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Triumph of the Will [1934] [DVD]

Leni Riefenstahl    Exempt   DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
Price: 7.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Triumph of the Will [1934] [DVD] + Olympia Festival of Nations - The Story of the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games [DVD] [NTSC] [1938] + Metropolis [Reconstructed & Restored] (Masters of Cinema) [DVD] [1927]
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Product details

  • Directors: Leni Riefenstahl
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: German
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Demand DVD
  • DVD Release Date: 17 Mar 2008
  • Run Time: 155 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0012EI4FQ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 50,400 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Triumph of the Will is one of the most important films ever made, not because it documents evil--more watchable examples are being made today. And not as a historical example of blind propaganda--those (much shorter) movies are merely laughable now. No, Riefenstahl's masterpiece--and it is a masterpiece, politics aside--combines the strengths of documentary and propaganda into a single, overwhelmingly powerful visual force. Riefenstahl was hired by the Reich to create an eternal record of the 1934 rally at Nuremberg, and that's exactly what she does. You might not become a Nazi after watching her film, but you will understand too clearly how Germany fell under Hitler's spell. The early crowd scenes remind one of nothing so much as Beatles concert footage (if only their fans were so well behaved!).

Like the Fascists it monumentalises, Triumph of the Will overlooks its own weaknesses--at nearly two hours, the speeches tend to drone on, and the repeated visual motifs are a little over-hypnotic, especially for modern viewers. But the occasional iconic vista (banners lining the streets of Nuremberg, Hitler parting a sea of 200,000 party members standing at attention) will electrify anyone into wakefulness. --Grant Balfour,

Product Description

Triumph of the Will, also known as Triumph des Willens , is the legendary propaganda documentary of the Third Reich's 1934 Nuremberg Party Rally. Commissioned by Hitler in 1934 and directed by Leni Riefenstahl, this documentary covers the events of the Sixth Nuremberg Party Congress. The original intention was to document the early days of the NSDAP, so future generations could look back and see how the Third Reich began. In reality, Triumph of the Will shows historians how the Nazi state drew in the masses through propaganda and also how Adolf Hitler had a unique and terrifying ability to entice crowds to his beliefs by the very power of his words. Triumph of the Will was released in 1935 and rapidly became one of the better-known examples of propaganda in film history. Riefenstahl's techniques, Such as moving cameras, the use of telephoto lenses to create a distorted perspective, aerial photography, and revolutionary approach to the use of music and cinematography, have earned Triumph recognition as one of the greatest films in history. Riefenstahl won several awards, not only in Germany but also in the United States, France, Sweden, and other countries. The film was popular in the Third Reich and elsewhere, and has continued to influence movies, documentaries, and commercials to this day, even as it raises the question over the dividing line between art and morality. Featuring a cast of thousands, including Adolf Hitler, Himmler, Goebbels, Hess, Goering and other top party officials, this film perhaps more than any other demonstrates the frightening reality that was the Nazi Party and the dangers that the future held for the rest of Europe. This definitive edition also features a bonus disc; March to the Fuhrer which documents the rise of the Hitler Youth Movement.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
58 of 60 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best edition 13 April 2008
Fully agreeing with the previous reviewers who've already pointed out that this edition is probably not the best one quality-wise and also lacks from any serious accompanying notes, I'd just like to add the information that the superimposed American subtitles were apparently already on the analogue master this DVD copy is based on, and therefore they cannot be switched off.

They're also always white, and frequently there's white subtitles on bright background - useless: you can't read a thing. And they even have misspellings: they say 'toady' at one point instead of 'today'.

So overall, I'd say this edition is probably all right if you just want to get an idea what "Triumph of the Will" is all about, but if you value a quality reproduction and don't like cheap bargain basement editions, better stay away.
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101 of 106 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars CHEAP POOR QUALITY US IMPORT 1 May 2008
By S. Kerr
DO NOT BUY THIS VERSION. The picture quality is terrible it is copied from a VHS tape so the American English subtitles can not be switched off. The spelling is often wrong, not just US spelling, actually incorrect in any version of English. Subtitle text is white in top of the picture which means it just disappears into the background until a darker part of the movie flashes up. BUY ANOTHER EDITION NOT RECOMMENDED
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
My version of TOTW - the Synapse Special edition produced in 2001 - is technically good. So why, I wonder, are many people on this site rubbishing an updated version? Is the new edition really as terrible as they argue?

Let me say at the outset that I don't work for, or represent, Synapse films in any way. I've never had any commercial dealings with them. And I don't get a rake-off, or anything else, from them.

But I'm puzzled by some of reviews for this Special Edition produced by Synapse Films. There are many editions of 'Triumph of the Will'. Most are terrible - technically so bad as to be unwatchable. But the Synapse Special Edition I bought, which was issued in 2001, is something different. As it says on the cover it's a "brand new windowedboxed digital transfer from a 35mm fine grain film". The quality is good - the best I've seen of this movie. Ok, it's not as perfect as the best Hollywood films, but there's little to complain about.

My special edition contains the original German language with newly translated removable English subtitles. There's also an audio commentary, which you can turn on and off, by the historian Dr Anthony R. Santoro. This is a model of what a commentary should be. He avoids any enthusiam for the Nazis, or tiresome moralising. He just presents us with the facts and contributes considerably to understanding what's going on in the film. It's a real bonus and will help any student studying the period.

There's also a Leni Riefenstahl short film 'Day of Freedom' which is admitedly technically poor.

As I say my Synapse Special Edition was issued in 2001. What we're reviewing here is a later version remastered in 2006. This updated version has slightly better picture quality.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't be put off by misleading reviews 9 Feb 2012
I ordered, and subsequently cancelled, no fewer than three different versions of this film as a result of reading widely differing reviews.
As Roger Clark has pointed out, the problem appears to be that reviews relating to several different versions of this film have all been lumped together in one place.
It seems such a shame that potential buyers might be dissuaded from purchasing a perfectly good product as a result of reading a review that relates to a completely different version.
I eventually settled for the 2006 Synapse special edition. This is the one with the brownish coloured packaging depicting a large close up of a german soldier's head in the style of the propaganda posters of the time.
For the record I can say that I am extremely satisfied. Both the picture and sound are of high quality, (well, as high quality as one can expect from a remaster of a film shot in 1934).
I have seen a website where someone has posted several stills from four different versions of the film, and from these it is clear that the Synapse versions are far superior to the rest.
There appears to be little to choose between the 2001 and 2006 Synapse versions. The 2006 version has slightly improved image quality, (although it is so slight that you would really need to freeze frame both versions side by side and examine them very closely to notice any difference). The later version has white subtitles and an active menu compared to the earlier version which has yellow subtitles and a static menu, however the content is exactly the same.
If you have never owned a copy of this film before, then the 2006 version seems to be the one to go for. If, however, you already own the 2001 version, then I do not think the differences between the two would justify rushing out to replace it.
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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Beware of this DVD 21 Oct 2008
By Smoke
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I fully agree with the previous reviewers. This transfer is, quite simply, awful. Terrible picture quality, sub-titles that cannot be read and laughable spelling. It does not warrant any star rating at time I'll believe what the reviewers tell me!
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Shabby video to DVD edition 20 Mar 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Amazing film, but evidently the DVD has been made using a well used VHs tape as original! On TV you can at times see crystal-clear snips of this classic propaganda film, crystal clear! This isn't! Far from it!

Otherwise, amazing!

Maybe other versions are better?!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Propaganda film
It was quite good. After 80 years it has lost its "chilling factor". The historian giving a narration in background is a good idea. very helpful for a younger generation.
Published 2 months ago by Angus Craig Brodie
5.0 out of 5 stars Best video documentary ever
Best DVD I own. Controversial but superb footage of the 1934 rally in Nuremberg. Wish they did a soundtrack of the music used.
Published 11 months ago by Neil3478
5.0 out of 5 stars With English Audio Commentary
A masterclass in propaganda and public speaking. I bought the US version and played it in problem. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A chilling film with big relevance for 21st century
Item was as described and arrived well before stated arrival time. Ordered from US -Rarewaves delivery to London Uk. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Stevie B
1.0 out of 5 stars shoddy print
I think this is the first time I'll be asking my money back from Amazon - this is a really lousy print. Read more
Published 21 months ago by David A. Mcqueen
4.0 out of 5 stars What's the problem ??
Previous reviews weren't too encouraging but I went ahead and thought it was worth the fiver I paid for it. Read more
Published on 8 Feb 2012 by manofsteel
1.0 out of 5 stars Demand something better !
What is it with Amazon ? They lump all reviews of this movie together regardless of the edition. I opted for the Demand Studio version released in 2008, the one with the excellent... Read more
Published on 26 Jun 2011 by Woody
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay but......
I agree with previous reviews that some notes would have been helpful , and that overall a sharper picture quality would have improved the viewing experience , but for the price it... Read more
Published on 24 Sep 2010 by R. Stewart
3.0 out of 5 stars historical research
Leni Riefenstahl in her biography cited that: she was talked into making the film of the 1934 Nuremburg Rally by Hitler, who wanted an independant view of the event. Read more
Published on 16 July 2010 by earlofcrick
1.0 out of 5 stars Triumph of the Will (red cover)
This is without doubt the worst quality DVD I have ever obtained - and that includes duds from Madacy. Read more
Published on 4 July 2010 by I. E. THOMAS
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