More on Cruise's Stauffenberg film

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valkyrie
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Re: More on Cruise's Stauffenberg film

Post by valkyrie » 28 Jan 2009 01:17

Hi Jock: I can confidently say that none of the three Stauffenberg brothers ever joined or particulalry associated with the SA. Claus may have had some sympathy with Hitler's pro-military and anti-Versailles positions but I don't think he ever campaigned for Hitler - that would have been against army regs too.

Cheers

Colin

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Re: More on Cruise's Stauffenberg film

Post by Alecci » 28 Jan 2009 02:09

Tha so-called article contains several errors, the most obvious ones being:

1: Claus Graf Stauffenberg was never a member of the SA, but he did during a short period of time conduct exercises with SA-troopers, hoping to keep them off the streets. His brother Alexander, on the other hand, was a member of the 79th SA Brigade.

2: Graf Stauffenberg never campaigned for the national socialists.

3: Graf Stauffenberg was not a supporter of Hitler in 1941.

4: Claus Graf Stauffenberg was never a member of the Kreisau Circle, though his brother Berthold was.

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Re: More on Cruise's Stauffenberg film

Post by JockCampbell41 » 28 Jan 2009 21:12

ugggh, I thought so. There's so much misinformation going around and its coming to light because of the movie. Some people on an online forum were using the article to 'prove' that C.v.S. was a Nazi.

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Re: More on Cruise's Stauffenberg film

Post by tonyh » 31 Jan 2009 02:04

Just saw this today and I have to say, I thought it wasn't bad at all. WARNING, SPOILERS! :D

It's a very restraint production and dry in the way a historical movie should be, but it still remained exciting even for somebody who was one step ahead of the plot all the way.

Cruise is an "actor" I have no time for whatsoever, so it was pleasing to see that he didn't interfere too much in the overall project. He does have a resemblance to Staufenberg and that's his biggest contribution to the film. Other performances of note were a great and subtle act from Terrence Stamp and even Eddie Izzard does a decent job.

I wasn't too impressed by David Bamber's Hitler, however, he plays him as a sort of 1930's vampire. He attempts too hard to be creepy and it ends up looking a bit silly in parts. But at least the film dispenses with the usual nonsensical mad, raving shouting caricature that has popped up in umpteen WWII movies. In fact, the Third Reich inner circle are all played a bit ridiculously. Harvey Friedman's Göbbels is played in much the same vein as the Hitler character. The whole scene in the Berghof ends being a bit ham-fisted, but not so much as too ruin the whole film.

On a positive side, the equipment used is spot on for the most part. There is a Panzer MkIV F2 used in the North Africa opening and P-40's strafe the German 10th Panzer column, giving Staufenberg his now famous injuries. There are some nice shots of JU52's and BF109's too. The uniforms are all correct as far as I could tell from one sitting, so the guy responsible for those particular accuracies did his job well.

All in all, definitely one too watch and after being extremely negative toward this project when first I heard about it, I found myself being pleasantly surprised.



Tony

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More on Cruise's Stauffenberg film

Post by Kim Sung » 31 Jan 2009 16:48

Today I've seen this film. All I can say about this film is that "Great boast and small roast".

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Re: More on Cruise's Stauffenberg film

Post by JockCampbell41 » 31 Jan 2009 18:24

By the way, what were the yellow tags the I.G. officers (including Olbricht and Quirnheim) holding up in one shot of the movie?

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Re: More on Cruise's Stauffenberg film

Post by tonyh » 02 Feb 2009 22:40

JockCampbell41 wrote:By the way, what were the yellow tags the I.G. officers (including Olbricht and Quirnheim) holding up in one shot of the movie?
They were papers handed out to the conspirators.


Tony

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Re: More on Cruise's Stauffenberg film

Post by ladycplum » 11 Oct 2009 18:07

I'm debating seriously whether or not to buy a copy of the film...the more I read about the conspiracy the more I realize that Claus, God rest his soul, was actually a minor figure, at least in my opinion. Beck, Olbricht, Tresckow, they all came on board fairly early on. I can see why the attention is focused on Claus, he's dashing, handsome, wounded in battle, but I think some of the men who were part of the conspiracy have been unfairly maligned in a way for how the Valkyrie operation was handled after the bomb went off.
"The more I see, the more I know. The more I know, the less I understand"-Paul Weller

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Re: More on Cruise's Stauffenberg film

Post by valkyrie » 11 Oct 2009 18:15

I suggest you read Helena Schrader"s recent bio of Olbricht. She works hard to redress that balance as recent films have not been kind to Olbricht. I think she actually goes a bit too far in criticizing stauffenberg and I tol d her so. You can improve the portrait of Olbricht without adding blemishes to others. However, its a good book and was much needed.

Colin

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Re: More on Cruise's Stauffenberg film

Post by Michael Dorosh » 11 Oct 2009 19:09

ladycplum wrote:I'm debating seriously whether or not to buy a copy of the film...the more I read about the conspiracy the more I realize that Claus, God rest his soul, was actually a minor figure, at least in my opinion.
Aside from being the only one with the intestinal fortitude to try and kill Hitler; umm, yeah, he barely did anything at all. :P

I think the film highlights exactly the point just how much Stauffenberg couldn't do alone. If the point you're making is that he is lionized as more important than he was, I think that is pretty much standard for a film version - i.e. to present the main character as sympathetic even if license needs to be taken with accuracy. I wouldn't expect any real apology for that. But the film does make it clear, to anyone capable of interpreting it, that Stauffenberg was indeed only one element of a very risky enterprise. The DVD is worth it for the extra features, though the extra disc is, sadly, not a features disc but only a "digital" copy of the movie for transfer to a computer. What a waste.

The extras are quite good but could have been better. What you don't get are deleted scenes (and according to the commentary, there are a lot of them, including footage of Hitler staggering out of the bunker, a coup in Paris, and many other scenes), trailers or, for those that are interested, "bloopers" (and according to the commentary, there was one especially memorable one). All the commentary comments lead me to believe that there was a lot that could have been included in the special features that just wasn't. Which leads me to believe that we'll see a Special Edition somewhere down the line. I don't think we'll get a "Director's Cut" as Singer seemed quite happy with the film as is, and he should be, nor is it reasonable to expect it to gain "cult status" in which they could command enough money to justify such a treatment. But then again, who knows...

The shortest of the extras is a 15 minute "making of" featurette, which is interesting. It is nothing like the Band of Brothers featurettes, of course, but I suppose once you've seen one propmaster gushing about MG42s or German uniforms, you've seen them all. The number of period aircraft in this movie is staggering, and Tom Cruise mentions in one of the commentaries that you could have a two hour commentary track on just about every scene to appeal to the true history nuts. The featurette is a nice overview. None of the planes are digital.

There is a 45 minute documentary on the real 20 July plot; it would have been nicer to see some of the bomb-plot re-enactments they've done for the History Channel or Discovery etc. (especially since they reference them on the commentary tracks), but its a surprisingly good documentary - not overly long, and some good footage and interviews with family members of conspirators and contemporary scholars.

And the two commentaries I've been mentioning. Both are excellent; having sat through some truly abominable commentaries, this one stands head and shoulders. Movie commentaries are generally better than television ones (the Seinfeld cast seemed to get tuckered out pretty quickly and their "commentaries" quickly ended up being them just showing up to laugh at their own wardrobe and physical comedy - yawn), but there are bad movie commentaries too. The two tracks here are very good. The first is by Singer, McQuarrie and Cruise (director, producer, and star). They don't bog down with a lot of references to crew members people no one has ever heard of and all three are very well-informed as far as the history of the Bomb Plot goes and there aren't any long silences in the commentary track. And, they're interesting to listen to. It does get frustrating when they talk over each other, and at times it leads to them not completing thoughts or sentences, so it's not a perfect offering, but I found it entertaining.

The second commentary track is by the two screenwriters, with the same high quality, and a more in-depth analysis of the film-making, and again, excellent historical knowledge which the buffs watching will enjoy.

A bit of a disappointment as far as features go, but those that are included are of a reasonably high quality. I have to wonder if a special edition isn't in the works for the future, though, given what was left out.

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Re: More on Cruise's Stauffenberg film

Post by Alecci » 11 Oct 2009 19:47

Not that this is a historical topic, but I nonetheless feel that this has to be mentioned.

While Graf Stauffenberg's role in the long-term resistance to Hitler is sometimes exaggerated, his part during the last few months - since him joining the conspiracy during the summer/autumn of 1943 - and the uprising on 20 July 1944 itself cannot be stressed enough. Many historians, including Dr Hoffmann, convincingly argues (and this is my opinion as well) that the last coup attempts would probably never have taken place unless Graf Stauffenberg had entered the scene and backed the undertakíng with his dynamic energy.

Graf Stauffenberg shared and expressed the spirit of resistance long before he "formally" entered the conspiracy in 1943, but naturally he played no major part in the conspiracy until his entry. Once committed, however, he probably did more than anyone else to make the coup d'etat happen. This doesn't mean, on the other hand, that he accomplished all by himself. None of the conspirators' roles and parts should be diminished, neither Graf Stauffenberg's nor that of anyone else.

Colin:

Can you please be kind enough to supply some more information on the work by Helena Schrader on Olbricht?

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Re: More on Cruise's Stauffenberg film

Post by valkyrie » 11 Oct 2009 21:21

Alecci -

see http://www.amazon.com/Codename-Valkyrie ... 1844255336 for the catalogue listing

Helena's websites are worth a visit at http://www.helena-schrader.com/exolbricht.html , http://www.helena-schrader.com/exvalkyrie.html and http://valkyrie-plot.com/

She also wrote an excellent fiction work on July 20 called "An Obsolete Honor"

I wrote to Helena and she was kind enough to respond a couple of times. Be patient as she is a serving US foreign service officer often posted to far off places with limited email access.

Her books are based on sound research including discussions from years ago with survivors of the plot and family members. Highly recommended but controversial especially to a Stauffenberg fan. Sometimes its good to look at our heroes in a new way.

Cheers

Colin

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Re: More on Cruise's Stauffenberg film

Post by ladycplum » 12 Oct 2009 02:15

valkyrie wrote:I suggest you read Helena Schrader"s recent bio of Olbricht. She works hard to redress that balance as recent films have not been kind to Olbricht. I think she actually goes a bit too far in criticizing stauffenberg and I tol d her so. You can improve the portrait of Olbricht without adding blemishes to others. However, its a good book and was much needed.

Colin
I actually just finished reading this very book, and I thought it was amazing.
"The more I see, the more I know. The more I know, the less I understand"-Paul Weller

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Re: More on Cruise's Stauffenberg film

Post by colt45 » 13 Oct 2009 00:26

there were so many people involved, they had to pick one name for the hero... who did you think it should be?

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valkyrie
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Re: More on Cruise's Stauffenberg film

Post by valkyrie » 13 Oct 2009 01:36

You could tell the story for any individual's perspective. That is what the Olbricht book does. But Stauffenberg has to be the central man of action in any telling of this story. In a film treatment, there can not be any time to give others their due.

Colin

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