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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Room for improvement
As a great fan of all things Hitleresque (his character fascinates me)I was expecting great things from this series. All in all I wasn't disappointed, although I was hoping for more insight into the psychological side of things. In my view, although enjoyable (with much footage seen before) it didn't delve into the workings of his brain as deeply as it should/could have.
Published 18 months ago by Rose Wood

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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing.
The comparison between "Dark Charisma" and "Warning from History" (both by Laurence Rees) is stark.

"Warning from History" had an excellent narrator (Samuel West), was packed with excellent research, and had first-hand interviews with people who lived through the Nazi regime.
"Dark Charisma" has Rees himself as the narrator (not his forte), is superficial...
Published 19 months ago by History Teacher


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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing., 16 Dec 2012
This review is from: The Dark Charisma of Adolf Hitler Leading Millions into the Abyss [DVD] (DVD)
The comparison between "Dark Charisma" and "Warning from History" (both by Laurence Rees) is stark.

"Warning from History" had an excellent narrator (Samuel West), was packed with excellent research, and had first-hand interviews with people who lived through the Nazi regime.
"Dark Charisma" has Rees himself as the narrator (not his forte), is superficial in terms of its research, and has no first-hand interviews with people (their testimony, often rehashed from "Warning" is simply read out by Rees). The cheesy animations (every other scene 'dissolves' into the next by means of an irritating 'fireball' effect) are particularly awful.

Laurence Rees presumably did this for the pay cheque. He's an outstanding historian and filmmaker but if you want to see him at his best avoid this completely and invest instead in "Warning from History" which remains one of the very best historical documentaries ever made.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing new, 27 Nov 2012
This review is from: The Dark Charisma of Adolf Hitler Leading Millions into the Abyss [DVD] (DVD)
I added this series to my basket in anticipation of adding something new to my collection. After watching the first two episodes, I was disappointed to say the least. This is lazy researching. It's just a rehash of what has gone before. It doesn't even go on to explain "The dark charisma of Hitler". There are a lot of questions unanswered - unfortunately, after two episodes, this series only answers what everyone already knows. We know he had a dislike for Jews and communist, We know he blamed them for the WW1 defeat. We know he was a despot. We know he did terrible things. There's too much space given to the actual war, and not enough time focusing on the man himself.

Unless I fell asleep at a critical point, let me know if you learnt anything new, or was amazed at an original piece of film.
They could have made: "The dark charisma of STALIN leading even more millions into the abyss" - especially as Russia has released new documents from their archives.

If you want to get a better understanding on this subject, better DVDs are available: A warning from history and A profile of Hitler spring to mind. Another series worth watching is: Hitler - The Rise of Evil (TV Mini-Series)
This series is another WW2 series, with no particular focus. The question I have to ask is: Why was this series made? If you have many DVDs on this subject, you will know what I mean.

The series itself is not bad. If you have no other DVDs on this subject you may well find it interesting. If, on the other hand, you are a WW2 fan, you will find it a bore.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre Rehash, 28 Nov 2012
This review is from: The Dark Charisma of Adolf Hitler Leading Millions into the Abyss [DVD] (DVD)
The series is basically an abridged version of 'Nazis A Warning From History' with nothing new to offer - and yes, I did make the effort to watch all three episodes. What we are told about Hitler (repeatedly) is that the German people liked him when they were winning, but when the war turned against Germany they stopped liking him as much. What insight!

This series would be okay for sombody with little or no knowledge of the period.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Trashy and wholly unnecessary retread of what went before, 29 Nov 2012
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This review is from: The Dark Charisma of Adolf Hitler Leading Millions into the Abyss [DVD] (DVD)
This simply isn't in the same league as 'Auschwitz' or 'The Nazis: A warning from history'. It feels like it belongs on a minor cable channel with its tacky on-screen graphics (endless explosions, rottweiler dogs, etc). Heavy handed visuals and a narrator who lacks the gravitas of Samuel West (used in the two aforementioned series) combine with overfamiliar material (many of the quotes are instantly recognisable as lifted from previous documentaries). Large chunks of the episodes aren't even addressing the premise of the series, that of Hitler's personality. The only plus is the colour archive footage.
I bought 'Auschwitz' and 'The Nazis: a warning' but I'll be giving this a wide berth.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Room for improvement, 23 Jan 2013
This review is from: The Dark Charisma of Adolf Hitler Leading Millions into the Abyss [DVD] (DVD)
As a great fan of all things Hitleresque (his character fascinates me)I was expecting great things from this series. All in all I wasn't disappointed, although I was hoping for more insight into the psychological side of things. In my view, although enjoyable (with much footage seen before) it didn't delve into the workings of his brain as deeply as it should/could have.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars mediocre, 21 Nov 2012
This review is from: The Dark Charisma of Adolf Hitler Leading Millions into the Abyss [DVD] (DVD)
I'm not too sure why Lawrence Rees has made this series. It includes no new ideas regarding Hitler's persona or leadership or any new historiography. I agree that it seems to be a rehash of 'Warning from History' - particularly the episode called Chaos and Consent in the first episode, which is all I have seen so far. That said it's ok. The narration lacks charisma and the special effects are a little tacky for me; however, I would show it to a GCSE or AS class. Maybe we have just come to expect more from Lawrence Rees, as this is just a modern version of similar programmes made over the past 30 years.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit gimmicky, not a patch on previous BBC series., 5 Dec 2012
This review is from: The Dark Charisma of Adolf Hitler Leading Millions into the Abyss [DVD] (DVD)
As a fan of the BBC's previous series 'The Nazis: A Warning from History' and 'Auschwitz: The Nazis and the Final Solution' I was looking forward to this, especially as it involved the excellent Laurence Rees. Whilst it wasn't so bad, I was disappointed because the previous standards were so high and this was just so History Channel. It seems to have been made for or by a new generation who want nothing too dry or lingering, instead we got a lacklustre script (which I'm sure wasn't the fault of Laurence Rees), gimmicky distractions, silly sound effects, overuse of 'evil' flame and lightening graphics and the bizarre appearance of words on the screen just spoken by the narrator. I think that if this had been spread over four episodes with a gripping story like narrative starting with Hitler's early years & without all the gimmicks then it would have been excellent.

Unlike the previous BBC series there were no eyewitness interviews even though the BBC archives must be stuffed full of them. I really missed these as they convey so much more than words read by a narrator, as happened a lot in this series. I particularly remember a powerful interview from 'The Nazis: A Warning from History' when a very proper looking older German lady was quizzed in German on a park bench about why she had sent letters to the Gestapo denouncing her neighbours. Her initial jocular & uncomfortable denial followed by her flippant dismissal were fascinating, especially when she had to excuse herself as it had conveniently just started to rain. Alas nothing like that in this series.

An annoyance for me was the severe overuse of 'The Pines of Rome' by the Italian composer Respighi - the same clarinet from `The Pines of the Appian Way' repeated ad nauseum; over and over and over again as if the production staff had decided it was going to be Hitler's leitmotif or something. It seemed to feature dozens of times in each episode. This is a favourite piece of music of mine which used to transport me to ancient Rome but I now associate with the Nazis and death! Previously the BBC used music sparingly and more appropriate to the subject matter, for instance in `A Warning from History' they used the sublime 'Ein Deutsches Requiem' by Brahms and Siegfried's Funeral March by Wagner. In `Auschwitz: The Nazis and the Final Solution' the Polish composer Gorecki's haunting Symphony No. 3 featured. Beautiful and intelligent selections. This music is this new series mostly irritated me.

So despite the flames shooting out at me from the screen and the fast pace this was not a programme that gripped me. It also sorely missed Samuel West's fantastic narration. I didn't hate it, but it seemed like it was done on the cheap and done tackily by a production team with little appreciation of the BBC's pedigree in this area & how these things should be done. Intelligent viewers with an interest in the subject don't need a gun-shot sound effect or lightning bolts zapping across the screen to reinforce that the narrator had just told us about some Nazi beastliness.

I guess documentaries first broadcast on BBC2 are now aimed at disinterested GCSE students who need these things to stop them looking out the classroom window. If the more upmarket BBC4 had the budget to produce these landmark series then there would still be hope, but I fear the days of documentaries like 'A Warning from History' and 'Auschwitz' are now gone. Thank goodness we can still watch the old series on DVD, they will stand the test of time.

One good thing seemed to be a lot of new archive material, especially in colour (not that B&W is a hindrance!) However, the colour still photographs and film they used were impressive, most of which I hadn't seen before.

I have generously given the series three stars, it doesn't deserve them but it doesn't really deserve two either.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, 30 Dec 2013
By 
Bryan Fewtrell (Eastham, Wirral United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Dark Charisma of Adolf Hitler Leading Millions into the Abyss [DVD] (DVD)
An interesting documentary but is missing something that other documentaries, based on books by Laurence Reese, has. A fabulous book with an ok TV documentary to match.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hitler, 27 Oct 2013
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This review is from: The Dark Charisma of Adolf Hitler Leading Millions into the Abyss [DVD] (DVD)
Bought as a gift for my partner after watching the series on tv, so he's really pleased with it. As I remember, quite an interesting series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Rare footage, 13 Feb 2013
By 
Mr. Gavin Boughton (Surrey) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Dark Charisma of Adolf Hitler Leading Millions into the Abyss [DVD] (DVD)
Behind the scenes documentary; I'm only starting to look at. I know already it is my kind of thing, though no doubt will be extremely harrowing - the camps, the horror, elderly abandoned at the side of the road has particularly stayed with me. Offers fresh insight into Hitler's meteoric rise to power from absolutely nowhere (right place/right time?). The terror, the evil packaged as the answer to all ills (and not so long ago) I just can't get my head around. I've had to skip the disk in places to condense info', but that is personal choice, no reflection on content overall. So far, I think a "12" is about right.
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