April 26, 2001 5:47 AM   Subscribe

RoboHitler? Paul Verhoeven has hinted that he may go ahead an make a film about Adolf H. ""The idea would be to show that charisma is not identical with good. So basically you would see how a charismatic person would be able to seduce 50 or 60 million Germans"...he's not, however, certain that it will ever make it to the cinema...
posted by hmgovt (24 comments total)
No way would it make it. You can't possibly show Hitler with any charisma at all. People are so used to the charismatic guy being the hero, they'd get all confused and wet themselves. For right or wrong, Hitler will forever be a cartoon character.
posted by jpoulos at 6:30 AM on April 26, 2001

Who are the main contenders for the lead roles? Robbie Williams as Herr H, and Geri Halliwell for Eva Braun? Can't you just imagine the Berghof terrace sex scene...

OK, forget Robbie. Because we can see a big break looming for Hitler Wong, best known for his role as Noodles Chan in The Wisdom of Crocodiles (1998) aka Immortality.

Has anybody seen this? Is it worth the bus fare to Blockbuster?
posted by bloated_guts at 6:59 AM on April 26, 2001

It's ok, I mean, when was the last time that Paul Verhoeven made a film that people went out to watch in droves. . .hmmm, 1990, 1992?

So, let him try to make it. . .
posted by SentientAI at 7:08 AM on April 26, 2001

Germany was having troubles
What a sad, sad story
Needed a new leader
to restore its former glory
Where, Oh where was he?
Where could that man be?
We looked around and then we found
The man for you and me.
And now it's..

posted by Perigee at 7:44 AM on April 26, 2001

(Dammit, Perigee, what the hell was that? 404/IRC/popup hell, is what. As opposed to the raw .wav file it could have been. I don't know which would is worse. Show some sense.)
posted by rodii at 7:54 AM on April 26, 2001

What the heck happened to Paul V.'s plans for a film about Jesus, and another the Crusades or some sort of religion-oriented action film? He was a member of the Jesus Seminar thingie for some reason too. Think he has a divinity degree, as hilarious as that sounds.
posted by raysmj at 8:03 AM on April 26, 2001

Didn't he already make this movie when he did Starship Troopers? Obviously it was more of an analogy (and didn't focus on an individual leader), but the main themes are there. Depending on how he proposes doing this film, I think it is possible he could get it made.
posted by msgoff at 8:11 AM on April 26, 2001

I can't see how this movie would ever make the light of day. The pressure from too many sides at every single stretch will kill it.

Hitler's memory has passed into a place in world history allowed to be a human being, and our capacity to learn anything more from how he came to be who he was is gone pretty much forever. Which means he'll be back someday, in some other form.

All that being said, the only person who could actually get this movie made is, of course, Mel Brooks...
posted by chicobangs at 9:27 AM on April 26, 2001


"Hitler's memory has passed into a place in world history where he is no longer allowed to be a human being."
posted by chicobangs at 9:29 AM on April 26, 2001

I think Verhoeven's undergrad degree is in math.
posted by rodii at 9:31 AM on April 26, 2001

He also has a PhD, as this Jesus seminar bio shows. In what, the bio does not say.
posted by raysmj at 9:48 AM on April 26, 2001

Jesus Christ, Perigee - what a crappy link to post. JS popups, hidden windows, Java errors and a prompt to change my homepage in one click. Serves me right for blind clicking I guess.
posted by kokogiak at 9:56 AM on April 26, 2001

My bad - it worked fine over here; something musta got ugly in relocation. Sorry.
posted by Perigee at 10:23 AM on April 26, 2001

Can I just second what chicobangs said about Mel Brooks? He really IS the only director who has a chance, however remote, of getting away with a Hitler movie.
posted by lia at 10:24 AM on April 26, 2001

Interesting -- shades of Soldier of Orange, PV's first film of note (back when he was taken seriously).

lia, aside from the fact that Brooks has pulled it off twice, are you sure that's true? Anyway, I believe all you need to know about the Nazis you can learn from watching the final scene in Star Wars ... er, Triumph des Willens.

It is interesting, though, to see how taboo this topic is. We've seen plenty of portrayals of oily, charismatic-to-themselves Nazi worms, but few of Hitler himself. Most of those portrayals in the IMDb are either minor appearances in a more detailed story about a particular aspect of the war, or flat-out comedy. The only one that I can recall that really captured his chilling charisma was The Boys from Brazil, and the real Hitler wasn't even in that one. There have been plenty of off-by-one portrayals, from The Great Dictator on, but few direct portraits, and almost all of them after he came to power.

I turned up a film I'd read about and forgotten: the 1999 Russian film Moloch.
posted by dhartung at 10:59 AM on April 26, 2001

Well, there's "Hitler."

He also has an impressive filmography. Seems to have been somewhat typecast, though.
posted by rodii at 11:36 AM on April 26, 2001

rodii: Must've been that role in Triumph des Willens. . . . And introducing Josef Goebbels as himself. Most distinctive. Check the Britney, etc. pics to the left of the Leni film info.
posted by raysmj at 11:49 AM on April 26, 2001

Could anyone (while we're all spelunking around the IMDb here) provide proof that Verhoeven has the sensitivity and human touch to actually make a proper large-scale biopic about Hitler's life?

Until I hear that, I stick with Brooks (thanks for the backup, lia) as the only one who could do this (well, maybe Scorcese), and that's because he's already set a precedent (kindasorta) for such things. He's 75, though, so we should all push him now while he's still working. It is a story that really needs telling.

And speaking of 'Willens'... how about Willem Dafoe for the title role? He has been Jesus already, and he'd be appropriately fearless in the role. Whoever does would have to be.
posted by chicobangs at 1:09 PM on April 26, 2001

Remind me because I'm fuzzy on this one, but wasn't there a short preview of Mel doing hitler at the end of History of the World, Part I?
posted by DiplomaticImmunity at 2:03 PM on April 26, 2001

Yep. "See: Hitler on Ice!"

Film that scene today, 20 years later, and I bet you my little fake moustache the flick would never get distributed in the first place.
posted by chicobangs at 2:08 PM on April 26, 2001

Never would have thought of the early Reagan years as bigger on hollywood permissiveness than now Chico, but you've raised a point...
posted by DiplomaticImmunity at 2:22 PM on April 26, 2001

Sir alec guiness did a chilling portrayal in "Hitler, the last ten days". If a movie was made,I can see the opening shot, Hitler beating up wittgenstein at the Realschule, his lost aspirations to be a hairdresser. "And they saved Hitlers brain" should be the final say in hitler filmography. to make a movie to show the foundations of his charisma seems...voyeristic. Besides the director would get it wrong, forget about him being a commie for three days, a spook for military intelligence and his passion for pastries. What should be be made is a short film about the odds of two people, one who damn near destroys the world, and one who damn near figured it out, going to the same school. Ah,chuck it,Mel brooks rules.
posted by clavdivs at 8:37 PM on April 26, 2001

By the way, Verhoven's doctorate is in math -- or at least that's what someone says in the commentary track for the Criterion editon of Robocop.
posted by Potsy at 9:36 PM on April 26, 2001

Potsy: Heh! LOL, etc., etc. Must've been working on the Bible Code thing for the Jesus Seminar.
posted by raysmj at 9:50 PM on April 26, 2001

« Older Family complains about dead passenger   |   Underwater Warpdrives Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments