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Conspiracy (Widescreen)

Kenneth Branagh , Clare Bullus , Frank Pierson    R (Restricted)   DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 9.95 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Product Description


On January 20, 1942, with the tide of war turning in favor of the Allies, a small group of SS officers, government ministers, and Nazi officials met near Berlin to decide the fate of Europe's Jews. Based on the only surviving record of that meeting, Conspiracy is a powerful combination of historical reconstruction and speculation that attempts to offer new insights into a pivotal moment in history.

The cast does a marvelous job of fleshing out the documentary evidence to create convincing characters. Kenneth Branagh is especially chilling as SS Chief of Security Reinhard Heydrich, who uses a combination of charm and ruthless power-mongering to gain support for his plans. Colin Firth is fascinating as Wilhelm Stuckart, a lawyer who sees the brutal tactics of the SS as a threat to his own intellectualized anti-Semitism, and Stanley Tucci gives a wonderfully understated performance as Adolf Eichmann.

Conspiracy is a carefully crafted, completely unsensational film that offers ample proof of the banality of evil. There are no histrionics and no comic-book Nazi villains, just a small group of politicians and war-weary soldiers arguing about the meaning of words and the logistics of extermination, calmly preparing to unleash an unimaginable horror on the world. --Simon Leake

Product Description

Tucci/Branagh/Firth/Kay/Daniels/Threlfall/Coy ~ Conspiracy

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my top 10 movies April 8 2009
Just goes to show that you don't need special effects or big plot to make a great film. Brilliant acting with a carefully-crafted script can take a movie where nothing really happens in a film that is more exciting and stunning than any action flick. Every time I watch it, which is often, I learn something new, particularly about the inter-relationships between and among the different Nazi factions. I have recommended this movie to many people, and most agree it's one of the best movies they've ever seen. You won't regret watching this one. Perfect gift for history buffs who thought they knew everything about WWII.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars chilling and engaging March 12 2004
It is certainly true that this is not the most accurate of historical documents, but then any historian would tell you that all history is in the interpretation and so the movie is as useful as your interpretation. The performances are excellent, Branagh, in particular, is outstanding, he is every bit the portrayal of the chillingly pleasant monster. The message is powerful, the acting and direction cold, calm and calculated - within 1 hour the holocaust was decided upon; the moment where the topic of discussion is how many and how fast can they be culled? is particularly sickening.
From an historical perspective i found the following very interesting: Hitler based his party structure on a chaos theory in that he had simple overlapping functions, so that his subordinates would always be engaged in in-fighting, instead of challenging him. It worked remarkably well. Here, in motion, the director shows the in-fighting, but on this part of domestic policy (internal to the Reich, at any rate) the decision was swift and unanimous, Heydrich alone held the power. Utterly intriguing.
What may make this more interesting for anyone, might be to read Hannah Arendt's account of Eichmann's trial in Jerusalem, which is published by Penguin.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting Feb. 27 2004
Format:VHS Tape
The Holocaust is one of humanity's greatest tragedies, and its mention brings up images of swastikas, death camps, mass graves, and gas ovens. It's some thing you can't talk about easily, and can barely joke about unless you have no heart. This film is about the Holocaust, and while you may see a swastika arm-band and hear a few Heil Hitlers, you won't find any violence or harrowing images; this film is only rated R due to the use of the f bomb a few times. However, this film can be just as gut wrenching as any Holocaust movie you've seen, because it's all about the people who planned it...and the fact they were just as human as you and me.
The fate of eleven million European Jews was decided over a meal by several higher ups in the German government (although not Hitler). Led by Reinhard Heydrich (played brilliantly, as usual, by Kenneth Branagh) and his aide (play brilliantly, also as usual, by Stanley Tucci) as they explain the plan. They explain it so simply, as if they're building a house, and in a very intellegent manner. In fact, it has to be explained at some point in the conversation that "deportation" is just a fancy word for murder.
Many of those present do not agree with the methods, but not because they have sympathy for the Jews. One somber delegate thinks the Jews should be removed from common society, but that murder is too extreme. Another delegate objects to the plan...but only because he feels the procedures Heydrich draws up will contradict his already enforced anti-semite laws. In the end, it is revealed how it will be accomplished: by none other than the gas chambers of the concentration camps.
Like movies such as "My Dinner With Andre" or "12 Angry Men" this movie takes a storyline built entirely on dialogue and proves it can be fascinating.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth Watching March 17 2004
I had the opportunity of viewing Conspiracy during a Holocaust Education workshop for teachers. It is very accurate (from what I have read) and does show the inner-works of the Wansee Conference.
I believe that the film was either filmed on location or at a place that was very much similar to the Wannsee House. I had the opportunity to travel there this past summer with a group of teachers. I was struck by how much the movie prepared me to think about the house and it's importance in the creation and implementation of the "Final Solution". If you are thinking of showing it to students, you may need to explain to them how the conference was conducted and give them some background -- it has lots of dialogue and plenty of "under currents" that can be hard to follow if you are not familiar with the "power plays" that were going on at that table....lots of ego at that table. It is important to remember that many of these individuals were sent by the "major players" in the Nazi regime to attend the conference. By not attending the conference himself, Hitler and his administrative members could claim "plausable deniability" (so they thought) if anything were to go wrong with the plan. It is hard to believe that this beautiful house that is located on beautifully-decorated ground and of of a spectacular lake could have played such a major role in WWII. Chilling!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting May 5 2002
By A Customer
The Conspiracy is an English version of a 1984 film "The Wannsee Conference" by Heinz Schirk. The former is much better than "The Conspiracy". The Conspiracy speaks of the house the conference took place in as being from a Jewish family which is not the truth (it was donated by a loyal nazi to the SS, after the war all SS property was turned over to the Allies). The movie fails to take into account recent scholarship about Wilhelm Stuckart (who is portrayed as being sympathetic to the Jews). To see a better movie of this horrific event, one must see the 1984 version in German with English subtitles. The 84 version shows more accurately the personalities of those involved. It also shows accurately German military customs, discipline and uniforms. Still, if you can't get the 84 version see this movie but also read the minutes of the conference on the internet.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Quite fascinating and informative reenactment
Published 1 month ago by William A. Bolduc
5.0 out of 5 stars The acting was superb and would recommend it for that
It was one of the most chilling movies I have ever seen. The acting was superb and would recommend it for that. alone. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Billie Cameron
5.0 out of 5 stars could be a documentary;
This film is so well made it could be used as a a documentary of that fateful meeting.One can feel the tension between those who were present and you can resent the power that... Read more
Published 6 months ago by heavybart
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Un très bon film. Démontre un côté sombre et l'horreur de la l'histoire de la deuxième guerre mondiale et tout ça autour d'une table.
Published 7 months ago by ivaillancourt
5.0 out of 5 stars Favourite of all time
This has to be my favourite movie of all time. Engaging and detailed. Great acting. It's a great movie to watch several times. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Gnadenthal
4.0 out of 5 stars A secret meeting with stunning implications.
I watched this movie last night knowing in advance only that Kenneth Branagh and Stanley Tucci were in it and it was set in the second world war. Read more
Published 11 months ago by L. Power
5.0 out of 5 stars A very disturbing, yet informative film.
This is the true story of how the Nazi's set up the Final Solution. It is done in a very low key, matter of fact fashion. Perhaps that is what's so disturbing about the film. Read more
Published 13 months ago by G. Bowes
5.0 out of 5 stars Chilling
On January 20, 1942, in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee, a group of Nazi officials met for a meeting presided over by Reinhard Heydrich, head of the SD (the intelligence branch of the... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Daffy Bibliophile
4.0 out of 5 stars Evil at work
A very fightening commentary on a mindset that killed millions as if swatting flies. Even the couple who objected to the "final solution" did so for not particularly altruistic... Read more
Published on May 2 2011 by L. McKellar
5.0 out of 5 stars conspiracy
It is a very well acted film and factual as well. I have enjoyed watching it several times
Published on Feb. 14 2010 by Rose M. Ulloa
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