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Top Secret Trials of the Third Reich

Roland Freisler , Adolf Hitler , Jochen Bauer  |  NR |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Roland Freisler, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Goebbels
  • Directors: Jochen Bauer
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Color, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: German
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: FIRST RUN FEATURES
  • DVD Release Date: May 19, 2009
  • Run Time: 76 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001TH06TI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #305,651 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

PRODUCED BY TWO-TIME ACADEMY AWARD NOMINEE BENGT VON ZUR MUHLEN

In August of 1944, the trial of the men who conspired to assassinate the Fuhrer -- the events that formed the basis for the film VALKYRIE-- began. Under orders from Joseph Goebbels, cameras were hidden in the courtroom and the resulting footage was transformed into a propaganda film. Goebbels released his film to the public but only succeeded in generating sympathy for the conspirators, who were sentenced to death by the visibly deranged Nazi tribunal judge. Having miscalculated the impact of these images, Goebbels ordered the film banned and destroyed. But one print has been found.

Through authentic footage of the trial, the film details the various attempts to assassinate Hitler-- from the bomb in Munich's Bürgerbräukeller to Claus von Stauffenberg's explosive attack on the Wolfsschanze-- and sheds light on the anti-Nazi resistance. Featuring previously unseen film and sound documentation of the National Committee for a Free Germany, a German resistance group, this astonishing film also unearths new information about members of the Kreisau Circle and the White Rose.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
I looked at this film, about the trial of the conspirators who knew or were involved in the assassination attempt on at Hitler at his Wolfsschanze, as a teacher previewing to show to high school students and was impressed both as resource for higher level history classes and for someone who would be interested in the history of WWII, Germany and the Third Reich.
First it retains its' authenticity by leaving in the German soundtrack, even if you don't understand German you can hear the tone and invective in the prosecutor's voices. A narrator explains and interprets, but is not intrusive or overwhelming, there are even silences left, rather than like some films where every second has to be filled with talking, music and noise.
The film starts with the trial and then shows the joyous beginnings of the Reich, the marching and cheering crowds. There are news reel photos of the German leaders, and explanations of who each are.
Previous plots against Hitler are explored, which is highly interesting if you are delving into this subject. I appreciated the inclusions of the plot that was stopped by Chamberlain's visit to Munich and the fact that Rommel was coerced to take poison and then given a hero's funeral, since it would have been too traumatic of a revelation that he was aware of the plot and did nothing to stop it.
The films used are not always of the best quality, but then they cannot be, after the rigors of war.
This film was made in Berlin and includes the browbeating of the excesses of the German government during the war including the holocaust. Comments such as "the fighting courage of the German troops were misused for a criminal war". My AP Europe students have always found these kind of insights interesting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top Secret Trials of the Third Reich June 3, 2013
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When I bought this I thought that it might be boring and so, didn't bother look at it, wondering why I had bought it in the first place. When I got round to reviewing it some months later, I was amazed to find that it was not only a superb presentation of Nazi courtroom drama, with all its banal theatrics, but also a superb historical documentary of events leading to, including and following the July 1944 plot to assassinate Hitler.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This film from 1979 actually covers one of the more fascinating bits of Hitler history, the attempted assassination of the Fuhrer in 1944. Through the use of actual footage (some disappointingly degraded as you might expect) from hidden cameras in the courtrooms of the accused, I give this my highest rating for its ability to transport you back into history (and secret history at that)! The trial footage, in fact, was edited by Goebbels into a propaganda piece that ultimately backfired and was ordered destroyed. In the film we learn about different attempts on Hitler's life and focus on the conspirators (or patriots) that tried to liberate their country from the tyranny of a war created by its megalomaniacal leader. Absolutely fascinating stuff. We've seen a lot of this represented in other films and medium, but there is something so compelling about seeing much of it unravel in real time! KGHarris, 5/12.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Flawed attempt that misses the mark April 2, 2014
This could have been a lot better if the filmmaker had just stuck to the subject. Instead they jump around from the trial of the bomb plotters to various other failed assassination attempts to no good purpose. They also seem to feel it necessary to periodically stop and remind everyone how Hitler was a really bad guy before getting back to discussing the trial. The most part though is the narration. The trial films are in German of course, but the filmmaker apparently decided that subtitles were either passe or too expensive and decided to have the narrator either rush through a summary of what was being said, or recite the lines himself. In fact all sources are read by the same person so it really smacks of a very cheap production.

In short a wasted opportunity.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Historically valuable, yet redundant in nature March 14, 2013
Verified Purchase
I would have to believe that anyone who has followed the Hitler curse on history, has seen, at least once, the infamous trial of the men, who were targeted by Hitler and his henchmen, as those who were instrumental in their assassination attempt on Hitler. And although there was, in Hitler's words, some type of, "Divine Intervention," as he so proclaimed, for his not being killed in the explosion, the Trial, with Roland Freisler, is a segment of World History,that is a miscarriage of Justice, in any country. But not in Nazi Germany, where this trial set the precedent for life and the Hitler Court System. The accused were given the only sentence Freisler knew how to give, which ultimately came from Hitler, himself, and that was to be hanged, very slowly, on piano wire, which would cut their heads off, in the most painful and cannibalistic manner, known to man. Freisler was also the President of the Berlin(People's Court) and was also one of the select group who attended the Wannsee Conference, which worked out the plans to exterminate the Jews. Yes, he had a great personality & reputation, in the Nazi Party, but outside of that entity, was a lowly, coward, who learned the meaning of hatred, just as many others did, who joined the Nazi's, who truly had identity problems along with their hatred of just about every ethnic group except,themselves. As individuals, they were all cowards but together, they raped the Earth and its people, in the most brutal, sadistic, barbaric manner, with the most senseless killing of babies, girls, young, middle-aged & old, very old women. When a Jewish baby cried and made too much noise,a Nazi soldier, would grab it by its feet, swing the body until its head hit the steel side of a truck or tank. This was usually done in front of the mother of the child. Read more ›
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