Hitler's SS: A Portrait In Evil - Printable Version

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Hitler's SS: A Portrait In Evil - Jim Davis - 01-01-2009

I have this DVD and would recommend it. I feel that it shows how so many Germans were mesmerized by Hilter and the nazi party and it's a great movie about the SS. I think that David Warner is brilliant in his role as Reinhard Heydrich. I love to hear him speak and one of my favorite lines from the movie is when Heydrich bellows, "This office issues orders, not begging letters!"

There's a really great German song sung by the SS detachment enroute to Rome's on the "Night of the Long Knives" segment of the movie. I don't know the name of the song but it certainly is a catchy tune and it almost makes me want to slip into jackboots and something black :armata_PDT_23: [Let's face it, the SS had great looking uniforms] The film covers the early days of the nazi party, the SA, the Night Of The Long Knives, the invasion of Poland, bits of the "Final Solution" process, scenes from the Russian Front and plenty on the scheming of the SS. So here's a bit of info on the movie:




Hitler's SS: Portrait in Evil is a 1985 TV film about two German brothers, Helmut and Karl Hoffmann, and the paths they take during the Nazi era of Germany. The movie was directed by Jim Goddard and starred John Shea, Bill Nighy, Tony Randall, David Warner and John Woodnutt.







Helmut and Karl Hoffman are two brothers who grow up in the depression of the Weimar Republic and witness the coming to power of the Nazi Party and the establishment of the Third Reich. Karl is enthusiastic about the Nazis and joins the SA as soon as he can, Helmut is reluctant and thinks the Nazis are simply another political party.


Helmut, who is a university student in Munich is eventually talked into joining the SS by Reinhard Heydrich. Helmut is commissioned an SS officer right before Hitler comes to power, whereas Karl has already been an SA member for a good year before. Karl is distressed due to tensions between the SA and the SS and claims that the SS is trying to make it look like that the SA is the “party’s garbage collector”.


The entire first half of the film leads up to the Night of the Long Knives, in which Karl is arrested and sent to Dachau Concentration Camp and it is up to Helmut to get him out. Using his connections in the SS, Helmut gets Karl freed but Heydrich cautions that Karl had better behave himself or else Helmut would find himself “running short of friends".


The film then moves into World War II, glazing briefly through Crystal Night without much discussion and then focuses on Helmut becoming involved in the paperwork of the Holocaust. In many ways, his character is similar to Eric Dorf in the Holocaust mini-series. Karl meanwhile becomes an anti-Nazi and is drafted in the Wehrmacht. He actually becomes a Wehrmacht Officer later.


Helmut eventually becomes an SS-General, but is extremely disillusioned with the SS by the end of the film. Karl deserts from the army around the time of the assassination attempt against Hitler(The 20 July Plot specifically.) and wanders Germany seeing the war torn rubble of several German cities. Helmut then deserts from the SS as well, but is killed by an Orpo patrol while fleeing Berlin. The film ends with Karl and his lover Mitzie (who at one point also slept with his brother Helmut) standing in the ruins of Berlin learning that Helmut, their parents and their little brother Hans (who fought in the Battle of Berlin in the Hitler Youth) are all dead.




Actor/Actress Role

John Shea Karl Hoffmann

Bill Nighy Helmut Hoffmann

Lucy Gutteridge Mitzi Templer

David Warner Reinhard Heydrich

Warren Clarke Becker

Michael Elphick Ernst Röhm

Stratford Johns Uncle Walter (bartender)

Robert Urquhart Albrecht Hoffman

José Ferrer Prof. Ludwig Rosenberg

Carroll Baker Gerda Hoffman

Tony Randall Putzi (comedian)

John Normington Heinrich Himmler

Derek Newark Theodor Eicke

Paul Brooke Gen. Josef Biegler, SA

Colin Jeavons Adolf Hitler


For the full cast list, see the Internet Movie Database (IMDB).



Incorrect portrayal of the Katyn massacre

The movie shows the Katyn forest massacre as being caused by the Nazis, as it was thought to have been when the movie was broadcast (1985), however it is now acknowledged by the Russian government that the Soviet NKVD were the perpetrators and a document signed by NKVD leader Lavrentiy Beria ordering the deaths of the Polish intelligentsia was released by them in the early 1990s.



External links

Hitler's SS: Portrait in Evil at the Internet Movie Database

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Categories: 1985 television films