Greta Scacchi

        D R A M A

        TV Movie. 2011. Germany/US. Colour. 180 minutes. 15.

        I always thought that this movie should be made by a German film company and here with a 10 million euro budget they have made it. The results are disappointing to say the least. It's worth a view though if only for curiosity value but it is a golden opportunity missed...more

        hindenburg disaster 2011 dvd cover for tv movie

        UK Dvd Cover | Enlarge Image | Scan Without Watermark

        'The World Will Never Forget' is the tagline. Well, their right about that: once you've seen this movie you'll never forget but whether it's for the right reasons only time will tell.

        Here is the official description: 'Frankfurt, May 1937. The Hindenburg, the world's largest airship, is getting ready to fly to New York. A vehicle of staggering dimensions, it is the pride of Nazi Germany. But it has one serious flaw: due to an American embargo preventing the sale of helium to Germany, the Hindenburg is filled with highly combustible hydrogen gas instead...'

        From the outset, facts are tossed aside for a conspiracy theory. Why anyone can't tell the actual story instead of introducing things is beyond me. There is enough there for drama aplenty.

        The film is in English but has the weirdest dubbing I have ever seen. Watch it and you'll know what I mean. The electro music is just plain annoying.

        The obligatory love story is tagged onto the film but where would we be with a TV movie if we didn't have the obligatory love story?

        I suppose I'd better mention the main plot for what's it's worth: Jennifer Van Zandt is a rich kid who along with her mother is returning home on the Hindenburg to be with her rich daddy. He sells fuel gas, but there's a major problem in richland: the embargo the US has imposed on Nazi Germany is hurting his richness. Thus, as any rich man would in the circumstances, he hatches a plot to plant a bomb on the air ship to prove his gas is safer. Reasonable enough reaction...not.

        That is the plot 10 million euros buys you. Cheap at half the price!

        The acting is poor. Everyone is wooden as the script doesn't let them be anything else. After Baltic Storm this is the second weird and poor German release Greta Scacchi has been in. Maybe she should consider giving them a wide berth. If she hears a German accent at the end of the telephone just put the phone down. Wrong number. Not at home. Philipp Kadelbach as the director takes ultimate responsibilty for this disappointing movie and wasted opportunity of telling a compelling, truthful story of this infamous disaster. As it is he really hasn't done us any favours for such a film is unlikely to be made in the near future because of this.

        Do view it though if only once for the CGI airship is worth seeing and is the star of the movie by a long way.

        Mercifully, the UK Dvd release is only 106 minutes as opposed to the full 3 hours of the original release. Believe me, you'll be pleased about that.

        Details of the disaster and a review of the 1975 George C. Scott can be found here.

        2 stars out of 5.

        © Paul Page, Lenin, 2013

        Available: Hindenburg Dvd @ (direct link to Dvd) |

        Best Film Review Book: Radio Times Guide to Films 2013

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