Valkyrie 2009

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(230) IMDb 7.1/10
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Based on actual events, a plot to assassinate Hitler is unfurled during the height of WWII.

Starring:
Eddie Izzard, Tom Wilkinson
Rental Formats:
DVD, Blu-ray

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_12_and_over
Runtime 2 hours 1 minute
Starring Eddie Izzard, Tom Wilkinson, Stephen Fry, Bill Nighy, Thomas Kretschmann, Tom Cruise, Terence Stamp, Kenneth Branagh, Carice van Houten
Director Bryan Singer
Genres Drama, Historical, Thriller
Studio 20TH CENTURY FOX HOME ENTERTAINMENT
Rental release 8 June 2009
Main languages English
Discs
  • Feature ages_12_and_over
Runtime 2 hours 1 minute
Starring Eddie Izzard, Tom Wilkinson, Stephen Fry, Bill Nighy, Thomas Kretschmann, Tom Cruise, Terence Stamp, Kenneth Branagh, Carice van Houten
Director Bryan Singer
Genres Drama, Historical, Thriller
Studio 20TH CENTURY FOX HOME ENTERTAINMENT
Rental release 8 June 2009
Main languages English

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Chris White on 9 July 2011
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
When it comes to Tom Cruise movies, there are normally two certainties. Namely: the poster art will consist solely of his face and no matter what the situation, his character will have availed himself of impeccable dental care.

Cruise may be nominally the star but to surround himself by such capable talent on both sides of the camera lifts Valkyrie above his average vehicle. It's directed by Bryan Singer, who reunites with his Usual Suspects collaborators Christopher McQuarrie (co-writer) and John Ottman (composer and editor). The ensemble includes Kenneth Branagh, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson and Terence Stamp.

The subject matter also represents a departure. The true-life story of an assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler means everyone knows up front that he won't be riding off into the sunset, having got the girl who 'completes' him. In fact, Cruise's physical resemblance to the person he portrays, Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, is uncanny.

Von Stauffenberg was an outspoken opponent of the Hitler regime and the prime mover behind a daring plan to eradicate the dictator from the scene once and for all. The fact that Der Führer didn't meet his end after walking into an elaborate mousetrap makes witnessing what might have been all the more fascinating. Indeed, the tension is ramped up throughout and despite their being on a hiding to nothing you find yourself rooting for the conspirators.

The one potential sticking point is the use of the actors' natural speaking voices instead of German accents. It's obvious that some of the cast would be better at them than others so this is neatly transitioned right at the beginning. You soon accept that it's a theatrical convention and doesn't detract from your enjoyment.
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42 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Dan the man on 15 July 2010
Format: DVD
Given that this was made and released as a mainstream film with a big Hollywood name (Cruise) in the leading role, I had wrongly assumed that this would turn out to be another glitzy mis-recreation of an important historical event. How wrong I was! I was very pleasantly surprised with the treatment of the subject matter which was both sensitive and accurate: a rarity indeed!
Whoever has adapted this important historical event into a screenplay has done a tremendous job creating characters who are believably human (complete with flaws) whilst remaining faithful to the events. The cast is an excellent line-up of some of the best serious actors currently treading the boards and I was pleasantly surprised at just how much British talent is showcased here. It is obvious that a great deal of homework has been done and this could serve as a great lesson to other film-makers that you do not have to distort, invent or change the facts of history to make it entertaining (NB: U571, Pearl Harbour, Inglorious Basterds!).
I would recommend this film to anyone who has even a passing interest in WW2 or even viewers who simply enjoy a good tale well told.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Maciej TOP 500 REVIEWER on 23 Dec. 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a brilliant, powerful and very realistic film describing the 20 July 1944 attempt to assassinate Hitler and overthrow the Nazi regime. Below, more of my impressions, with some limited SPOILERS.

The real story of anti-Nazi plot which ultimately led to 20 July crisis is quite well known, let's therefore just present here the main lines. It was already in 1938 that three high ranking officers of Wehrmacht, Field Marshal Erich von Witzlebben and generals Ludwig Beck and Hans Oster formed a conspiracy to overthrow Hitler. After the Kristallnacht in November 1938 revealed the true face of Nazi regime, they were joined by other people, including a prominent conservative monarchist politician Carl Goerdeler and also Helmuth Graf von Moltke, a simple lawyer but who by his familial background had vast connexions in German aristocracy and other elites.

All attempts to push Wehrmacht commanders to overthrow Hitler however failed and finally the plotters decided that it was necessary to kill Hitler first, before any coup attempt. With time, the group grew larger and more high ranking officers joined, including generals Carl-Heinrich von Stulpnagel, Henning von Tresckow and Friedrich Obricht. It was they who attempted to kill Hitler in March 1943, but the bomb placed in his plane failed to detonate. Unable to pierce Hitler's security for the second time, plotters tried to convince again some highest ranking military commanders of Wehrmacht to stage a coup - but without success. It is however revealing, that neither of those men (von Kluge, von Rundstedt, von Manstein and even Rommel!) reported the plotters to Gestapo.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By IP TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 19 Dec. 2014
Format: DVD
The perfect companion for all movie enthusiasts is THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker

Historical dramas usually have one thing going against them, history. How do you build a tension filled plot when everyone knows the outcome? That was Bryan Singer's biggest problem in the making of this brilliantly constructed thriller than focused on the unsuccessful attempt by a leading group of German officers to assassinate Adolf Hitler in the Summer of 1944. Bringing together an all star cast that would put most productions to shame, Singer made us invest our faith in these men who tried in vain to do the right thing.

Led by Tom Cruise as colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, a disillusioned officer who finally wakes up to the atrocities his country has committed under Hitler, he joins a secret committee with plans to replace The Fuhrer. This group of men harbor ambitions to seize control of the country and seek an alliance with the Western Allies in order to save Germany from the Russians. The plot is complex and full of hazards, but each conspirator holds his nerve as von Stauffenberg detonates a bomb inside Hitler's Wolf's Lair in Rastenburg. From then on in it's all or nothing as step by step their plans are set in motion.

With a cast that includes Cruise, alongside Brits Tom Wilkinson, Terrence Stamp, Kenneth Branagh, Bill Nighy, and Tom Hollander, as well as European class acts Thomas Kretschmann, Christian Berkel, and Carice van Houten, this film is a monumental achievement.

It looks glorious, frighteningly so.
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