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Hessen Conspiracy (2011)

Billy Zane , Lyne Renee , Paul Breuls  |  NR |  DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Billy Zane, Lyne Renee, John B. Lowe, Michael Bowen
  • Directors: Paul Breuls
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: ANCHOR BAY
  • DVD Release Date: January 11, 2011
  • Run Time: 113 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00465I18I
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #165,319 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Hessen Conspiracy" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Frankfurt, Germany, 1945: The war is over, and a group of victorious U.S. Army officers take over a castle that formerly belonged to the German royal family. But when two of them uncover a massive cache of priceless gems, the lovers hatch a plan to loot the treasure. Now, all they'll have to do is smuggle the German Crown Jewels into New York City, dodge military investigators, con a murderous mob boss and steal back their stolen fortune...all without double-crossing each other first.

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3.9 out of 5 stars
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Spoils of War? September 15, 2011
This film is based on a true story, but you do get the feeling that a lot of artistic licence has been taken. It stars Billy Zane as Jack Durant a high ranking American officer who has fought from Omaha beach through to the war's end, and has landed up in Frankfurt to be stationed at the palace of Princess Sophie - who of course was not a Nazi. There he meets femme fatale Lt. Kathleen Nash (Lynne Renee). Together with a red neck sergeant they discover a cache of vintage wine and then more encouragingly, the German crown jewels, hidden behind a bricked up wall.

Zane narrates the whole time in the style of classic noire, but classic this sadly is not. It is very stylish, with lots of matinee idol looks and music that tries too hard to tell us what to feel and what is about to happen. The clichés come faster than a freshman on prom night, and I actually found some of them bordering on comedic, which as this is a thriller I am sure was unintentional. There is `jazz club' sax whenever Ms Renee even gets close to a bedroom for instance. Whilst there is good acting through out, it still fails to engage, the characters are just all too unlikable for us to gain any empathy. They are all motivated by naked greed and lust in a way that would make the yuppies of the 1980's salivate with envy.

The plot is to smuggle the stones back to New York and then sell them for huge amounts of cash. The double crosses then start piling up like lemmings in mating season, and the one liners become ever more obvious -"she played me like a violin", for instance. This then is a triumph of style over substance and seems to out stay its welcome, even though it is only 106 minutes long.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Could have had potential March 7, 2011
It's an interesting story told in a most boring fashion. The whole narrative sounded like a comic book. Maybe they were trying to capture the 40s feel but it did not appeal to me at all. The dialogue was peppered with cliches. The characters were like caricatures. Too bad.
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5.0 out of 5 stars My Quick Review April 23, 2014
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
The Hessen Conspiracy is based on actual events that took place sometime in 1945 right after WWII at the Castle Kronberg, outside Frankfurt, which had been converted into a country club for victorious American officers. Actor Billy Zane plays a cynical Colonel named Jack Durant who cohorts with a dazzling beautiful Lieutenant Kathleen Nash played by actress Lyne Renée who steals many of the scenes from Billy Zane. Both actors have a lot of chemistry going in the scenes they play together. The crux of the film is where a very supposedly tight group roaming around the basement of the castle uncovers the crown jewels of the Hesse Crown Jewels worth more than $2.5 million dollars! The cache is found in a strong box within a wooden antique chest that contains more diamonds, rubies, emeralds, sapphires and pearls than are gathered in any one place outside the Bank of England. Here is where the conspiracy begins of how to get the jewels out of Germany and back to the United States. In the final analysis there is no honor among thieves. The film follows very closely the actual characters who perpetrated the heist of the Hesse Crown Jewels. All involved were caught by the arm of the US Army Investigations Agency or suffered some tragic event that ended their participation in the conspiracy. The film soundtrack exemplifies the great music of that era. The film is filled with double crosses, missteps, mystery and the mob. All characters involved were moved by the possibility of a quick rich scheme; yes what some people will do for money! Now in reality the main characters of the heist were tried by courts martial and sentence to prison but it is not clear whatever happen to the jewels. Like all conspiracy they are born by truth to proceed as if they had legs of their own. I gave the film five stars because I felt that all those involved brought a real mysterious event to the screen that was both entertaining and kept you wondering what is going to happen next.
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Based on a true story about a group of WWII US army officers who take a treasure of priceless gems from a castle in Germany and there plans to get rich from it. After the fall of Nazi Germany Colonel Jack Durant (Zane) is assigned to a castle formerly belonging to the Hessen family. After stumbling onto the German crown jewels he and 3 others try to find a way to get them back to the US. This movie was pretty much what I expected. Though it is a movie movie it had the look and feel of a TV movie from a cable channel. Nothing special but fairly entertaining. The movie is full of double crosses and them playing one off of another keeps you guessing who is being honest and who is only in it for themselves. A fairly slow moving movie but interesting enough to keep you watching till the end.I give it a C.
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