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Triumph of the Will [VHS] (1935)

Adolf Hitler , Hermann Göring , Leni Riefenstahl  |  NR |  VHS Tape
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (238 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Adolf Hitler, Hermann Göring, Max Amann, Martin Bormann, Walter Buch
  • Directors: Leni Riefenstahl
  • Writers: Leni Riefenstahl, Eberhard Taubert, Walter Ruttmann
  • Producers: Leni Riefenstahl
  • Format: Black & White, Original recording reissued, NTSC
  • Subtitles: English
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Synapse Films
  • VHS Release Date: January 30, 2002
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (238 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000065U6O
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #788,396 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
358 of 367 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
TRIUMPH OF THE WILL has long been viewed through a dual perspective: It is both reviled by many for its glorification of Hitler, and at the same time praised for the masterful work of its director, the legendary Leni Riefenstahl (who at the time of this writing is still alive...I think she's over 100 by now). The truth is, it is all of that and more - a highly memorable, fascinating experience on several levels:
1. Despite the subject matter, it must be acknowledged that this film does what it was made to do marvelously well: It is a masterpiece of the art of propaganda...somethng that is practiced every day by all governments, in advertising, and in all political campaigns - but never better than this. The film does an amazing job of tapping deep into the German psyche, with scenes of Nuremburg, youth, etc., and allusions to great Germans of the past, all designed to tug at the "volkish" national sentiment, then deftly superimposed with images of Hitler. Very crafty, but no different than what we see every day in our media-saturated world.
2. As a study of the early the Nazi era, it is invaluable. Regardless of what happened in the years that followed, TRIUMPH needs to be viewed as a statement of its own era, when none of the horrors had yet happened and many around the world still referred to the Nazi regime (which was then consolidating power and trying to reach the hearts and minds of the people) as "the German renaissance". The commentary track adds a fascinating "what happened to that Nazi?" perspective.
3. This film has become unbelievably influential (possibly because it is still required viewing in film schools); it is perhaps second only to THE BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN as the most visually quoted film in hstory.
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180 of 188 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Splendid transfer of a beautifully malevolent film April 21, 2001
I had seen TotW in the theatre (Anthology Film Archives, NYC), on video and I could feel the power, in spite of the jumpy images, splotches of darkness, scratchy prints. The DVD transfer is magisterial. Clean, sharp, the underlying visual rhythm clearly discernible, the structure of the work exerting its magic without restraint. And, as good a sound as one can ever expect. The transition between pompous nocturnal nazi party celebrations to a misty dawn progressively clearing to reveal air views of Nuremberg's ancient rooftops, with the lens coming to rest fully sharp on row upon row of simmetrical white tents, where party members are waking up, all set to the quiet prelude to the third act of Wagner's Meistersinger (a piece in itself celebratory of German art and set in medieval Nuremberg), is pure cinema magic. And it establishes visual continuity (ergo historical?) from the traditional Germany of Hans Sachs to its 20th century flowering under Adolf Hitler...... not a small feat to accomplish within less than a handful of cinematic minutes.
Like magic, there is technique behind it. This is not a news-style documentary but a film constructed flawlessly in the editing room. Leni had full control of the editing and supposedly did most of it herself. The result is mesmerizing. One can understand how an unthinking populace could fall for it, and how keen an intellect and great an artist Riefenstahl is (I gather she's still active at 90+). This is not just a nicely crafted collection of pretty pictures of an old city and massive nazi spectacle. Everything is calculated to evoke an emotional response helping consolidate the identification of Germany as Hitler and Hitler as Germany. Yet, it is also a beautiful film.
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89 of 98 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A most valuable historical record March 24, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
It's easy to see how this now famous (or infamous) 1934 film by Leni Riefenstal could have helped reinforce Hitler's already dizzying domination of the German psyche. For our own time, it helps reveal the human complexity of the Nazi phenomenon - so much more than just a march of crazed fanatics, as it's often stereotyped today. Triumph of the Will is particularly relevant to current politics - the Austrian controversy, as well as the continued importance of various dictators who still garner so much of the media spotlight.
Sadly, the near-sightedness of the Nazi mentality and its contradictory nature were already glaringly apparent at the time the movie was shot. Hitler's frenzied admonitions to value "peace" but at the same time to cultivate "courage", bristle with contradiction and hypocrisy. Brief allusions to racial purity and clear-cut moral rectitude are darkly ominous, as are the reiterated pledges of allegiance to Hitler , the man. It's instructive to compare Nazi rhetoric with much of today's political hype. Though, as many others have pointed out, nobody else has done it with quite the same elan. Sad to think that had they watched their own film with a more discerning eye, they might have seen what we see.
From an artistic standpoint, I can appreciate why it's cited as one of the most accomplished of all propagandist vehicles. Nazi shortcomings notwithstanding, the film is stunning. Riefenstahl's contribution is self-evident - even if she didn't direct the action herself, she captured and organized it admirably. But for all that, it is still the action which is most spellbinding.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A good book for those who enjoy history
A good book for those who enjoy history. it provided a different point of view, one that defined the German's side of why they did many of the things they did.
Published 2 days ago by The Falcon
5.0 out of 5 stars Great item!
Very nice DVD!
Published 22 days ago by Ken Haney
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 23 days ago by JUAN CARLOS GARCIA CRISTOBAL
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very good reproduction. A must have for any historian interested in World War II.
Published 1 month ago by SERIOUSLY
2.0 out of 5 stars If you are a big ww2-history fan like me it may be worth watching but...
If you are a big ww2-history fan like me it may be worth watching but i would not recommand it. It was quite boring to be honest
Published 1 month ago by Ugo Labrie
5.0 out of 5 stars propaganda
An amazing film. It contains most of the modern propaganda techniques used by our politicians. Hitler's speeches are well constructed but that guy was just such a Nazi.
Published 1 month ago by Allan K. Betz
5.0 out of 5 stars it is an excellent movie.
It is a very important historical document and while one does not agree with the content, it is a movie that people should see to try to understand what happened in Germany at that... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Henry Hull
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
Filmed magnificently by rife stall. The black and white ads to the spectacle, well documented, and it is not difficult to see how Germany wrapped itself around this... Read more
Published 4 months ago by hardlinemike
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting
This powerful Nazi propaganda film is worth watching -- as a warning to all of us. The cinematography was way ahead of its time.
Published 5 months ago by B. K. Wunder
5.0 out of 5 stars Leni Riefenstahl's 1934 cinematic masterpiece: a good version to buy
Leni Riefenstahl's cinematic masterpiece of the September 1934 Nazi Party Congress in Nuremberg (called in German `Triumph des Willens') is rightly regarded as a historic landmark... Read more
Published 6 months ago by The Guardian
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