Hitler - The Rise of Evil (2003) Review
(More customer reviews)I gave "The Rise of Evil" 5 stars because that's what it deserves. The show is extremely well-constructed, cast, and directed, even if the screenplay takes some liberties with history along the way. Yes, the story could have gotten along without the dog beating scene, the one where Hitler's father abuses him violently, and probably a few others. But the dramatic effect would have been impaired.
I watched the "making of" documentary that came with my DVD before I sat down to view the 3-hour movie. Then, I watched the documentary again after seeing the show. I'd recommend this approach to others to understand why the producer and director were subject to such criticism before and after the film was finished.
When this miniseries first came out we going out of town and totally missed it. My wife and I watch very little network TV because it doesn't seem like it's designed for thinking adults. This program is very much the exception and should be a must for anyone interested in world events and the dangers of facism.
Any review of this program must include comments on the performance of Robert Carlyle who plays the adult Hitler. Although the very Scottish Mr. Carlyle may be small in stature and far-removed from Hitler's teutonic roots he is mesmerizing as der Fuehrer. Carlyle captures the part so well you worry about what he could possibly do in the future to escape type-casting. It's all there: the iron will, the vicious temper, the evil political genius. Scary, truly scary.
The other actors in the show do very well, too, and there are a lot of well-defined characters. Peter O'Toole's role in the movie is limited but he does a fine job as President Hindenburg. The decent people who are steam-rolled by the 3rd Reich were sorry victims, indeed, but that's the way it must have been.
There were some characters who were notable by their absence, like Heinrich Himmler, Reinhold Heydrich, and Martin Bormann. Also missing was much on Nazi mysticism and the occult. Maybe these missing pieces are being held for a sequel. I'd certainly be interested if there were one.
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Featuring a star-studded cast, this epic mini-series traces the mind of a burgeoning madman as he begins his ruthless climb to power. From his emergence out of the ashes of World War I through the birth of the Nazi Party, acclaimed actor Robert Carlyle portrays Adolph Hitler in a performance that "conveys the depths of the tyrants evil" (San Francisco Chronicle). Includes the Bonus Documentaries: "Hitler and I: Reflections of Evil" (directed by David Cherniack) "Hitler: A Career" (written and directed by Joachim C. Fest)