Hitler's Back

Ugh, way to go Hollywood…

I can just see it now… “Hiter wasn’t such a bad guy, he was just misunderstood!”

“Springtime for Hitler and Germany, winter for Poland and France…”

  • Alan

Why Ugh? If they’ve got the guts to do something like this honestly, such a miniseries could be very good. There is a lot of material from this time period. Problem is, how do you adapt it? The average mouth-breathing TV viewer won’t get any sort of subtlety, or even an attempt to show Hitler as a human being–which is probably the hardest thing for anyone to comprehend, given the horrors that he masterminded. Unless they turn him into a caricature, there’s no way this could reach a US network today. Which is sad, because it’s a story that people should be familiar with. And it’s ludicrous that some anti-defamation groups think that Hitler will become some kind of anti-hero, like Tony Soprano. Little different situation, folks.

PS – The comment by the one TV writer about Volkswagen being the only company willing to sponsor the show made me laugh out loud.

Well, there’s always Siemens, BMW, and Porsche, as well. Too bad Krups is out of business. (satirical grin). Boy, didn’t a bunch of the aforementioned companies pay a settlement for the slave labor they used in WW2?

There’s absolutely no way you can really understand Hitler, let alone try to make a television character that makes you understand Hitler.

People say he was insane, but that isn’t true. He was insane in the end, when everything was collapsing around him and he was still suffering from the assination attempt that almost killed him, but as a generally safe rule of thumb, insane people are not elected by millions of people to lead a major country.

Gawd knows that there are a gazillion theories about Hitler that even the academicians debate fiercely to this day. The Gay Hitler theory… the Hitler Niece theory… the Jewish Hitler theory… the Failed Artist theory…

Yeah, if this is done, this should be a documentary, not some kind of fictionalized historical account. The latter is just dangerous… people see a Hollywood movie about a historical event and they use that as a defacto history book. Make a fictional miniseries about Young Hitler and you basically state to the viewing audience that this is what made him tick. That might not even be your attempt, but that is what they will glean from it. And frankly, you can’t do that, because no one really knows what made Hitler tick.

‘People say he was insane, but that isn’t true. He was insane in the end, when everything was collapsing around him and he was still suffering from the assination attempt that almost killed him, but as a generally safe rule of thumb, insane people are not elected by millions of people to lead a major country.’

He wasn’t elected. The most Hitler’s party ever got in an election was about 24% of the popular vote; backroom machinations and deals among the various parties are what installed him into power. He rapidly dismantled the Weimar Republic shortly thereafter.

I don’t think he’s particularly insane, by the standard of political leaders; Stalin and Mao’s body counts were just as high. Hell, I think under the right circumstances Pat Buchanan, Lyndon LaRouche, or…ok, I can’t think of any famous hate-inspired people on the left. Maybe the Earth First! crowd that kills researchers?

Oh, and the first thing that popped into my head when I saw “Hitler’s back” is “…and you’re gonna be in trouble, boop boop.”

Ugh, I knew that, but I’m just saying that as a general rule of thumb, insane people do not rise to the top levels of national power. If Hitler had truly been insane early on, do you think he would have taken over like he had? The military aristocratic class would have certainly stopped him if he was crazy.

Anyone here a fan of Eddy Izzard’s comedy?

  • Eddy Izzard on Hitler’s initial dreams of painting: “I can’t get ze trees right…oh, I will kill everybody in ze world!!”

  • Balut

Jeff, god of biscuits.

-Tom

Cake, or DEATH?

Sorry for stealing your schtick, Sparky, but here:

Prosecutor: Sideshow Bob, why do you have a tatoo that says “Die, Bart, Die!”

Sideshow Bob: It’s German, it says “The Bart, The”

Jurist: Oh! Nobody who speaks German could be evil!

Now you’re messin’ with the Tenenbaums, Adolph – prepare to die!

Swastikas for Sweeps
By MAUREEN DOWD

ASADENA, Calif.

We’ve had Hitler the hippie grooving in the movie “The Producers.” We’ve had Gay Hitler shimmying on “Saturday Night Live.” We’ve had everyone from Charlie Chaplin to Alec Guinness to Anthony Hopkins goose-stepping across the screen as Adolf the Fruitcake.

Yet the monster will not die. Fifty-seven years after he swallowed a bullet instead of Europe, Hitler is still a hot property.

For sweeps next season, CBS will bring us Hitler in the demo: Young Hitler, the miniseries, covering the years between 18 and 34 — the demographic sweet spot of network television. The Gathering Sturm. The Young and the Racist. From “Achtung, baby,” to “Achtung, dude.”

If there’s one thing Hollywood executives understand, it’s megalomania. And if there is one audience they crave more than any other, it’s teenagers and young adults.

The WB network got a hit last season out of showing the dreamy teenage Superman in “Smallville.” So why not show the teenage Hitler dreaming of his super race?

“Hollywood is playing the Nazi card,” says the TV writer Eric Mink dryly.

And how. Besides what CBS calls “the Hitler project” — cuddly Ewan McGregor’s name has been bandied about as the leading Deutschman — there are at least two other Portraits of the Führer as a Young Man in the works. There is talk about Robert Downey Jr. playing Hitler as a struggling painter in Vienna in a BBC drama. Then there’s an independent feature film called “Max,” focusing on the relationship between a Jewish art dealer (John Cusack) who was friendly with the aspiring artist and mass murderer.

After the glut of Hitler movies was reported in the press — “It’s Primetime for Hitler,” Variety proclaimed — some Jewish leaders denounced the projects as vulgar and exploitative.

They don’t want to see a glossy, sympathetic “Lifestyles of the Reich and Fascist”: a cute, brooding teenage Hitler painting away in a garret, listening to Wagner (the Eminem of his age), hanging at the cafes in Vienna with Wittgenstein and Freud, accumulating disappointments and rejections as raw material for “Mein Kampf,” roiled by sexual confusion, frightened by the advances of an amorous milkmaid, and like everyone else then and now, steamed at the French.

“These are documentaries and films about Hitler the man, Hitler the lover, Hitler the young person,” said Abraham Foxman, the chairman of the Anti-Defamation League. “I find that trivializing and offensive.” Mr. Foxman and others probably fear the Tony Soprano effect, a bad guy who becomes a cult anti-hero.

CBS executives at the television press tour here seemed a little uptight about the criticism of the Hitler project, which is based on the first part of the excellent two-volume Ian Kershaw biography of the German dictator — “Hitler, 1899-1936: Hubris.”

CBS’s president, Leslie Moonves, told TV critics that he thought the young Hitler was a “fascinating character.”

“I also think this is a very timely subject about how bad guys get into power and how it affects the rest of the world,” he said.

It’s a stretch to argue that understanding an old evildoer would shed light on the new evildoers. There’s a big difference between genocide and terrorism. But there’s no denying Hollywood’s eternal reliance on two subjects — evil and sex.

With a group of writers trying to fathom the cultural landscape post-9/11, Mr. Moonves found himself justifying the aesthetic sensibility of a network that is touting, as two high-profile acquisitions, Young Hitler and young hotties on the annual Victoria’s Secret lingerie show.

“You know, Victoria’s Secret, it’s a lark, it’s an hour of programming,” he said. “It’s fun. See how much conversation we’re getting about a one-hour special.”

But Mr. Moonves did not seem to have a ready answer when asked what kind of company might want to advertise or underwrite the Hitler miniseries. “Volkswagen?” murmured one TV writer sarcastically.

If Young Hitler is a success, opportunistic programmers will decide that the key to understanding the great dictator’s twisted soul is in his potty training.

Next year on Nickelodeon, watch for the prequel: “Baby Hitler.”

I think Coors beer should sponsor the Hitler show. The founder was named Adolph and Coors used to ask if job applicants were homosexuals on the job application. It’s a good fit.

As a fan of WWII, flight sims, and The Royal Tenenbaums, my heart just melted. At Sparky’s artwork, not the Maureen Dowd article. Although I must admit I do find Maureen Dowd attractive.

 -Tom

That’s very true, although I notice we don’t seem to have any problems with complete imbeciles.

Hitler only had one ball. Do you think that means he had two strikes against him? Maybe had one ball and two strikes.

Paraphrased from George Carlin.

Nazis. I hate these guys.

  • Alan

“I hate Illinios Nazis.”

– Xaroc