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DVD Review

DVD cover

Hitler's Bodyguard


Narrated by: Robert Powell
Fremantle Media
RRP: £24.99
Certificate: E
Available 25 May 2009

From the producers of the acclaimed series World War in Colour and Churchill's Bodyguard, comes this fascinating new DVD documentary about what it was like to protect the biggest villain in history - Adolf Hitler. This story of jealousy, betrayal and murder details what it was really like to protect Hitler from bombs, snipers, plots, maniacs, poison gas and Allied assassination attempts. This is the story of Hitler's survival from a very new angle...

Hitler's Bodyguard is presented here across four discs which contain a total of 13 episodes, each of which are approximately 45 minutes long. The filmmakers have taken an interesting approach here by focusing on different elements across the series that concentrate on various aspects of what it was like to protect the Führer. So, for example, the series opens with the episode 'How Hitler's Bodyguard Worked' which explains how the various different armies were introduced and what each was supposed to do and who was in charge of them.

Then we go onto more detailed attempts at assassinating Hitler, and finally the various modes of transport that Hitler used and what dangers these possessed - so we have episodes on 'Dangerous Car Journeys'; 'Flights into Danger'; and 'Hitler's Dangerous Train Journeys'. The final episode, 'Poison Gas Plot in the Bunker' runs through a plot (which may or may not be real) as the mastermind behind it used it as a reason to escape being sentenced to death for heinous war crimes after the war.

Another interesting aspect is very briefly touched upon (in a throw away line) in the episode 'Nearly Assassinated at the Berghof' where we learn that one of Hitler's doubles was spotted. It's a shame that there wasn't an episode entirely dedicated to Hitler's doubles.

What really comes across in this collection is how Hitler avoided death on numerous accounts by pure luck.

My main complaint is that watching these episodes over a short period of time means that you see a lot of the same clips and much of the information is also repeated a little too much. In addition some of the footage is repeated, but in a totally different context. So, for example, we have footage of Hitler wearing a flying helmet which is used to illustrate his love of driving cars and, in a later episode, his fear of flying.

Robert Powell does a good job of narrating this series - well, that is until he has to quote Hitler, and then his impression becomes a little comical. Thankfully these moments are few and far between.

This series is extremely educational, not to mention entertaining, and is well worth picking up.


Darren Rea

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