The world had its worst moments with the development of Nazi ideology. When Satanic war crimes were committed in a country, it was clear that the devil had arrived to Earth and occupied the entire planet.
Many filmmakers have attempted to capture the ideas of the human race during this horrible period, despite the fact that it is impossible to imagine such a time in our imaginations. In spite of the fact that some people have been able to comprehend and create inspiring cinematic works, others have not. These films, on the other hand, have brought the Nazi era to life in a cinematic way. Although these films don’t strictly retell the Holocaust story (there’s a separate list for that), they do create art that speaks to war, death, and the misery that comes with it. You must understand that even though certain movies may be better cinematically, the ranking is based on Nazi themes and not on the pure cinematic allegories. This is critical to comprehend. So without further ado, here is a list of the best Nazi movies of all time. On Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime, you may find some of these Nazi movies.
12. Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)
Director Stanley Kramer’s fictitious retelling of a 1947 military tribunal known as the Judges’ Trial, which took place as part of the larger Nuremberg trials, is called “Judgment at Nuremberg.” Kramer’s direction of the film intensified the courtroom atmosphere, which is carried by the excellent performances of the major players. While the film is a courtroom drama, the director’s humanistic and philosophical concepts are balanced by the film’s authoritarian air. Two Academy Awards, two Golden Globes and entry into the American Film Institute’s “tenth finest film in the courtroom drama genre” are just some of the significant accolades the film has received, as well as critical acclaim.
11. Mephisto (1981)
‘Mephisto,’ the first Hungarian film to win the Academy Award for ‘Best Foreign Language Film,’ depicts a German stage performer who finds unexpected fame and mixed blessings in the popularity of his performance in a Faustian play as the Nazis come to power in pre-WWII Germany. During the Nazi persecution, his associates and friends escape or are crushed by the weight of the Nazi terror, and he realizes that his greatest performance is to keep up appearances for his Nazi customers.. Inspiration and new ideas abound in this film. ‘Mephitso’, a film directed by István Szabó, is a commentary on Nazi atrocities and their effect on the human psyche. Péter Dobai, Klaus Mann, and István Szabó, along with Lajos Koltai’s dominating cinematography and Zdenko Tamassy’s ethereal background score, wrote the film’s screenplay.
10. Life Is Beautiful (1997)
‘Life Is Beautiful,’ or ‘La vida è bella,’ is an Italian comedy-drama about a Jewish librarian and his son who, after being captured by the Nazis, utilize humor to shelter their boy from the perils that surround their camp in “Life Is Beautiful,” or “La vita è beautiful.” The film, directed by Roberto Benigni, examines topics such as willpower, fantasy, and childlike purity during one of history’s most trying periods. The film, which stars the director as the sympathetic libertarian Guido Orefice, is driven by his sense of humor.
Vincenzo Cerami penned the story that follows Benigni and is based on Rubino Romeo Salmon’s ‘In the End, I Beat Hitler.’ Nicola Piovani’s magnificent soundtrack enhances the sharp humorous timing and the anguish that creeps through the glacial demise. Incredibly skilled and imaginative cinematography by Tonino Delli Colli captures even the tiniest details of the concentration camp settings.
9. The Great Dictator (1940)
‘The Great Dictator,’ a Charlie Chaplin sound picture, combined biting satire and parody of the “Nazi film” genre. When it was released, the Holocaust’s atrocities had not yet been thoroughly investigated, and the picture was panned for Chaplin’s lighthearted approach to the subject matter. With political symbolism, the 1940 movie pokes fun at the oppressive dictatorship of the country while also questioning the humanity of its people. Adenoid Hynkel, the dictator of Tomania, a satire of Germany and Adolf Hitler, is played by the film’s Jewish barber in the ghetto and Chaplin’s point-of-comedy actor. The Library of Congress chose the picture for preservation in the United States National Film Registry after deeming it one of the most important works of satire.
8. Au revoir les enfants (1987)
When one of the pupils at a boarding school in Nazi-occupied France discovers that the other is a Jew hiding from the Nazi soldiers, the two form an unbreakable relationship. The film, which was written and directed by Louis Malle, depicts the horrors of the system and the innocence that is shattered by the propaganda. The 1987 film, starring Gaspard Manesse as Julien Quentin and Raphal Fejtö as Jean Kippelstein, vividly conveys the childish happiness and unbreakable friendship in the midst of conflict.
Using Renato Berta’s detailed cinematography, the corrupted government and the poisoned educational institutions under Nazi rule are brought to vivid life. The film’s fresh and uplifting perspective on friendship and growing up was well received by critics and audiences alike. ‘Au revoir les enfants’ has been hailed as one of the most important films about Nazism thanks to its eloquent screenplay and seven César Awards.
7. Downfall (2004)
Der Untergang, starring Bruno Ganz as Adolf Hitler, portrays the story of Hitler’s final days in his Berlin bunker at the end of WWII through the memories of his final secretary, Traudl Junge, played by Alexandra Maria Lara. Olivier Hirschbiegel’s film adapts the works of German novelist Joachim Fest and German novelist Traudl Junge and Melissa Müller into a cinematic representation of their stories. Hilter admirer Junge (Junge) reveals her remorse and guilt in a literal interpretation of the film’s title. The film’s screenplay was written by Bernd Eichinger, and it focuses on the characters rather than the plot or narrative. Critics of cinema magazines and newspapers questioned the director’s decision to reveal Hitler’s “humane” aspect, but this was a price worth paying.
Bruno Ganz’s research and studies on the dictator’s lifestyle, speech, and body language resulted in a spectacular performance in the film’s foundation. Acclaimed by scholars, biographers, and film reviewers for its fresh viewpoint on the terrifying despot.
6. Das Boot (1981)
It is through the fictional account of U-96’s crew that the turbulent World War II is chronicled in ‘Das Boot,’ a German war film directed by Wolfgang Petersen and written by him. A claustrophobic and time-liquidity that Peterson brilliantly expresses may be found in his portrayal of dread, thrill, sadness and strength. The film is full of technical prowess, but its message of conflict, destruction, and melancholy is also deeply ingrained. Filmmakers use the film’s World War II setting and fictitious tale to help shape viewers’ emotional and moral foundations.
Despite the film’s lack of immediate commercial success, it received high praise from critics and was nominated for six Academy Awards, a BAFTA, and a Directors Guild of America award. Petersen’s nifty work has matured into one of the best pictures of all time throughout the years.
5. Casablanca (1942)
‘Casablanca’, a World War II thriller starring Humphrey Bogart, tells the story of Rick Blaine, an American expatriate who must choose between his love for a woman and assisting her and her husband, a Czech Resistance leader, from the Vichy-controlled city of Casablanca. Inspiration and redemption are woven into the film’s fabric. Michael Curtiz directed “Casablanca,” a film that examines social class, race, sacrifice, and many other topics. For this picture, Murray Burnett and Joan Alison wrote the screenplay. Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein and Howard Koch wrote the film’s script. Arthur Edeson’s outstanding cinematography and Max Steiner’s ethereal background score contribute to the film’s iconic stature.
To this day, the film is considered one of the finest achievements in the history of cinema and has been awarded three Academy Awards.
4. Army of Shadows (1969)
An underground resistance movement in Nazi-occupied France is depicted in Jean-Pierre Melville’s ‘Army of Shadows’ (L’armée des ombres). The film, which was shot as a documentary, tells the experiences of numerous members of the French resistance who were intertwined. The picture defies categorization by incorporating thriller, spy, and heroic elements. In spite of the film’s depiction of its characters as heroic, the film depicts the Resistance as dreary and unromantic. The film’s forthright depiction of Nazi atrocities elevated it to a commendable piece of art, despite the film’s repetitive approach to Nazi-occupied France.
It was a bold move that drew a lot of criticism, though. Critics in France were outraged by the film’s apparent adulation of Charles de Gaulle, and as a result, it was a financial disaster and was never distributed elsewhere. After a reappraisal by “Cahiers du cinéma” in the mid-’90s, the picture was restored and re-released in 2006. It has subsequently been hailed as one of the greatest works of cinema in the world.
3. The Pianist (2002)
Music and Nazi atrocities can’t be combined without a high degree of magic. Polanski is a master of magic. The Pianist is a biographical dramatization of Adrien Brody’s portrayal of Polish Jewish musician Wadysaw Szpilman, whose wartime survival in the Warsaw ghetto is chronicled in the film. Art and conflict are juxtaposed in this sad film based on a memoir by an acclaimed pianist. Ronald Harwood wrote the screenplay, and it’s a work of art in its own right. Szpilman’s art and the tragedy that engulfed Germany were both shaped by the melancholy aura that pervaded the country.
Wojciech Kilar’s haunting background soundtrack and Pawe Edelman’s poignant cinematography complete out the team behind the director and the writer. Many awards and accolades followed the film, including the Cannes Palme d’Or, three Academy Awards (for “Best Actor in a Leading Role,” “Best Director,” and “Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay”), two BAFTA Awards (for “Best Picture” and the director’s work), seven French Césars (for “Best Director,” and so on), and two BAFTA Awards (for the best film).
2. Shoah (1985)
In ‘Shoah,’ a French documentary, filmmaker Claude Lanzmann documents his encounters with Holocaust survivors, witnesses, and perpetrators while touring German Holocaust sites in Poland. Lanzmann’s ability to create a connection between his work and the audience is one of the many reasons this film is so essential in the history of Nazi genocide documentation. The Holocaust survivors’ experiences and the how it affected and regulated their lives are vividly depicted in this brilliant documentary from 1985.
Rather than focusing on the interviewer, the cinematography team, which includes Dominique Chapuis, Jimmy Glasberg, Phil Gries and William Lubtchansky, captures the feelings and sentiments of the participants. Lanzmann, on the other hand, used his superb research talents to turn the film become a phenomenon. As well as the survivors, the director also manages to capture those responsible for the devastation. The film was widely praised, with some calling it “the greatest documentary about modern history ever filmed”. Several well-known critics, including Richard Brody, François Mitterrand, and Roger Ebert, acclaimed the film as a masterpiece.
1. Schindler’s List (1993)
According to historical records, the Nazi rule was one of the most horrific, cruel, and heartbreaking periods in human history. Even However, the conflict didn’t revolve solely around spreading false information about the government. When confronted with such a horrible truth, Steven Spielberg struck a touch with grace and clarity.
Over a thousand predominantly Polish-Jewish refugees from the Holocaust were saved by Oskar Schindler’s factories during World War II, thanks to Liam Neeson’s portrayal of Schindler. Ralph Fiennes’ chilling speech as SS officer Amon Göth and Ben Kingsley’s unyielding support as Schindler’s Jewish accountant Itzhak Stern round out Neeson’s heartwarming portrayal.
The film’s foundation is the artistically superb partnership between director and screenwriter Steven Zaillian, based on Thomas Keneally’s 1982 novel “Schindler’s Ark.” Schindler’s humanistic journey from opportunistic businessman to heroic figure is paralleled by the narrative discourse that articulates the deterioration of humanity. As the director’s vision comes to life on screen, Janusz Kamiski’s expressive cinematography helps bring the script to life. The historical realism lifts the film’s gloomy mood despite the fact that it was shot entirely in black and white. John Williams’ expressive background score brings the entire effort to life.