Triumph of the Will Triumph des Willens (1935)
It’s not really a spy movie but it’s content is the subject of numerous spy movies. It’s sort of propaganda and sort of documentary and sort of boring at times. The people who usually love it are film critics who are duly impressed with Leni Riefenstahl’s technical prowess and visionary film-making 78 years ago. I can’t really say whether I would be more embarrassed to be caught watching this or Double Agent 73.
I was originally going to do a scene by scene commentary but can abbreviate that to “parades and speeches”.
The temporal relationship of this movie and the Night of the Long Knives made it particularly interesting and while I slept through some of the weirdness, I woke up a bit at the point when Hitler basically alludes to the audience of SA and SS men that if he’s willing to shoot one of his earliest and most important supporters, their boss Ernst Röhm, then what the fuck do they think he’d be willing to do to them?
At points I wondered what Wan Shi Tong would have to say about war propaganda movies…
The Nazis sucked and a lot of their evil is edited out of this movie but it’s educational to see what the Fuhrer and his inner circle looked and talked like. At points there’s some weird foreshadowing of their impending doom 10 years later. And I also think anyone would find it weird to see Hitler talking about peace.
So go watch it, it’s famous.
WWII was a big freaking deal in the history of espionage so this one could be considered educational not only for the spy genre but also for its downstream effects on the movie industry.
And if you watch it for nothing else, turn it on in order to catch a glimpse of the rare the Nazi Cat (6:55-6:57).