ConspiracyDirector: Frank Pierson
Frank Pierson's historical docudrama Conspiracy comes to DVD with a widescreen anamorphic transfer that preserves the original broadcast aspect ratio of 1.85:1. A closed-captioned English soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital Surround, while French and Spanish soundtracks have been recorded in Dolby Digital Stereo. Subtitles are accessible in all three of those languages. Supplemental materials include a commentary recorded by the director, biographies of the cast, and a pair of featurettes. This is a great release from HBO/Rysher.
- Release Date:
- Original Release:
- Hbo Home Video
- Region Code:
- [Wide Screen]
- [stereo, Dolby Surround]
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Cast & Crew
1. Prologue (Two Hours in Wannsee) [2:16]
2. Eichmann Prepares [1:22]
3. The Guest Arrivals [2:26]
4. General Heydrich [5:44]
5. The Matter at Hand [:50]
6. "This Meeting Is Not Taking Place." [3:26]
7. A Break in the Programme [1:55]
8. Moving Along: Jews, Defined [3:49]
9. Handling Special Exemptions [2:18]
10. "The Reality of the Jew..." [2:32]
11. Lunch. "We Will Accomplish This." [2:30]
12. 'The Method' Defined [:48]
13. A Bad Cigar [5:27]
14. A Triumphant German Vision [:37]
15. In Conclusion [6:09]
16. The Work Awaits [3:18]
17. A Fireside Story [2:49]
18. Epilogue & End Credits [:55]
Cast & Director Bios
English Dolby Surround
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This movie is a glimpse into how the Nazi's decided to deal with the "Jewish problem." It is very powerful and will leave you dazed.
'Conspiracy' is a brilliant reenactment of the fateful meeting that implemented the logistics of NAZI genocide. The film shows how easily an idea as horrific as one of mass murder can be politely discussed by a committee having a nice lunch on a quiet day. The peaceful surroundings of the villa where members of the NAZI apparatus met parallels the ease with which most of the individuals contemplate mass homicide. Most members seemed disturbed not at all with the concept, but simply the logistics of its implementation: firing squads vs. gas? If gas, what kind? Carbon monoxide or Xyclon-B? How large should the facilities be? How many undesirables can they 'evacuate' per day? How to dispose of the bodies? Should they be used for work? Kenneth Branagh plays SS Chief of Security Reinhard Heydrich convincingly; showing his cool resolve and functional outlook in carrying out the will of a madman. Colin Firth shows more the hippocricy of party members who esoterically intellectualized the advacement of racial hatred with moral gusto but soon found their morality at odds with the all too obvious political ramifications of what they preached. Stanley Tucci also renders an exquisite performance of Adolf Eichmann, Heydrich's devoted disciple and ultimate successor in implementing The Final Solution. The movie is as concise and to the point as Reinhard Heydrich's sinister oversight of the committee's progress. Staying on track and keeping the listner focused on the morbid task at hand, the audience is mesmerized by the bureaucratic dryness of the proceedings until its chilling end. There's obviously some poetic license as to the dialogue of the characters outside of the meeting minutes, but it's believable in every way. A great film that everyone must see so as to be warned about human nature. This film doesn't only show the horrors of NAZI Germany, it also shows how easily the human mind can rationalize and trivialize the large scale implementation of amoral if not criminal policies when its done in an institutional setting.
This HBO made-for-cable Feature Film is well worth your time and effort to make sense of the major players in Hitler's Final Solution. I was already aware of Eichmann and Heydrich as Hitler's point men towards the "Jewish Question" and overwhelmers of the inherent hesitance of social self-destruction. Playing those major Nazi leaders were Kenneth Branagh and Stanley Tucci -- Eichmann (Tucci) is later apprehended as late as 1961 to stand trial in Israel and his testimony showed the world what Evil and the systematization of Mass Murder would take out of people's souls. In the second featurette, Branagh explained how his own character Reinhard Heydrich was a quite vicious and force of the destructive forces of evil that can overwhelm and countermand any opposition or slowing. This film is a kind of historical re-enactment of a Conference/Lunch planning meeting at the Wannsee (resort near Berlin, Germany) Estate-Center meeting hall during Jan. 20, 1942. Elite SS and Nazi Bureaucrats of various levels and sophistication are in a kind of meeting called to remove any hesitation or slow-downs in the gassing and killing of the remaining Jews of Europe under the Nazi domination. It is well-produced and the director never lets the movie flag in its moderate length -- the ending credit sequence does tell what happened next and what was the punishments doled out to these Executives / Commanders / Government Officials following the Nazi defeat in Spring 1945. Hitler's 1,000 year planned Reich obviously was the kind of scenario that brought out the worst in the worst -- as far as such a use of lies and deception by war planners who overstepped any sort of consideration of ethics, morals, and human decency. It does in certain ways require some World War II background as well as sense of how educated and disciplined Military officers/executives would view anyone impinging on their turf or expected area of command. Still I rate it a five star out of five Cinema product with great but quite abridged Featurettes.
To actually see the casual attitude the original conspirators had toward the elimination of an entire people based solely on their religion is astounding. This was apparently shot in real time, from history the actual meeting only took 90 minutes, and as for this movie it is an awesome 90 minutes, a peek behind the curtain to one of the most horrific crimes in history.
This movie is incredible! Every actor is superb. The greatest crime against humanity (i.e. The ''Final Solution'' of the Jewish Question) was settled in such a chillingly business-like and efficient manner. A must-see lest we forget the lessons from WWII. This film is also noticable in that this is the first film since ''A Month in the Country'' (1985) that Kenneth Branagh and Colin Firth appeared together. These two incredible actors (both the same age) must be the BEST actors of this generation. Most so-called ''stars'' should take acting lessons from Mr. Branagh and Mr. Firth.
Kenneth Branagh has to be the best thing to come out of the UK since Shakspeare himself. Colin Firth is also excellent, as is Stanley Tucci. A must see film