Fun with the Fuhrer

Cinema's villain for all seasons

Published: Apr 20 2014, 01:01:am

Sunday, April 20, 1980


THEY SAY THAT HE is alive and well and living in Argentina.
    They're probably wrong.
    If they're right, and Adolf Hitler is out there somewhere, then polite congratulations are in order. Today [April 20, 1980] is the old monster's 91st birthday.
    If they're right, he'll probably spend the day dreaming about the good old days. If he's still a movie fan, he might be looking at a pirated print of some favourite film.
    [He would enjoy an even greater selection in 2014, including the 2003 made-for-TV movie Hitler: The Rise of Evil. Its star, Robert Carlyle, pictured above, has since made the role of fairy-tale villain Rumplestiltskin his own in the made-in-Vancouver fantasy series Once Upon A Time.]
    Perhaps Hitler takes comfort in the fact that, since his passing from the world scene, a lot of big name stars have played Nazis or Nazi supporters.
    If you're out there, Adolf, see if you can name the movie in which:

1. Laurence Olivier plays Christian Szell, a former dentist and Nazi-in-hiding, with assets in a New York bank.

2. Burt Lancaster plays Ernst Janning, a German jurist on trial for war crimes.

3. Hardy Kruger plays Lt. Fritz von Werra, the only German prisoner of war to make good an escape.

4. Michael Caine plays Lt.-Col. Kurt Steiner, a paratroop officer ordered to kidnap British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

5. Peter O'Toole plays Gen. Tanz, a suspect in the murder of a prostitute who worked as a Gestapo informer.

6.  James Mason plays Gen. Erwin Rommel, legendary commander of Germany's formidable Afrika Corps.

7. Robert Shaw plays Col. Hessler, in charge of a plan to halt the Allied advance in Europe by using English-speaking infiltrators.

8. Maximillian Schell plays Edward Roschmann, a Nazi-in-hiding plotting to sell arms to Israel's enemies.

9. Paul Scofield plays Col. Von Waldheim, in charge of transporting stolen French art treasures to Germany via rail.

10. James Coburn plays Sgt. Steiner, a tough non-com facing class discrimination on the Russian front.

11. Gregory Peck plays Dr. Josef Mengele, a Nazi-in-hiding involved in advanced genetic research.

12. Marlon Brando plays Lt. Christian Diestl, a soulful patriot troubled by pangs of conscience.

THE FOLLOWING QUIZ IS for experts only. Only the most dedicated fans of the Fuhrer's filmic career can name the actor who played Hitler in the following films:

1. The Great Dictator (1940).
2. The Strange Death of Adolf Hitler (1943).
3. The Hitler Gang (1944).
4. The Magic Face (1951).
5. The Two-Headed Spy (1958).
6. Hitler (1961).
7. Is Paris Burning? (1966).
8. The "Springtime for Hitler" play-within-the-film in The Producers 
9. Hitler: The Last Ten Days (1973).

10. Undercovers Hero (British title: Soft Beds, Hard Battles; 1973).

 ANSWERS (Easy Quiz)

I. Marathon Man (1976).
2. Judgment at Nuremberg (1961).
3. The One That Got Away (1957).
4. The Eagle Has Landed (1977).
5. The Night of the Generals (1967).
6. Both The Desert Fox (1951), and its sequel The Desert Rats (1953).
7. Battle of the Bulge (1965).
8. The Odessa File (1974).
9. The Train (1965).
10. Cross of Iron (1977).
11. The Boys From Brazil (1978). 

12. The Young Lions (1958).

ANSWERS (Expert Quiz)

1. Charlie Chaplin.
2. Ludwig Donath.
3. Robert Watson.
4. Luther Adler.
5. Kenneth Griffith.
6. Richard Basehart.
7. Billy Frick.
8. Dick Shawn plays Lorenzo St. Du Bois ("LSD"), who "plays" Hitler.

9. Alec Guinness.
10. Peter Sellers, in one of those British comedies so short on budget that its star had to play at least six different roles.

The above is a restored version of a Province quiz feature by Michael Walsh originally published in 1980. For additional information on this archived material, please visit my FAQ.