The Hindenburg Reviews

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TheDudeLebowski65
Super Reviewer
October 24, 2012
Underrated disaster film based on the real life 1937 disaster of the Hindenburg is very good entertainment for what it is. The film is far from perfect, but is much better than most disaster films of the era. Entertaining for what it is, the film relies on the sabotage conspiracy aspect of the disaster, suggesting that the airship was sabotaged. This plays out more like a popcorn disaster flick that ignores the facts, and that's the film's biggest weakness. I liked the film for what it was, but there were things that I didn't enjoy, such as the Gestapo trying to be the heroes and save the Hindenburg was out of place. I think it's sickening that they tried to make them the heroes of the film, and considering that Gestapo were a symbol of Nazi Oppression, they should never have put that in the film, and stuck to the facts. Facts are what make true disasters interesting to retell and captivate an audience, and I think they could have reworked some aspects of the film slightly to make it much more entertaining. Enjoyable, and flawed, The Hindenburg nonetheless is a good film and manages to overcome its flaws by culminating with a good climax. This film is very different than other films that appeared during this time because it was based on true events, and despite the fact that the film's plot was altered to try to give it more drama, this is a good film that should appeal to disaster film fans who are want something that really happened. The acting is pretty good for what it is, and there's enough to like here to make The Hidenburg a fun little flick to enjoy, a much underrated film that doesn't deserve all the flack it has received.
March 27, 2013
A fascinating historical drama that deserves to be seriously re-evaluated from one of the last gr8 studio directors robert wise
February 1, 2012
Interesting concept, poor execution. I watched "The Hindenburg" for one reason - I wanted to see the blimp burn. After sitting through a fairly interesting story that wasn't told very well (in spite of its big names), I realized that I could have just youtubed the actual footage and saved myself two hours. The idea of anti-Nazi forces sabotaging this Zeppelin was one that I had never heard but managed to pique my interest. The mystery of which passenger was the saboteur should have been thrilling; unfortunately, the combination of underdevolped static characters and a plot that moves slower than the blimp led me to focus my attention on anything but the film. Most of the production staff should have been FIRED (Get it? The blimp burst into flames...) or they should've just gone for a rewrite. The only redeeming feature were the vivid shots that brought this blimp to life (from a scale model that is now in the Smithsonian) and the scene where the singer (played by Roy Thinnes) mocked the Nazis. Outside of that... the rest was rather deflating. Names like Anne Bancroft, Burgess Meredith, and George C. Scott should be an indication of a well-acted film but the poorly written characters hindered their ability to entertain. Even the disaster sequence, which was really good at first, managed to disappoint me as it constantly paused on half-way zoomed images for no apparent reason. In the end, we were just left with a story full of hot air (or... hydrogen). I hope that you enjoyed all of these blimp jokes because they surely provided more entertainment than this film can. And if you didn't enjoy them, think of how much you would despise "The Hindenburg."
August 28, 2009
Very few liberties were taken with the re-telling barring a bold decision in saying that the disaster was sabotage by a German Resistance group (actually a favored theory along with simple malfunction/accident). The problem with this movie is that everything up to the ship blowing up is obscenely boring. A great cast utterly wasted as well as some beautiful matte paintings, models and special effects of the Hindenburg.

Now, the good part- that ship done blow up real good. Robert Wise (whom normally was a great musical director) really expertly and neatly mixed special effects shots with real newsreel footage and the infamous radio broadcast ("Oh the humanity!) with all the real life stories (such as the circus performer who used his aerobatic skills to shimmy and jump from the burning ship)... but that's kind of it. The interpersonal stories before hand are pretty glossed over and broadly told and you care about few people on board. There's a random- but fun- anti Nazi song performed on board by the composer and circus performer and a neat sequence where we see St. Elmo's Fire.

But there's no plot- even the conspiracy aboard is not really a plot even though you REALLY want to know more about the dude planting the bomb and his girlfriend back home who got arrested by the SS it's so glossed over you are saddened it's even there in the first place.
½ November 2, 2007
The Hindenburg was a weird movie about a disaster that truly should not have happened, but in all honesty did put a drastic end to Airship travel, It will never be known if it was Sabatoge, conspiracy or a malfunction we will never truly know.
½ June 1, 2007
I nice retelling of the Hindenburg fire and crashing back in May of 1937. George C Scott and Anne Bancroft are the leading actors in this film. I'd love to see it re-maded!. . . "hint-hint!"
½ January 27, 2014
Allow me to begin with a thought, and an important thought at that. A disaster film about a disaster such as the destruction as The Hindenburg airship would not be an easy task to construct. Not because of the depiction of the disaster itself, which would undoubtedly take an unforeseeable amount of time, patience, skill, creativity, and intelligence to develop, but because this disaster occurred over the course of a few minutes. That's it. This disaster isn't like the Titanic, which took hours to sink. The cinematic depiction of the disaster is only going to take up a tiny fraction of the runtime. This means that in order for a film like this work, the drama has to be palpable and must stand on its own two feet because that's what's going to be taking up a majority of the picture. This doesn't happen with this 1975 disaster flick.

The Hindenburg stars the esteemed talents of George C. Scott, Anne Bancroft, and even Burgess Meredith. One can always trust stars like these to give smart and well-crafted performances. Unfortunately, the script doesn't really give them much to work with. As a result, they spend most of the film trying to convince the audience and themselves that they care about a story that they very obviously do not care about. Even George C. Scott, one of the most respected an diligent actors in the history of film, seems unsure of how he's suppose to feel about most of what's happening around him and how much he's suppose to care. As a result, the audience isn't sure how much to care.

The first thing a person going in to see this film is going to need to know is that this film is based on a book that deals with the theory that the Hindenburg was destroyed as a case of sabotage. Some people are going to be turned away immediately since there has never been any historical evidence of actual sabotage in regards to the Hindenburg disaster. Others will simply shrug and say "Oh, well. Let's see what they got." The latter category of people will probably be disappointed.

I will say this for the film, however; in spite of all its faults (and there are plenty of them), it handles the destruction of the Hindenburg surprisingly well. The scene is nicely edited, the sound-work is in good form, and they director and crew do a fair job of mixing in their footage of the film with the actual footage from the 1937 newsreel. This is not an easy task for a film made in the 1970s. If only the rest of the film had been handled with such a delicate dedication to the craft.

In short, The Hindenburg is, primarily, a disappointment. The film simply lacks the dramatic punch it needed in order to sell itself as a film. As a result, the audience cares neither about the characters or the plot itself and are left merely counting down the minutes to the airship's fiery demise.

3/10
April 13, 2012
All in all not the worst disaster picture i've ever seen. The final destruction scene waqs deliberately shot in B & W in order to intersperse the famous actual newsreel footage no doubt. As for the cast, Once again Patton (tries) to save the day.
½ February 1, 2012
the best part is the actual footage of the disaster poorly edited into the film.
½ February 1, 2012
"We're all gonna die! Where's the bomb!"

Synopsis: This thriller fictionalizes the events leading up to the fiery 1937 zeppelin crash. When German intelligence officer Col. Franz Ritter boards the doomed blimp to foil a conspiracy to blow it up, he has a long list of suspects, including an entrepreneur, a singer, a countess and a host of other shady characters.

It's an impressive production visually. The special effects are as subtle as one would need and are no holds barred gorgeous, especially aerial shots of the giant balloon cutting through the pink and white clouds of a bright blue-skyed day. The sets hold up just as well, and provide it's audience with at least a sense of escapism within the context of dinner.

But not much is anywhere near as interesting as it's visual elements, the film is simply a bore. The acting is wooden and Ursula von Reugen's performance is incredibly archetypal. The script often resorts to referencing other (more accepted) proposed causes of the real disaster, since it doesn't really have anything else to say.

Though definitely watchable, The Hindenburg's best parts are the disaster footage poorly edited into the picture itself.
½ March 25, 2006
THE HINDENBURG (1975)
May 9, 2011
next up in Disaster movie nite......should be better than the previous 2 movies I saw...
February 16, 2011
This movie frightened me as a child, but as an adult I see it as a farce that should never have been made. It is historically inaccurate and even libelous.
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