Underground 1941

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(8) IMDb 7.1/10
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This wartime propaganda piece was made by Warner studios immediately prior to the US entry into the Second World War. Philip Dorn and Jeffrey Lynn star as two brothers who find themselves at opposite ends of the political spectrum in 1930s Berlin: one is a leader of the resistance movement, while the other is a wounded German soldier with a strong loyalty to Hitler's Reich.

Starring:
Jeffrey Lynn, Kaaren Verne
Rental Formats:
DVD

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature parental_guidance
Runtime 1 hour 35 minutes
Starring Jeffrey Lynn, Kaaren Verne, Philip Dorn
Director Vincent Sherman
Genres Drama
Studio PEGASUS ENTERTAINMENT
Rental release Limited availability
Main languages English

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
This item has not been released yet and is not eligible to be reviewed.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Mr. S. H. J. Palmer on 19 Feb. 2011
Format: DVD
If you have read any of my other reviews you will see that they are all on war films.That being because i am a huge war film fan.At present i own about six hundred and have seen well over a thousand. So imagine my delight when "Underground" was released,a film i had never even heard of.My delight soon turned to despair when i realised it was being released by Pegasus Entertainment who are renowned for doing nothing with video or audio before releasing their films.If you have ever bought any you will know what i mean.Fortunately the video and audio transfer is pretty good for a release seventy years old.Yes there are some specks and flicks on the print and it is a little blurry in places but still very watchable.I have seen much worse.All we have at the menu is scene selections.Now before starting the film you just have to watch the menu screen.I cant figure out whether its brilliant or hilarious.Its on a cycle of about thirty seconds so wont take long to watch.The smoking weapon part made me chuckle.
The basic premise of the film is centred around two brothers in wartime Berlin.One (Eric) is the leader of the resistance group who broadcasts clandestine messages to the German people using an illegal radio.The other (Kurt) is a staunch Nazi who is maimed in the fighting and so returns home.Throw in the usual Gestapo officers,a love interest and what you have is all the ingredients for a good film which it does with aplomb.There are no real stars to be had and its obviously a "B" picture with low production values but this withstanding i really enjoyed it.Its unashamedly full of propaganda and i dont mind one bit.Yes its full of cliches but films of this ilk and age usually are.What sets it apart from some modern war films is its use of characters and a good story.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By lycidas on 11 Jun. 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I found this film enjoyable, although it was not without faults. Jeffrey Lynn, fresh from his role as the handsome young lawyer in the Roaring Twenties, tries hard to be convincing as the idealistic Nazi who eventually has a change of heart, but he is too wooden. This Warner Brothers' story of a family affected by Nazism must take second place to MGM's, The Mortal Storm, a much more convincing parallel (apart from Dan Dailey. A Nazi ? I think not) which appeared a year earlier. As usual with such Nazi themes the uniforms do not convince. But this film was made in 1941 when research into the minutiae of the Gestapo lacked the essential 'rigeur'. Still, it keeps the viewer in suspense, and everyone hates a villain, especially if he's a Nazi, and this film has some wonderful stereotypes. Philip Dorn, who is the heroic leader of the underground broadcasting movement, steals the show. At least his accent sounds believable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tommy Dooley TOP 50 REVIEWER on 27 Feb. 2015
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This little B movie from 1941 has been on my `watch list' for some time, and I wish I had seen it sooner. Made before the day `that will live in infamy' that is December 7th 1941 and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, this clearly wanted the world to know that Hitler and co were evil.

Eric Franklen is a chemist in Nazi Germany and is working with the `underground' he is the voice of their radio broadcasts where they tell the German people the truth about the war - the stuff that the censors won't allow. Then his brother returns from the front having lost an arm - he though is a loyal party member and despite the ties of fraternity when it comes to politics they are diametrically opposed. Enter the shared acquaintance of a woman who is also an underground member, and her influence will change things irrevocably.

We have the Nazi's torturing, being vile and all dressed in their Hugo Boss finery and they all have German sounding accents (most of the time). This is done in true Warner Bros. style with a brilliantly paced script, great use of lighting, perfect editing and a cast that could not put a foot wrong. Add to that the actual story and you have a nigh on brilliant piece of film making.

The actual quality of the print does leave a bit to be desired and this could do with a well earned makeover. Plus there are issues around some of the details and factual accuracy - but this was never meant to be a history lesson; it was a rallying call to stand up to fascists and as such should be applauded. It will still have you on the edge of your seat even to this day and that takes some doing. If you have missed this then do yourself a massive favour and get to see it.
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Format: DVD
Nazi soldier Jeffrey Lynn (Kurt) returns home on the night that his brother Philip Dorn (Eric) is due to make an illegal Resistance radio broadcast. The brothers are at odds in their beliefs but Lynn is unaware of how his brother feels and his role with the Resistance. One of Dorn’s allies is Kaaren Verne (Sylvia) who plays violin at a club. She becomes the focus of Lynn’s romantic interests but he remains unaware of her involvement in the Resistance. Will the Nazi brother suss out what is going on? And will he inform on his brother and the woman he loves to Gestapo chief Martin Kosleck (Heller)?

This film is better than expected and there are several tense scenes, eg, when Verne is sent to collect some radio equipment and must change her routine in the last seconds as Gestapo officers wait to arrest her. There is also a good scene between Gestapo secretary Mona Maris (Gessner) and Lynn as she points out a few home truths to him. I liked Philip Dorn and felt that it was his film and he should have been given the headline credit. He has a powerful scene when he goes to confront his Nazi brother about what course of action with regards the reporting of Verne that he will take. Dorn cannot afford the wrong decision to be taken and is prepared for what he may have to do. Another good scene involves Dorn and fellow Underground member Peter Whitney (Alex) as they confront Resistance traitor Wolfgang Zilzer (Hoffman).

The only poor acting comes from a couple of Resistance figures as they try to leave a club un-noticed. They stand out a mile in terms of suspicious behaviour. I’m afraid they get what they deserve for being so crap. Otherwise, the acting is very good all round.
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