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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Hitler: The Last Ten Days [Blu-ray]


(Ennio De Concini, 1973)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Tomorrow Entertainment

Video: Olive Films



Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:45:48.884

Disc Size: 24,649,058,905 bytes

Feature Size: 24,447,762,432 bytes

Video Bitrate: 27.09 Mbps

Chapters: 9

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: September 22nd, 2015



Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 2090 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2090 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 /
48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)






• None





Description: Alec Guinness takes center stage as Adolf Hitler in director Ennio De Concini’s (Daniel and Maria) Hitler: The Last Ten Days. Leading up to Hitler’s suicide, the film recounts the final days of strategizing and infighting among the Fuhrer’s closest advisors, as well as his relationship with Eva Braun (Doris Kunstmann, Funny Games) within the confines of the infamous underground bunker. Alec Guinness’ performance offers the viewer a rare look inside the mind of a mad man – manic, irrational, contemplative and eventually defeated, as the Third Reich crumbled before his eyes. Director De Concini’s Hitler: The Last Ten Days, scripted by Gerhardt Bolt, Ennio De Concini, Maria Pia Fusco, Ivan Moffat and Wolfgang Reinhardt, features an international cast that includes Simon Ward (The Three Musketeers), Adolfo Celi (Thunderball), Joss Ackland (The Hunt For Red October), Philip Stone (The Shining), Diane Cilento (Tom Jones) and Sheila Gish (Mansfield Park).

Cinematography is credited to Ennio Guarnieri, whose work includes Federico Fellini’s Ginger and Fred, Vittorio De Sica’s The Garden of the Finzi-Continis, Lina Wertmuller’s Swept Away and Franco Zeffirelli’s La Traviata.



The Film:

Alec Guinness plays against stereotype, imbuing his Adolf Hitler with an introverted solemnity in Ennio De Concini's Hitler: The Last Ten Days. Set almost entirely inside Hitler's Berlin bunker, the film chronicles the dying days of the Third Reich as the Allied armies close in on Berlin. Guinness's Hitler is an enclosed depressive who sinks slowly into madness, depression, and ultimately suicide as his 1,000-Year Reich collapses around him.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

IN LATE APRIL, 1945, the real estate under the control of Germany's 1,000-year Reich had shrunk to a crumbling perimeter around the Berlin Chancellery. Below it, protected by 18 metres of steel-reinforced concrete, the delusional Nazi leader Adolf Hitler was planning the construction of a lavish cultural capital in the already Allied-occupied city of Linz.
As he contemplated the models of spires, arches and opera houses, Eva Braun, his mistress through the years of his glory, stood with him. At one point, according to the researchers who authenticated the script of Hitler: Last Ten Days, she said: "What a pity for the world that you didn't devote your life to art."

Ever fascinating are the what-might-have-beens of history.

Today, [1973] interest in the life of the Austrian-born dictator is on the rise. Eva, supposedly, thought her Adolf a great artist. Norman Spinrad, a current science-fiction author with, perhaps, a bit more perception, thinks he might have been a successful pulp writer.

Excerpt from Reeling Back located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Hitler: The Last Ten Days arrives on Blu-ray from Olive Films. This is only single-layered and the film seems quite, intentionally, gritty. Colors are rich and thee is some texture. The visuals lack consistency even beyond the very rough black and white archival footage being used. There is no real depth but this is all certainly watchable in the original 1.78:1 aspect ratio without fatal flaws. The Blu-ray improved the presentation over an SD rendering but the production limitations leave it somewhat 'wanting' in HD expectations.

















Audio :

Audio is transferred to a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at 2090 kbps. There are explosions and other 'war-related' effects but they are usually in the background and not in need of exporting significant depth. The score is by Mischa Spoliansky (Saint Joan) but is sparsely utilized although there is quite a classical flourish in the finale. In fact it is all pretty unremarkable but dialogue is audible. There are no subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.


Extras :

No supplements - not even a trailer which is the bare-bones route that Olive are going with the majority of their releases. Some form of discussion could have increased appreciation.



Well, one immediately compares this to the superior, and more recent, Downfall. We tend to know the details and they seem accurate. It's hard not to find this very interesting - if not fascinating and the cutting to archival footage is impacting. I don't think it is poor - but I wouldn't rate it as stellar. Those keen on history might get the most out of it. The bare-bones Blu-ray (I like the cover) lacks value excepting to a rare few who are keen to see Guinness as Hitler. 

Gary Tooze

September 19th, 2015

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

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Gary W. Tooze






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