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I really liked the book this film was based on. It offered an interesting thriller set in a world where the Nazis won the war. The film reproduces that intrigue and mystery as the protagonists discover the horrifying truth of the Holocaust. That said, it's never really as engaging as the book was. Where does the film go wrong? In focusing on the thriller elements they downplay a lot of the worldbuilding present in the book. This is of course the main reason why people see a film like this: they wonder what the world would have been like run by Nazis. And obviously we get a little of it, but really with the exception of the hidden Holocaust (which of course we already know about) there's nothing here that couldn't be kept if the film was set in a generic eastern European nation instead, or even in Germany before the war. So we see none of the cultural shifts; the increasingly technocratic and arrogant young post-war SS officers, the difficulties of a fascist state with no obvious internal enemies to blame, the new peace-loving propaganda while the war in Russia rages on, etc. All gone. Which is a real shame because Rutger Hauer and Miranda Richardson are great in the lead roles. If only they hadn't chickened out on embracing the weirdness of the setting they could have had a real hit. As it is it's merely a mildly diverting thriller. Harmless, but not particularly exciting.
In and of itself, this is your standard crime drama plot, not unlike what you'd expect to see on any TV crime show...Kojak and Hawaii Five-O come to mind. The twist here is the where and when, Nazi Germania circa 1964...with the Gestapo as the "Good Guys" police force. I have always enjoyed films featuring Rutger Hauer, and the performances are generally good. Little details such as a Beatles poster might catch the viewer by surprise. Hard the believe it's been 20 years since this movie came out on HBO. I do own this on VHS tape, but wish it would be released on DVD since my VCR quit working a few years ago.
This scenario made for an interesting watch. Good pace to the movie and well directed and edited.
Well acted, but a disappointing adaptation overall. Stays pretty true to the book until the final third, then very pointedly reminds you that this is a fairly low budget tv film. Would love somebody to get hold of this novel and make a high-quality miniseries of it, brilliant story.
Good idea for a movie - poorly executed.
Subtitles in Spanish, German, and French have been added to Fatherland see http://raremovies.biz/inc/sdetail/19890/20925
Twisted story of coverup, a must see!
What if the Nazis won the war? Director Christopher Menaul answers that question with his made for TV movie Fatherland. The plot is terrific and it is well layered and keeps you interested due to the idea of its plot. The acting is great and it is a well crafted film that looks good for a TV movie. There are a few flaws here, and at times, the script does reveal its limitations, however there's plenty to enjoy due in part to its entertaining story, which rises above its flaws. The strength of a post war victorious Third Reich is really what makes up the film's flaws and the cast do a fine job with the material at hand. This film may be hard to take due to the fact that it presents the idea of victorious Nazis, but that's what makes it interesting. Enjoyable thriller that you watch if you can take into account that is purely a work of fiction. The film has a well paced story, good acting and enough thrills and drama to make this one worth seeing. Rutger Hauer is what keeps you involved and he gives a strong performance. However the low-budget does show a bit and by today's standards, it looks fairly Dated. Those are really my two complaints as well as the fact that some aspects could have been done better. Christopher Menaul delivers a very good film that relies on a great idea, and it works well enough to be an entertaining two hours of mindless entertainment. Fatherland is a well made, but dated TV movie; however that shouldn't negate your choice in seeing this.
life is interesting to see the truth of matters, we fear to look at.
I don't believe that there was ever a chance that Hiter and his dream of 'Germania' would become reality. I honestly believe that even if the world had stayed at bay and never learned of the atrocities of WWII that ultimately his ego and madness would have got the best of him, eventually. Although the premise was interesting the movie was poorly made and, sadly, acted.