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Conspiracy (Widescreen)

4.7 out of 5 stars 75 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Stanley Tucci, Kenneth Branagh
  • Directors: Frank Pierson
  • Writers: Loring Mandel
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, DVD-Video, Letterboxed, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English, French
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Canadian Home Video Rating : Ages 14 and over
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: HBO
  • Release Date: March 26 2002
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 75 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B00005YUO1
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #7,329 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Product Description

Conspiracy (DVD)


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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
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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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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Format: DVD
"Conspiracy" is based on the original minutes of the Wannsee Conference held on January 20, 1942 in Berlin where the Nazi worked out "The Final Solution." The of this HBO production is something of a misdirection, because this hour long meeting that would result in the death of 6 million European Jews might have been secret, but it was not exactly clandestine. This is not a meeting where the participants made their plans in hushed whispers, but something that eerily smacks of a board meeting at a large company. These men were going to become mass murderers on a scale rarely seen in human history, but they seem more like bureaucrats than anything else, which is just another level of the horror involved here.
"Conspiracy" goes beyond the recreation of this infamous meeting for the 1984 documentary "The Wannsee Conference," both of which are based upon the lone surviving record of the gather of 15 Nazi officers head by General Reinhard Heydrich (Kenneth Branagh). Included in the group are Lt. Colonel Adolf Eichmann (Stanley Tucci) and Dr. Wilhelm Stuckart, Interior Ministry (Colin Firth), and within an hour they come up with their solution to the "Jewish question." However, this is a sense in "Conspiracy" that they are not so much debating what it to be done but being asked to sign on to the plan that Heydrich is revealing directly and indirectly throughout the meeting in his quest for "unanimity."
This time around the horror is in the details, as these men try to come up with the most efficient way of killing and disposing of that many people while one guy does the math.
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