The Top Secret Trial of the Third ReichClosed Captioning
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About the Movie
In August of 1944, the trial of the men who conspired to assassinate the Fuhrer - the event that forms the basis of 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 Roland Freisler. 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 Burgerbraukeller, to Claus von Stauffenberg's explosive attack on the Wolfsshanze - 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, of which Sophie Scholl was a member.
What a shame this source material wasn't put to better use. The narration is clumsy and confusing. The narrator alternates between translating from the German footage and commentating, and you can't tell which is which.
Should have been better
A rather low-budget effort for a sadly overlooked topic. Spent most of the time rehashing the beginnings of Nazi Germany instead of concentrating on the core idea of the Nazi legal system's being an instrument of revenge. Jumps around in time and the fact that the narrator does all the voices is amateurish. There are long sections of german language spoken with no subtitles are offered; just a rushed summary by the narrator of what was said .
A very poor attempt at a wide ranging documentary on the various plots against Hitler. The footage from the show trials of the July 20 plotters is of poor quality, and the film-makers oddly decide to degrade the quality of the remainder of the footage [often seen in other documentaries, and of excellent quality] to the same level. The entire thing looks like it dates back to World War I. The narrator is incompetent, the voice over text trite and uninteresting. It would have been much better to use subtitles to convey the manic questioning by Fiesler of all these magnificent rebels. In the event, a well-meaning botch that does not do justice to its subject.