„The National-Socialist spirit and ethos of the young Luftwaffe eagles of the sky!“
„Terrifically good with magical aerial photography! „– Joseph Goebbels
Director Karl Ritter was one of the most successful propaganda filmmakers of the Third Reich, and his Stukas premiered at the height of German victories in June, 1941. The film was a huge success, and the ‘Stuka Song’ sung by the young pilots at the end of the film became wildly popular across Germany in its own right. Stukas, combining actual war footage, special effects, and rousing music, portrays a squadron of young Luftwaffe pilots fighting the British and French on the western front in late 1940. Filmed during the Battle of France, Stukas’ many combat scenes include the British retreat at Dunkirk, alongside what Joseph Goebbels in his diaries called ‘magical aerial photography.’ Ritter, himself a Major in the Luftwaffe, produced in Stukas a film celebrating the love of battle, comradeship, a boisterous enthusiasm for flying, and the self–sacrifice which epitomized the stereotypical Nazi warrior. After the war, the Soviets demanded that Ritter be indicted for war crimes for having ‘systematically poisoned German youth’ through films such as this one. Stukas is a quintessential Ritter film: action–filled, episodic and fast–moving, with a first–class ensemble of German actors.
Produced and Directed by Karl Ritter, music by Herbert Windt, starring Carl Raddatz, O.E. Hasse, Hannes Stelzer and Albert Hehn.
Germany, 1941, B&W, 98 Minutes, German dialogue, English subtitles. Mastered in HD from an Original 35mm Nitrate Print and digitally restored for superb quality.
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