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on December 29, 2015
'Home Box Office'; HBO was Time Warner - this is before AOL amalgamated into their union. On Youtube it seems oddly old, despite being copyright dated 1994. It seems 1970s or even the 1960s, as though from the era of Richard Burton acting in the 'Cold War'.

I think this is partly because of the thinness of ideas; each scene is stretched out. But also there's a suggestion that Germany was backward. In fact, when Germany lost, their patents and inventions were stolen by the USA, just as their physical factories were stolen by the USSR.

This was filmed in Prague - lots of Jiris and Janas in the credits. Post-production by the cheap Brit tea-drinkers in Twickenham and Shepperton.

Probably Robert Harris (born in Nottingham, 1957, according to online information) had little idea of anything factual. He must have written 'Fatherland' in his mid-30s, after 'working' as a BBC reporter, until (aged 30) being made 'political editor for the Observer', a British 'quality press' title. Fatherland in book form is claimed to have sold a million copies, but there is no information that I could find on the promotional push it must have been given: BBC TV interviews? Copies in the windows of Waterstones? Airport sales?—though the author is listed as Fatherland, Co. Ltd. in the TV film's credits.

Harris seems to have turned out many thrillers, but also was a ghost or co-writer, for example with The Columbia Guide to African American History Since 1939, and a book on Political Corruption. He has written, or perhaps a more accurate word might be quoted, or speculated, on 'germ attacks', the USA being deemed 'highly vulnerable'. He wrote on the 'Hitler Diaries' con of 1983, and makes an appearance in David Irving's libel trial of the mute inglorious Lipstadt. He's described as a 'friend' of Tony Blair. A cover blurb of the Alan Clarke Diaries (famous for saying East Timor is a long way away) quotes Robert Harris's description as 'The most compelling account of modern politics I have read'.

The TV film has Rutger Hauer as a blond black-uniformed policeman/ detective. Yes, it's a detective story! And Miranda Richardson as his estranged wife (they have a screen son). For some reason, I thought she was a or the daughter of Ralph Richardson. Apparently not. She was in Black Adder, and I remember her having intercourse tastefully with a black actor, presumably part of the Jewish race-mixing agenda. And the film had .. um.. well, others, less memorable.

The film starts with an odd fake cinema black-and-white newsreel; which even by itself shows Harris's total incomprehension of the issues. It starts with the 'failure of the Allied invasion', as though that wording would have been used. It shows Germany winning the war—meaning in Europe, as 'Germania'—but still at war with the USSR under an aged Stalin. The whole point of Hitler was to defeat Bolshevism! Harris has no idea Jews funded the USSR. There's a scene of Eisenhower pretending Eisenhower had ethical reasons for defeating Germany, rather than simple Jewish racism. Harris doesn't know Britain declared war. There's nothing on Poland. The British Empire is tactfully suppressed by Harris—no point reminded Brits, eh! I was amused to see the Trinity fake atomic bomb flash; this was before the days the BBC could fake an atom bomb with computer graphics. Lindbergh was mentioned; as Joseph (born 1888) Kennedy the elder as US President.

Harris got a few thrills with a Sex Crime Unit. This of course is a Jewish preoccupation, attributed by Jewzis to Nazis. For the folks back home. This somewhat eclipses what is presumably meant to be the main plot: six million .. gassed .. bullets too expensive.. etc. And there's a subplot of small son, 'brainwashed' (yes!) by the Nazi thugs, with Rutger Hauer planning to bolt for the free USA.

"Harris ... still remains a very common Jewish name in the UK, Europe and the U.S."

Anyway, Harris is now about 60, so we can look forward to more sewage from him and his company. Yippee.
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on October 3, 2017
In this alternate reality thriller, Hitler won WW2 and controls all of Europe which has been renamed Germania. Only Russia keeps fighting. It's now 1960 or thereabouts. Joseph Kennedy (who many believe was an antisemitic Hitler sympathizer) is the American president. There has been a cold war between Germania and the United States but Hitler is eager to strike up an alliance so he can finally end the war with Russia.

Author Robert Harris (who wrote the novel on which this cable movie is based) came up with an interesting alternate version of the world had Hitler prevailed in WW2 but he neglected to come up with a story that is plausible or compelling to go along with it. In Fatherland we are expected to believe that Hitler successfully covered up the extermination of 6 million Jews in the Holocaust and instead pretended that they were all resettled in work camps in the East. Rutger Hauer plays an SS Officer (they are now civilian police) who uncovers a series of murders that are linked to that big secret. The Gestapo is having everyone left with direct knowledge of the Holocaust killed to cement the big lie before a peace conference with the American president.

The problem with Fatherland isn't just that viewers or readers know the answer to the central mystery long before it is uncovered by the characters--it's also that the central mystery at the heart of Fatherland simply makes no sense. It's highly debatable whether Hitler would have chosen to cover up the extermination of Germany's Jews had he prevailed in WW2--the Nazis kept meticulous records of the meeting where the final solution was devised and also of every aspect involved in actually carrying it out. Timetables of the trains carrying Jews to the death camps were made, the number of Jews in each train logged as was their destination. The death camps themselves also kept very meticulous records of everything that was done inside their fences. Why would the Nazis make so many records of something that they later plan to cover up? And if for some reason Hitler did choose to cover up the extermination of the Jews wouldn't it would make far more sense to claim that they were killed during the war by Russian bombs? Pretending that 6 million people who are dead are actually still alive really doesn't make any sense. Let's take the idea at the heart of Fatherland one step further--Hitler achieves detente with America. Germania is open to American tourists and the United States is open to tourists from Germania. So after that happens how exactly does Hitler continue to hide the fact that the Jews were exterminated? Aren't American Jews going to want to see their European relatives who are supposedly settled and treated well in these non-existent camps? Aren't American journalists going to want to visit the camps? What about the Red Cross?

The audience knows exactly what Rutger Hauer's SS officer will eventually uncover from the earliest mention of Jews being resettled in the East. Fatherland never figures out how to make the slow uncovering of the inevitable in the least bit interesting or exciting. It's basically little more than 100 minutes of waiting for Rutger Hauer to figure out what we already know. It's also an awful waste of a very promising alternate history.
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on September 4, 2013
I bought this on Amazon and was duped again by bogus reviews. The picture quality is poor because in order to save ten-cents' worth of tape, it was recorded at LP instead of SP. The first two minutes explains how Germany won the war and shows Germania. From here it's all downhill. Many very neat SS uniforms and Rutger Hauer constantly walking through offices while carrying his full briefcase; we never get to know what's inside. There is a foreboding of an ominous occurrence which ludicrously turns out to be the discovery of the Holocaust. The year has to be 1964, since Hitler is 75. We are supposed to believe that the Holocaust was kept a secret until then, and that U.S. President Joe Kennedy was ignorant of it, and is convinced of it by a few pictures. Incomprehensibly and with no explanation, we are told that the Third Reich collapsed because the U.S, withdrew its support.

There is an abundance of Mercedes Heckflosse (tailfins) models, which were made in 1966. President Joe Kennedy seems to be riding in a 1959 Cadillac, which is at least not an anachronism. Hitler is riding in a Rolls-Royce, which he would never do, since loved Mercedes-Benz.

The hurried unveiling of the plot in the last few minutes elicited groans especially when the hackneyed device of the Nazi son betraying his father is iterated; his mother is never shown. Perhaps the budget could not be stretched to include another actress. The denouement is so rapid that I got the impression that the producers feared that the tape was running out. I would prefer a tour of the architecture of Hitler's Germania as constructed by Albert Speer recorded at Standard Speed to this banal, trite, non-credible fiasco.
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on April 28, 2015
I love Rutger Hauer, the guy is one of my absolute favorite actors and I think he played a cool and interesting role for this sci fi fantasy thriller. Hauer always displays to us his charm, his deep intellect, and his cool style even if the story has him dressed up in the dreaded uniform of a vicious Nazi.

Plot: Strange alternate universe plot where D-Day fails, and the Allies instead concentrate their efforts against defeating Japan (which they do much quicker). Britain loses the war, and so does a good bulk of the gigantic miles long end country of Soviet Russia (they retreat to Siberia where a guerilla war ensues.) Hauer is a super sharp police officer among a group of dummies & political fanatics, living in a regime controlled by apes who despite their visions of a Germanic Aryian utopia they still cannot manage to run an economy or society. When President Joe Kennedy Sr is scheduled to make an historic peace summit meeting with an elderly, and slightly more mellowed out Hitler, an American journalist named Charlie stubles upon a hidden defector who wants to leak a sinister story of what actually had happened to Europe's Jews (Hauer and others believe they were forcibly relocated to the East in their own settlements.) Hauer is also investigating the murder of a SS Cadet at a training university, where his superiors try to led him astray and throw stumbling blocks in front of him.

Hauer befriends this American woman Charlie, where the two find themselves caught in the middle of this dangerous mission to find out the truth from what this defector and his evil sinister Aryian girlfriend actress have to reveal (the Holocaust).

The premise is based on a best selling fun science fiction fantasy adventure thriller book of the same name, but I found the idea of that regime's survival to be far fetched.

1. Hitler was a very sick man in 1945 before the time he commited suicide in the "Furher Bunker" with Eva, both physically and mentally, his Parkenson's disease along with his constant addiction to drugs would have eventually killed him. I don't believe the historical sinister "bad guy of all bad guys" dictator would have survived past 1951.

2. D-Day as a failure would have been a major set back, but never the less the Nazi regime's goose was cooked no matter how one analyzed it. Diepe was a beach assault failure, but that never stopped the British and later the American forces to attempt the next try which was D-Day. They were mandated and determined to establish some form of a beachhead on continental Europe. Russia and the US both had endless resources, logistics, equipment, and in Russia's case manpower to the extreme. Regardless of how advanced and skilled the EXCELLENT German Soldiers among the ranks of the Wehrmacht were including their advanced weaponry, in the end they simply where out manned and out gunned.

3. Keep something like the Holocaust a secret would have been impossible, unless the regime decided to murder half of it's own party members and military officials tasked with maintaining the camps, handling and guarding the victim prisoners, and some how disguising their over usage of logistics and railroad assets that they had utilized to carry out their final solution, instead of using the railroads and efforts toward the two super power militaries rushing their way on a warpath.

4. The regime's excuses as to why their would be little economic growth, and even maintaining a stable regime would run out eventually cause some sort of unrest and collapse. Having a small country with their population living in a Hell on Earth could only work if A. that country has an allied neighbor who does have economic success keeping them afloat, and B. if that regime had a fairly smaller territory to control (Think of North Korea as an excellent example). The Nazi regime controlling all of Europe, a good chunk of the Middle East and Russia, and North Africa for a long period of time with such a terrible political and economic ideological practice would crumble fairly quickly. Eventually people would starve to death, and one can only run a police state like North Korea holding onto such a vast amount of real estate and people for so long. Even Russia had to lighten up just a little bit after the years of horror under Stalin, but they too even collapsed in the 90s.

Either way it is an interesting and fun movie if not very far fetched. The part where this "Nazi bitch" who is a retired actress seeking political asylum in the US, where she explains what really happened to Europe's Jews is really creepy and horrifying. The scene has her packing a suit case and calmly bragging, while telling the story of how millions of innocent people were slaughtered as if she had met her new boyfriend at the coffee shop.

Hauer carries this brief case in many scenes of the movie, but we don't know what the heck is in it, because it seems we are led to believe it is important to the plot where it really isn't.

I really did like Rutger Hauer and his character in the movie, screaming at some points saying to the screen, "Rutger take the kid and get the &%^k out that Hell hole, and get to America as soon as possible!" Ha lol.

B- because it is far fetched, & thumbs marginally up for "Fatherland"
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on July 20, 2013
Fatherland was an 94 HBO movie about what if Hitler had won the war!
It shows how the world would've been completely different. Rutger Hauer
is a detective investigating a murder and comes across some horrific
secrets the Hitler and Nazis dont' want to get out! People should've watched
this before re-electing Obama! I think now the are discovering they made a mistake!
Like the Germans do in his movie! The should remake call it Obamaland!
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on February 19, 2000
What if the Nazis had won World War II in Europe? Most of Europe is now Germania, Winston Churchill died in disgrace and in exile, the Russians continue the war in the East, and there is a Cold War with the United States. Germania is preparing to celebrate Hitler's 75th birthday, with a visit from U.S. President Joseph Kennedy. SS Police Officer played by Rutger Hauer is investigating recent murders of one-time top officials, even as one of these remaining officials seeks to contact an American journalist, attempting to blow the lid off the long-concealed Holocaust. Most people believe that the Jews were merely relocated. The movie was startlingly plausible, but the ending, to me, sorely lacked substantial resolution. It was as if it just sort of ran out of steam. Perhaps a larger budget could have made for a more dramatic ending. Nonetheless, I give it a high rating for being an otherwise excellent "what-if-history" type of movie, a concept which I generally enjoy, and which is not often presented. In the same genre, I also recommend "The Final Countdown", which postulates what might happen if a modern-day aircraft carrier suddenly found itself near Pearl Harbor -- on December 6, 1941...
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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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on March 6, 2013
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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on February 22, 2014
Who pays $50 American dollars for any VHS tape???? Why is this not available in DVD???? I will go to Europe to get a copy but no way I am paying Amazon $50 for any movie! I am sure it will come on HBO or ShowTime sometime! Very disappointed in availability and prices here!
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on January 29, 2000
This movie is a great cinematic release of the origional text. The book is, by far, better than the film, however the film paints a vivid, picture of what Nazi Germany would look like if it had lived to the 1960's - with color video and sound. Excellent viewing, recommended. A+ for HBO.
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