The Hindenburg - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Hindenburg Reviews

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May 26, 2017
One of the weaker disaster flicks of the time period. Moves at a snails pace, where you'd think they'd be building tension, instead we just get a bunch of needless chit chat. Still, great cast, and impressive finale.
July 8, 2016
Up there with The Poseidon Adventure for the best disaster movie ever made.
½ August 15, 2015
Somewhat boring thriller with a good cast but no real tension. After all, the only fact most people know is the outcome, and they can only string along the question of how for so long. Also a bit tasteless to take advantage of a real disaster for phony melodrama. It'd be a bit like having a plot about something normal only to tie it in to 9/11 to add some pathos. Oh wait, they did that too. Dammit Hollywood!
July 10, 2014
wow ummm just seen this movie 4 the 1st time n think that this is a good movie 2 watch......its got a good cast of actors/actressess throughout this movie.......i think that george c. scott (.R.I.P.), anne bancroft (.R.I.P.), william atherton, roy thinnes, gig young (.R.I.P.), play good roles/parts throughout this movie.....i think that the director of this drama/action/adventure/mystery movie had done a good job of directing this movie because you never know what 2 expect throughout this movie.....i think that this is such a thrilling movie 2 watch.......

The story ends with a tribute to Herbert Morrison's radio commentary, with the memorable quotation, "Oh, the humanity!" as the Hindenburg flies once again, only to disappear again in the clouds

Many of the fictional characters are based on actual people. For example: Franz Ritter is based on Fritz Erdmann, Karl Boerth is based on Eric Spehl, as well as a few others..

its got a good soundtrack throguhout this movie.......i think that this is a really underrated movie 2 watch but i think that this is such a classics movie 2 watch

Two dramatic escapes depicted were based on fact, slightly altered for dramatic purposes.
Werner Franz, a 14-year-old cabin boy, escaped the flames after a water ballast tank overhead burst open and soaked him with water. He then made his way to the hatch and turned around and ran the other way, because the flames were being pushed by the wind towards the starboard side. In the movie however, he is depicted being doused by the water after he jumped out. He is one of two remaining survivors of the crash as of May 2012. The other being Werner Doehner, who was 8 at the time of the disaster.

Passenger Joseph Späh, a circus performer, escaped by smashing a window with his home movie camera (the film survived the disaster), and held on to the side of the window, jumping to the ground when the ship was low enough, surviving with only a broken ankle. In the film he is depicted grabbing a landing rope, but in reality there was no landing rope.

i think that this is such a classics movie 2 watch its got a good cast throughout this movie i think that this is a really underrated movie 2 watch but its such an enjoyable movie 2 watch with a good cast throughout this movie......
February 8, 2014
Watching for the first time and I studied about it for school
A true disaster movie, with a believable cast and great story now this movie was made in 1975 is pretty good for that time but today standards most people would be bored as its very slow but as a Film buff I loved it
½ January 28, 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.

½ October 25, 2013
Are you kidding me? I don't expect too much from a disaster movie, I just want a bunch of glorious effects during the finale. Doesn't matter how boring the script is or how flat characters are, I can suffer through it. But how does it end? Newsreel footage. I feel cheated.
March 27, 2013
A fascinating historical drama that deserves to be seriously re-evaluated from one of the last gr8 studio directors robert wise
November 17, 2012
Quite a good movie which tries to unravel what actually happened. No one knows . An ok watch overall with some real footage and radio recordings at the end.
Super Reviewer
November 9, 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.
½ September 7, 2012
Sadly, this film was such a disappointment, from the screenplay to the actual acting. The only saving grace was the cast.
July 4, 2012
A great film until the very end, when it crashed and burned... literally!
June 24, 2012
Not bad for 1970's melodrama..wouldn't mind seeing an updated verstion of the disaster
½ June 18, 2012
After Star! (1968) was a massive financial flop, Robert Wise's career was in the toilet, but he was able to get a deal at Universal Pictures in the 1970's. After getting by on smaller films that made money like The Andromeda Strain (1971) and Two People (1973), Universal offered him this big-budget disaster film, all the rage then, as well as a touch of conspiracy theory as to what really happened with this massive air disaster. In 1937, Luftwaffe Colonel Franz Ritter (George C. Scott) is assigned to protect the Hindenburg zeppelin, which is set to fly from Frankfurt to Lakehurst Air Station in New Jersey. There have been threats to sabotage the Hindenberg on it's maiden voyage by anti-Nazi forces. Ritter trusts no-one, even suspecting his old friend Countess Ursula von Reugen (Anne Bancroft), and the other passengers including Emilio Pajetta (Burgess Meredith) and Major Napier (Rene Auberjonois), Edward Douglas (Gig Young) and even the ship's captains Pruss (Charles Durning) and Lehmann (Richard A. Dysart), but the main suspect is Karl Boerth (William Atherton), a former Hitler Youth gone rouge. Apart from a ripped wing, the flight seems to be going well... The special effects for their day are brilliant, but it does feel like a lot of the other big disaster films of their day, it's no Poseidon Adventure or Towering Inferno, but it's well made, and Wise get the best out of his cast. Everyone knows what happened, but it does add a good theory as to the cause of how it might have happened, true or not.
½ April 13, 2012
If you were hoping for a solid docu-drama on the Hindenburg disaster, think again. Much of this movie is pure fiction, or at least fanciful speculation. All the central plot does is reduce the disaster to the background for some soap-opera-like sub-plots. (James Cameron must have been taking notes - Titanic is even worse in this respect).

There are some redeeming qualities though. The special effects are amazing for 1975, and would still be great by today's standards. Cinematography is great. In addition, the final scenes are quite moving.

Performances are pretty flat. Not sure why George C Scott agreed to appear in this - he could easily have done better (only four years' previously he had won the Best Actor Oscar for Patton).
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 March 10, 2012
the best part is the actual footage of the disaster poorly edited into the film.
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."
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.
June 13, 2011
While the movie moved slowly at times, there was enough historical accuraccy and footage to make the movie worthwhile for a history buff. The Hindenburg was supposed to be a symbol of the rebirth of German business, in actuality it was a symbol of the country's focus on military spending. At the end of the movie, they play a cut of Herbert Morrissey's famous account of the disaster.
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