Monday, October 03, 2011

Favorite Nazi Movies

The first week of October is historically significant, for it marked the first crack in the wall for the Nazi regime (Naples fell to the Allies on Oct I, and marked the beginning of the end). I wanted to take this as an inspiration on some of my favorite Nazi movies.

Saving Private Ryan: A Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg collaboration, this one was an absolute masterpiece. The first 15-20 minutes were absolute cinematic genius.

Downfall: This German movie depicts the last days of Hitler holed up in his bunker, and his deterioration from a in-control leader to a spluttering, ineffective old man. Bruno Ganz provides an acting masterclass in the lead role. Also, this is a heavily researched move - several quotes are used.

Schindler’s List: Steven Spielberg goes against type in this brilliant cinematic depiction of Oskar Schindler’s life, as he saves the lives of over a 1000 Jewish/Polish refugees during the war.

Life is Beautiful: A “haunting comedy” based on Jewish persecution during WWII is perhaps the only way one could describe this movie - but mere words do not mete out justice to this masterpiece. Roberto Benigni stars and directs.

American History X: Not a Nazi movie in the strictest sense of the word (although it does involve Neo Nazism), this is more a commentary on white supremacy and bigotry. Ed Norton mesmerizes in a performance that is perhaps his greatest to date (which is a great compliment in itself).

Inglorious Basterds: Only Quentin Tarantino could spin a yarn as far-fetched as this one, and actually pull it off. Christopher Waltz is suitably menacing as Hans Landa, and there are enough dialogues to drive Tarantino fans (such as myself) into raptures.

The Great Dictator: Charlie Chaplin. Enough said.

Boys from Brazil: A truly fantastic plot (saying any more will be a desservice to those who have not read this book); the book by Ira Levin is also a fantastic read.