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Fist of the Reich

4.6 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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(Aug 28, 2012)
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Editorial Reviews

The legendary Max Schmeling, a skillful boxer, loving husband and reluctant paratrooper, initially cooperates with the Nazi government, but later risks his life in defiance of Hitler's regime.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: German
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Entertainment One
  • DVD Release Date: August 28, 2012
  • Run Time: 123 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00862WFFM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #125,874 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Everything about this film is first rate: the acting, the scripts, the costumes and sets, and the cinematography. The German title Scmelling is much more appropriate. Fist of the Reich is an inaccurate and stupid title for this very fine film.
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Format: DVD
This is a biopic of the legendary German boxer Max Schmelling (Henry Maske). It tells of his rise to fame as a boxer and his meeting and falling in love with the Czech actress Anna Ondra (Susanne Wuest). It charts his rise and fall and how he ended up being on the front line in the Battle of Crete.

This is not really a war film and those nice folk at Metrodome have done the usual thing of putting all action shots and Swastikas on the front cover. There is some action, but most of the action takes place in the boxing ring. The reference to `The fist of the Reich!' is also not a referral to any sort of post watershed bedroom antics, but the fact that Max Schmelling was taken on as a model of Aryan success by the Third Reich and was seen abroad, especially America as being a Nazi, even though he really was not. He even declares `Ich bin keine Nazi!', but is told that 'You are German that's enough'.

The film itself is very well made, with any plot holes down to finance and not enough to spoil the film. One thing that did get me is that everyone speaks German even Joe Louis (African American boxer whom he fought twice). I know English speaking films do this all the time, but it is only a couple of scenes and so fans of authenticity will be let down (but only a little). It is obviously in German with very good English sub titles.

The boxing scenes are extremely well done and actually manage to build the tension every time and as I am not a boxing fan that is actually quite an achievement. The acting is all solid and mostly well above average, the cinematography is excellent in places and for a two hour film this did not seem long at all. If you are looking for a story with a heart and some good historical placement within it, then you will not be disappointed; if you want a war, action movie, then this may not be for you.
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Format: DVD
The story of Max Schmeling, a true honorable sportsman. I'm more than peeved by the misleading English language title, which to me is misleading and may cause people to avoid watching it. His cooperation with the Nazis was barely enough to survive. He retained his Jewish manager, in spite of the problems it caused him, until he managed to remain in the States. He stayed with his Czech wife in spite of the problems that also caused him. He did not have to give Joe Louis a rematch, but believed the man deserved it and did so knowing he couldn't win a second time. He remained an honorable man until his death in 2004. The English language release should have simply translated the title......Max Schmeling: A German Legend.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
An excellent movie. Very well done. I was very surprised to learn the Max Schnelling supported Joe Louis after he became penniless. This piece is less about the Nazis than it is about an honest and noble man. The title tells nothing of the content.
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Format: DVD
Sports biographies have an uneven track record in the movies, but boxing has done pretty well. Still, boxing biographies tend to drag when they focus too much on family or other non-athletic issues. Two of the most successful boxing movies as to balancing the sports with family stuff were The Set-Up and Raging Bull. Fist of the Reich does a great at job of balancing the personal and professional aspects, not dwelling too much on either, and goes the aforementioned one better in that the two main characters – Joe Louis and Max Schmeling – are portrayed by real boxers. In fact I believe all Schmeling's opponents in the film are played by real boxers. Thus the boxing scenes have an uncanny true-to-lifeness quality about them, visceral and intense but not over-the-top a la Rocky.
I echo other comments here that the production elements of this film are first-rate, but the English language version's subtitle ‘Fist of the Reich’ is misleading, also the sensationalist packaging which suggests it's much more a war movie than it really is. Still, an worthy tribute to a sports legend.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
GREAT HISTORICAL TRUE STORY. 2 AMAZING & TALENTED MEN, BOTH BEING USED BY THEIR GOVERNMENTS TO TRY TO KNOCK EACH OTHERS BRAINS OUT YET, HAD TREMENDOUS RESPECT FOR EACH OTHER THAT DEVELOPED OVER THE MANY YEARS INTO A WARM FRIENDSHIP. oNLY THESE 2 MEN COULD UNDERSTAND WHAT THE OTHER HAD BEEN PUT THROUGH. SCHMELLING BEING DISOWNED BY HITLER AFTER HIS LOSS TO LEWIS AND BEING SENT TO THE FRONT AS A COMMON SOLDIER IN HITLER'S HOPE THAT HE WOULD BE KILLED. LEWIS' GOVERNMENT RUINED HIM IN LATER YEARS WITH THE USE OF THE IRS SO THAT HE WOULD BE IN DEBT TO THEM FOR HIS ENTIRE LIFE. HE LIVED OFF THE CHARITY OF THE MAFIA. THEY ALLOWED HIM TO BE A GREETER IN ONE OF THEIR CASINOS.
SCHMELLING HAD A MUCH HAPPIER ENDING DUE TO CIRCUMSTANCES ARISING THAT GAVE HIM THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE ONE OF EUROPE'S LARGEST COCA COLA DISTRIBUTORS. HE TRIED TO HELP LEWIS FINANCIALLY FROM TIME TO TIME. THEY REMAINED DEAR FRIENDS FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES.
THIS FILM ENLIGHTENED ME TO THE FURTHER FACTS THAT SHMELLING'S WIFE WAS A FAIRLY FAMOUS GERMAN ACTRESS. BUT, SHE WAS A JEW. HITLER HELD THIS OVER SCHMELLING THROUGH OUT THE WAR TO CONTROL HIM.
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