not aloud that!''

    (this lines i have enter extra at 02.02.2007. 1. about the crazy things what have happen on the army boat/ship with his experiments. maybe the people from those 'age' have just be frighten of the frequency sounds or el. magnetics which have push/pull the metal shits/boards on the boat. so everything have look like, like the boat is waving? 2. I personally don't believe in his last experiment to send the energy around the planet. something must go wrong if he have try that. maybe i am wrong, maybe his calculations are good as: how the satellites circles around the earth)

    I would like to watch more of it... the really experiments about... how what and way.

    Ten points.
  • netza-186557 January 2020
    Nikola Tesla-The greatest Serbian man ever! Honest man who wanted all goods for the world,not for his pockets!
  • The movie portrays Nikola Tesla as a man who appeared socially inept, always deeply involved in one of his fantastic visions. People around him tended to support his genius for profit, while Tesla seemed indifferent to monetary considerations. The film gives an intriguing glimpse of genius, while exposing Tesla's numerous eccentricities. The acting by Petar Bozovic, Dennis Patrick, Strother Martin, and Orson Wells is terrific. If you want to view a visionary's somewhat tortured life, then this is the film to see. Documentaries are nice, but somewhat sterile in depicting Tesla's relationships with Thomas Edison, George Westinghouse, and J.P. Morgan. Highly recommended entertainment that makes you think. - MERK
  • gabrieldukic6 March 2021
    I find the movie interesting, it has a great idea and by being made by someone from Tesla's home country makes it more believable. I highly recommend it.
  • I'm certainly no expert on Tesla, which is one reason I tuned in- (There's an irony here that I'll explain in a footnote). Initially I was dubious about tuning in since the production crew was full of Slavic names that led me to think I would have to put up with subtitles. Nonetheless, I'm really glad I went ahead anyway. Of course I can't make comparisons with any other Tesla document, as other reviewers do. But, whatever the case, in the movie Tesla, the man, comes across as an emotionless, unsociable personality, suggesting that maybe he's in steady contact with a somewhere else. Of course, given the depth of his thinking that was perhaps the case. At the same time, he appears to harbor a deep sadness over his family and boyhood days in Croatia (I believe). Anyway, his movie persona comes across as enigmatic at best, though understandably boring to many viewers. Nonetheless, the rivalries and relations with such giants of his time as Edison, J.P. Morgan, and Westinghouse are fascinating, to say the least, lending the film real interest.

    The production recreates the time period well, the costuming, the street scenes, the electronic gizmos. Then too, there's Orson Welles resting comfortably as millionaire financier J. P. Morgan, along with the always reliable Strother Martin as supportive entrepreneur George Westinghouse. So there are familiar Hollywood figures among the cast. And though it's underwritten, the clean, low-cost threat that Tesla's alternating electrical current poses to higher-cost dirty energy, such as coal and oil, illuminates an ongoing problem that's mounted into a current day crisis. I had no idea the energy rivalry went back a hundred years or more. All in all, there's much food for thought here, so it's a movie well worth taking in for both Tesla afficianadoes and novices like me.

    (Footnote- I was born and reared in Colorado Springs where, as the film indicates, Tesla coducted many of his experiments. For years we lived on Nob hill from which Tesla apparently conducted short-range experiments eastward onto the great plains. Then for one summer I worked in the summit house atop Pikes Peak where the genius apparently conducted longer range experiments. My experience was in the 1940's and 50's, and believe it or not, I'd never heard during that period of Tesla or his experiments. Why, I'm not sure, given his current well-deserved recognition. But judging from my Colo. Sprgs, upbringing his renown wasn't always the case, even though he'd proven himself not that long before. So, as they say, go figure! At least, for me, it won't happen again.)
  • First off, a warning to Anglophone Orson Welles fans who might be tempted to watch this movie simply for the man: it opens in Croatian sans subtitles, and schizophrenically jerks at times between tongues. However, Orson's appearances in this movie are all in English. Whew.

    This movie is a melodramatic exploration of Nikolai Tesla's life and works. Without being overly spiritualistic, it accomplishes a sort of Lovecraftian horror(the elderly crackpot Tesla conversing with the deceased Westinghouse and Morgan). Flashing between nationalist Croatian nostalgia for Tesla's hometown, and unadulterated awe for the movie's real protagonist(alternating current), the film flips without warning into Croatian scenes and back to English.

    One wonders how in the world the great Orson Welles found his way into this flick. Think Bela Lugosi in "Plan 9 from Outer Space". Perhaps because of the Croatian passion for a hometown boy who made good, though, most of the cast at least tries to transcend the film's heavy soap-opera mediocrity. Especially Welles, with an uncannily convincing portrayal of the overweight, suffering conniver JP Morgan.

    If you can make it that far, be sure to watch for the scene in which Samuel Clemens visits a party and is introduced as "Mark Twain". Also watch for the scene in which a young and enthusiastic Marconi breathlessly accosts Tesla and announces his undying admiration. Tesla's arrival in America, and the carefully staged "scientific" demonstrations are also worthy nuggets. A pan shot of Los Angeles blanketed in smog: "LOS ANGELES U SMOGU".

    This film is recommended for: anyone who enjoys Croatian art films; anyone who thinks Croatia is merely a staging-ground for genocide; Tesla devotees; electronics students; Orson Welles fans; and beginning filmmakers who wish to avoid making this film's boo-boos(stilted emotions, overmuch adulation for Tesla's private life).

    Historically accurate? Not entirely. But the effort is there.