Hitler and Film


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The Führer's Hidden Passion

Bill Niven

View Inside Format: Hardcover
Price: $30.00
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An exposé of Hitler’s relationship with film and his influence on the film industry

A presence in Third Reich cinema, Adolf Hitler also personally financed, ordered, and censored films and newsreels and engaged in complex relationships with their stars and directors. Here, Bill Niven offers a powerful argument for reconsidering Hitler’s fascination with film as a means to further the Nazi agenda.
In this first English-language work to fully explore Hitler’s influence on and relationship with film in Nazi Germany, the author calls on a broad array of archival sources. Arguing that Hitler was as central to the Nazi film industry as Goebbels, Niven also explores Hitler’s representation in Third Reich cinema, personally and through films focusing on historical figures with whom he was associated, and how Hitler’s vision for the medium went far beyond “straight propaganda.” He aimed to raise documentary film to a powerful art form rivaling architecture in its ability to reach the masses.

Bill Niven is professor of contemporary German history at Nottingham Trent University and the author of many works on twentieth-century German history, including Facing the Nazi Past and The Buchenwald Child. He lives in Edwalton, UK.

“Bill Niven’s book is important for social and cultural historians as well as biographers of Hitler.  It expertly shows how an authoritarian ruler can influence an entire people through carefully administered doses of select propaganda.  In the Third Reich, apart from having to please Hitler personally, films were made to serve exactly that purpose.”—Michael H. Kater, author of The Twisted Muse: Musicians and Their Music in the Third Reich

“Ground-breaking. Niven offers fascinating new insights into Hitler's obsessive and surprising viewing habits and how he exploited the arts of cinema and documentary to pursue his destructive political ambitions.”—Christopher Hale, author of Hitler's Foreign Executioners: Europe's Dirty Secret

Hitler and Film carves out new territory in a densely populated field. Written with a precision and clarity that is the hallmark of Niven’s work, the book sheds significant new light both on Hitler as Nazi ideologue, on the one hand, and film fan on the other. Extraordinary.”—Paul Cooke, author of Contemporary German Cinema

"A fascinating exploration of Hitler the consumer, aficionado, collector, censor, exhibitor, performer, and manipulator of film. Niven offers an eminently readable and meticulously researched history that leaves no doubt about Hitler’s voracious appetite for the movies, and his understanding of the film medium.”—Frances Guerin, author of Through Amateur Eyes: Film and Photography in Nazi Germany

“Niven expertly pieces together Hitler’s complex, multi-faceted relationship to cinema, showing how Hitler – who had a genuine passion for the medium, as well as an acute awareness of its propaganda potential – stood at the very heart of the German film industry.”—Roger Moorhouse, author of The Devils' Alliance: Hitler's Pact with Stalin, 1939-1941

“An excellent account of the verifiable historical facts to this point, with some new insights” —Peter Goldsworthy, Australian Book Review

“A tightly focused and illuminating monograph. . . . Niven’s study is packed with expert opinion and fascinating tidbits.”—Thomas Doherty, Film Quarterly
ISBN: 9780300200362
Publication Date: April 24, 2018
312 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
17 b/w illus.