- 予約商品を通常商品と同時にご注文の場合、通常商品も予約商品の発売日にまとめて発送される場合がございます。通常商品の配送をお急ぎの方は別々にご注文されることをおすすめします。予約注文・限定版／初回版・特典に関する注意は こちらをご覧ください。
Kolberg: The Restored 1945 Epic Directed by Veit Harlan (DVD) by Heinrich George
The Apotheosis of Nazi Cinema Conceived as Nazi Germany s answer to Gone with the Wind, this was Joseph Goebbels last and most defiant cinematic manifesto. Filmed over late 1943 and 1944, Kolberg drew upon the historical resistance of East Prussian townsmen against Napoleon in 1807 in arguing its case for total war against the Allies. Its bone-jarring climax, showing Kolberg bombarded into rubble and flames by French artillery fire, unmistakably evokes Allied bombing raids across Germany at the time. Even as the Nazi regime was entering its last phases, it devoted lavish resources to staging Kolberg s spectacular battle scenes, detonating tons of explosives and diverting thousands of Wehrmacht soldiers from the front. Released amidst the chaos of early 1945, Kolberg was shown in a handful of Germany s still intact movie houses; today this apotheosis of the Nazi cinema survives as National Socialism s final statement to posterity. This new DVD edition represents a vast improvement over previous existing versions, featuring improved subtitles, restored sound and a painstaking restoration of the original Agfacolor in all its temperamental glory. Directed by Veit Harlan. Germany, 1945, Color, 118 min., English subtitles. SPECIAL FEATURES: ?? Scene Selections ?? Photo Gallery with Audio Commentary ?? Bonus Material: Goebbels 1943 Total War Speech Newsreel ?? Actors Biographies ?? Digitally Restored and Remastered ?? Illustrated Essay Booklet Kolberg:The Apotheosis of Nazi Cinema
For History and Movie buffs,this is a unique, must have collectible. Do not be put off by the fact that the spoken language is German,the subtitles are excellent,and work well.
Nevertheless, the movie has numerous flaws, most of which are related to continuity, flow of action, and abrupt, amateurish cuts from one scene to another. In that respect, American movies were far superior by the early 1940's.
No, my chief criticism is more "mechanical" in nature, and it's aimed right at the DVD itself -- YOU CAN'T TURN THE DAMNED SUBTITLES OFF! How maddening! This is the only movie I've ever seen which has subtitles that cannot be deactivated! You MUST view this movie, made with spoken German, with English subtitles activated, whether you want them or not. This is very distracting to me because I do speak and understand German. Why would anyone do that?
I tried to turn off the subtitles on both a standard DVD player, and on a very recently-manufactured Blu-ray player. Nothing worked.
So, I give the movie four stars for being a "best-in-kind" for the sort of movie that it is -- and it's very well appointed, with lavish costumes, authentic sets, realistic period battle scenes, and massive displays of huge crowds, etc. The acting isn't bad, although as it almost always is in 'propaganda pieces', it is often strident and a bit unnatural. If you are a student or enthusiast of Third Reich film, this movie is absolutely essential!
The effect of all this expenditure and effort is clearly evident in the finished film. KOLBERG looks glorious especially as it was it shot in Agfacolor (Germany's version of Technicolor). The sheer number of extras used is a sight to behold most notably in the battle sequences in the second half of the movie. The performances are surprisingly good with Heinrich George as Nettlebeck, the Kolberg mayor, a real standout. It's also a rare opportunity to see one of German silent cinema's greatest actors, Paul Wegener who played THE GOLEM back in 1920, in one of his last roles as the incompetent town commander. His voice sounds exactly as I had imagined it. But Goebbels miscalculated. The movie took well over a year to shoot and Germany's fortunes declined faster than anticipated. When Goebbels saw the finished film, he was taken aback. The destruction of the town was too much like the real thing. Despite inserting speeches of holding out to the last man, the tone of the movie was too depressing and the film was never released publicly until after the war was over.
For years KOLBERG was available only in a truncated, washed out version with poor sound which is how I first saw it. I still have the old IHF video cassette. This newly restored DVD (also from IHF - International Historic Films) is a revelation. The colors are vibrant, the quality of the overall print is vastly improved but short of a true restoration, and the sound is a lot less harsh (it was probably never great to begin with). There are also greatly improved subtitles which are easy to read. Reportedly there is an archival print in storage with the F. W. Murnau Foundation but that print was not used here. KOLBERG gives us an insight into the German mentality of the time which is to obey without question even if it means extreme suffering and ultimately death. After 70 years it remains a fascinating artifact that is not any more heavy-handed than most American World War II films of the time and it still manages to impress with its attention to historical detail, its sheer size, and its sincere and committed performances.
The film itself is stunning in its depiction of the classic battle/siege of the Napoleonic Wars. Recreated period uniforms and equipment add to the presentation of stoic German townspeople, farmers and others in resisting the determined Napoleon and his army. The acting style may off put some as being over the top and driven by modern motives, but it seems to be in keeping with other, non-German, productions. The film, at this point in time, is mainly for history and film buffs.