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Fatherland [VHS]

44 customer reviews

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(May 15, 2001)
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$49.99 $29.90

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Product Details

  • Actors: Rutger Hauer, Miranda Richardson, Peter Vaughan, Michael Kitchen, Jean Marsh
  • Directors: Christopher Menaul
  • Writers: Robert Harris, Ron Hutchinson, Stanley Weiser
  • Producers: Frederick Muller, Gideon Amir, Ilene Kahn Power, Leo Zisman
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Original recording reissued, NTSC
  • Language: English, German
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Good Times Video
  • VHS Release Date: May 15, 2001
  • Run Time: 106 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00000EZTR
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #142,460 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Comes with complimentary bonus back up dvd version of tape!!

This retro-futuristic adventure depicts a 1964 in which Hitler won the war and Joe Kennedy Sr. is U.S. president. Europe is known as Germania and opens its borders to American journalists, hoping to line up the U.S. as an ally against Russia. Set design and costumes very effectively create a potent and prosperous state, culled both from imagination and the history books. More downbeat and perhaps more effective than Robert Harris's chilling novel, Fatherland is brought to life by Rutger Hauer as an SS officer who stumbles onto eye-opening secrets. Miranda Richardson is the tough-cookie American caught up in a web of lies made all the more intriguing by a superb supporting cast. They hook up to solve a murder and uncover an atrocity dating back to World War II. Watch for a particularly nasty Jean Marsh in a supporting role; she steals every scene in which she appears. --Rochelle O'Gorman

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Roger J. Buffington TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 22, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
The theme of "Fatherland" is imaginative, and constitutes one of the best "alternate history" scenario stories I have ever come across. Without giving away any spoilers, it is simple: the Normandy invasion of France is an utter failure, and Nazi Germany ultimately becomes the master of Europe, as America turns away from the European war to concentrate on defeating Japan. By 1960, the "Cold War" between Germany "Germania" (still ruled by the 75 year-old Adolf Hitler) and the United States is in full swing. The novel is set in Berlin. The plot centers on a political murder being investigated by Sturmbahnfuhrer Xavier March, of the German SS Criminal Police. More would be telling.
This is a very well done film, and I agree with some of the other reviewers that this film is even better than the book. (By the way, the book is superb as well, and also merits five stars). This is one of those wonderful films in which the musical score adds an extra dimension to the mood, and Gary Chang deserves kudos for his work here. Rutger Hauer turns in an outstanding performance as Xavier March, once again proving that this underrated actor is a considerable talent. Overall this movie absolutely convinces the viewer about how our world might have been. And thank God is not.
I trust that this superb film will soon be available on DVD.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By JOHN GODFREY on August 25, 2006
Format: VHS Tape
D-day had failed. Kennedy is president, Joseph sr. that is, not John. Hitler is about to celebrate his 75th birthday. That was all the exposition I needed. It's springtime for Hitler in Germainia. We lost. It is the early 60's & the cold war has taken a hard left turn from what we know happen. The Germans are still fighting the Russians. Hitler wants a peace treaty with The United States. It is about to happen. President Kennedy is coming to Berlin & bringing a lot of reporters. One problem: the Final Solution, what we now know as the Holocaust has never been made public. Any living officials with first hand knowledge are being bumped off. One of these murders becomes public & has to appear to be investigated. SS officer March (Rutger Hauer) is the police detective assigned to sweep it all under the rug. He is a sympathetic Nazi with a conscience & a throughly brain-washed young son. At this point, the SS become the good guys & the Gestapo, as usual the criminals, covering up. An American reporter, Charlie (Miranda Richardson) gets wind of what she sees as the story of her career. Nuff said. The tone & mood of this movie is how victorious, post war, Nazi Germany might have been. A repressive facist regime to be sure but also a bit mellowed. It was made for tv but never even made it to dvd. It is an entertaining alternative history movie.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Armando M. Mesa on February 2, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
This is a very chilling and vivid tale of the world in an alternate historical path; What if Hitler had been the victorious hero and lived to see his vision of the Third Reich come to fruition for the rest of Europe and possibly the world ! With this in mind, Fatherland is a true suspense thriller with awesome actors and a believable 60's set design and nostalgic, yet somewhat futuristic wardrobe ( although the film's events take place in an alternate past). Rutger Hauer is one of today's most underappreciated actors and Miranda Richardson is very convincing as an American journalist. The most disturbing role of all is played by Jean Marsh as an extremely bitter Nazi actress; Listen to a very chiling line about the "resettling" of the Jews. This one particular line is very shocking and haunting ! It serves as the underlying basis for the plot in this film.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Roger J. Buffington TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 29, 2011
Format: VHS Tape
"Fatherland" is a brilliant "alternate history" story that features a bravo performance by Rutger Hauer. The scenario is simple: the Allied landings at Normandy failed, and Germany comes to dominate Europe in a superstate known as "Germania." The US was triumphant over Japan, America is the other world superpower, in a Cold War with Germania. The story is set in 1960s Germania.

This is essentially a fascinating detective story. Old-line retired Nazi leaders are being murdered just as US President Joseph P. Kennedy is about to visit Germania on Hitler's 75th birthday. The Kennedy visit is seen as the end of the Cold War and the start of "Detente." Is there a connection? No spoilers here, but the ending has punch.

This is a wonderful film, featuring superb acting, a riveting story, and a wistful, melancholy setting that is hard to describe. The superb musical score by Gary Chang tremendously adds to the atmospherics of this film. The frightening thing about this story is its plausibility. Had Hitler not been incompetent as a war leader, this alternate history might indeed be the world we are living in.

Why, oh why, is this film not available on DVD? I believe that it would be snapped up by many discerning movie aficionados. RJB.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By KJJJK on March 6, 2013
Format: VHS Tape
The first person to review this film got many of the facts wrong, but the other reviewers were fairly accurate on the story line. What was so very interesting was how the "propaganda ministry" in "Germania" could take film footage and twist it to whatever interpretation they wanted. Having visited Cold War Berlin, I found that the sets were fairly accurate. The designers went into lavish detail to make sure everything in the background was as it would have been had Hitler and the Nazis won the war.

The Stasi (Staatsicherheitspolizei) in the film was far from laid back and the boy that played Rutger Hauer's son was absolutely perfect in showing the brainwashing that really was done during the communist era. The boy's behavior, although so unexpected to anyone in modern day US, was quite predictable and normal for that type of society. The SS was gone, but the East German Stasi was equally bad and the Junge Pioniere for children specialized in brainwashing young minds. Having wandered around parts of East Berlin and East Germany, I saw the false fronts on buildings and stores, the empty shelves, the many propaganda posters, and heard the many tales of the indoctrination of the communist agenda into young children who were taught to spy on their parents and neighbors and to report any "undesireables". This movie gets it all down to perfection. The realizations of Albert Speer's designs for the "New Berlin" were brilliant. It is a great "what if?" film (and book) just as good any day as "The Boys in Brazil" and "Passenger to Frankfurt". I check regularly to see if the slow poke producers in Hollywood finally have decided to release this on dvd. Have been sadly disappointed so far.
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Topic From this Discussion
When is Fatherland going to be available on DVD or Blu-Ray?
I agree. There are lots of terrific "made for TV" movies that should be put onto DVD's and BluRay. I WISH someone would do that! I thought is was a very interesting and thought provoking movie.
Aug 29, 2015 by handicapped shopper |  See all 2 posts
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