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27 user 17 critic

The Empty Mirror (1996)

PG-13 | | Drama, History, War | 29 January 1999 (USA)
Adolf Hitler faces himself and must come to terms with his infamous career in an imaginary post-war subterranean bunker where he reviews historical films, dictates his memoirs and ... See full summary »

Director:

Barry J. Hershey
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On Disc

at Amazon

7 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Norman Rodway ... Adolf Hitler
Camilla Søeberg ... Eva Braun
Peter Michael Goetz ... Sigmund Freud
Doug McKeon ... The Typist
Glenn Shadix ... Hermann Goering
Joel Grey ... Josef Goebbels
Hope Allen ... Woman in Black
Lorri Scott Lorri Scott ... Floating Female Spirit
Raul Kobrinsky Raul Kobrinsky ... Jailer
Randy Zielinski Randy Zielinski ... Hitler Youth
Shannon Yowell Shannon Yowell ... Hitler Youth
Courtney Dale ... Hitler Youth
Elizabeth Hershey Elizabeth Hershey ... Hitler Youth
Chris Levitus ... Hitler Youth (as Christopher Levitus)
Chip Marks Chip Marks ... Hitler Youth
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Storyline

Adolf Hitler faces himself and must come to terms with his infamous career in an imaginary post-war subterranean bunker where he reviews historical films, dictates his memoirs and encounters Eva Braun, Josef Goebbels, Hermann Göring and Sigmund Freud. Written by MG

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

If he looked in the mirror, what would he see?

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for disturbing war images and thematic material | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 January 1999 (USA) See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,688, 9 May 1999, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$10,750, 23 May 1999
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color
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Did You Know?

Goofs

In a scene when Hitler and Freud are talking, Hitler is wearing his gray army uniform with a swastika armband. The armband should not be there. An emblem of a eagle astride a swastika should be there. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Adolf Hitler: Before us lies Germany, within us marches Germany, and after us comes Germany!
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Connections

Edited into A. Hitler (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Devastating
9 August 2001 | by chiefwhitebroncoSee all my reviews

There are many ways to portray Hitler. One is to trivialize him by making him funny ("The Producers," "The Great Dictator"). Another is simply to pronounce him "evil, and that's all you need to know about him." Those who do the latter are doing a great disservice to themselves, because in order to prevent another Hitler, another Third Reich, we must allow ourselves to get inside the head of this megalomaniac who, along with killing 6 million Jews (well, 5.7 million according to the movie Hitler) and 5.5 million "people of Christian origin," turned the most civilized country in Europe into a nation of barbarism, then into a ruin.

"The Empty Mirror" parallels the Third Reich in that it shows Hitler, dictating his memoirs in Hell, gradually disintegrating both emotionally and physically as he confronts the enormity of his horrific actions.

Yes, this movie would be considered politically incorrect by some for not portraying Hitler as a two-dimensional monster, all fire and brimstone, but showing that he had actual human emotions, had fallen in love with a facade of his own (and Dr. Goebbels) creation, and learning that once the facade was demolished, what lived behind it was a puny, cowardly man.

Acting was terrific on all counts. Rodway, although physically far more imposing than the Fuhrer, did an excellent job as his character alternated between lucidity and madness. Joel Grey was a splendid Dr. Josef Goebbels, a sarcastic smart-ass who was perhaps the world's first spin doctor. The Eva Braun character was both sweet and pathetic as Hitler's airheaded mistress, then wife, who wanted nothing more than attention from him. But most frightening were the little blond Deutsche Kinder who were mesmerized by Onkel Adolf, in the same way that 70 million Germans were during the 12 years of the Thousand Year Reich.

In one of the more revealing moments of the film, Hitler belittles Stalin, saying the latter will be simply a blip on the radar screen of life (I'm paraphrasing). He, of course, was right. Stalin may have killed more, and the KGB certainly matched the Gestapo in cruelty, but Russia was and is a nation where human life is cheap. Germany was not and is not, except for those 12 years.

While this isn't easy viewing, and requires some knowledge of history, it should be required viewing in high school Modern European History courses, along with "Schindler's List" and "Judgment at Nuremberg." If we understand Hitler, and how he was able to mesmerize 70 million otherwise highly intelligent people, then history will be far less likely to repeat itself.


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