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Hitler – Beast of Berlin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hitler, Beast of Berlin
Film poster
Directed bySam Newfield (as Sherman Scott)
Written byFred Myton
Produced byProducers Releasing Corporation
StarringRoland Drew
Steffi Duna
Greta Granstedt
Alan Ladd
Music byDavid Chudnow
Distributed byProducers Releasing Corporation
Release date
  • October 8, 1939 (1939-10-08)
Running time
87 minutes
CountryUnited States

Hitler—Beast of Berlin (1939) was one of the most popular "hiss and boo" films of the World War II era, based on the novel Goose Step by Shepard Traube (1907–1983).[1][2]

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A man and his wife lead a German anti-Nazi propaganda literature movement. After an inadvertent betrayal, the husband is thrown into a concentration camp, from which he escapes to Switzerland.


Production history

The film was the first production of Producers Releasing Corporation. It was recut and released as Beasts of Berlin the same year, having been banned in New York as too inflammatory at the time. It was also reissued in 1940 as Goose Step and in the early 1940s as Hell's Devils.[3][4][5][6][7]

Archival footage of Adolf Hitler is included.

Selected film criticism

Beast received mixed reviews. Film Daily described it as a "well done film, amazingly well done in view of the actual amount of time and money spent in its production," while Variety judged it an "artistic failure, for its attacks on the Nazi regime merely scratch the surface without ever even hinting at the fundamental evils of Nazism."[3][4][5][6][7]

James G. Stahlman, the president and publisher of the Nashville Banner, wrote an unusual editorial in advance of the film's release, calling for it to be banned because it might inflame public emotions on the subject of Nazism. He argued that the evils of Hitler were already widely known and that there was no need to engage in what he described as "war propaganda."[8]


The film was released in 1940 as Goose Step.[9]

See also


  1. ^ "Shepard Traube, 76, Is Dead; Stage Producer and Director," New York Times, July 25, 1983
  2. ^ Goose Steps
    Hitler, Beast of Berlin
    Beasts of Berlin (Motion picture)
    Original screenplay
    By Shepard Traube (1907–1983), Producers Releasing Corporation (1937); OCLC 13473213
  3. ^ a b "The Screen – At the Globe: Beasts of Berlin" (film review), by New York Times, November 20, 1939
  4. ^ a b "Beasts of Berlin" (alternate link to article) (film review), by P.C.M., Jr., Motion Picture Herald, Vol. 137, No. 8, November 25, 1939, p. 42
  5. ^ a b "New York Review: Beasts of Berlin" (film review), by Charles S. Aaronson, Motion Picture Daily, November 24, 1939
  6. ^ a b "'Goose Step' Good, Drew a Standout," Film Daily, February 2, 1940
  7. ^ a b Goose Step, 1939 (production correspondence), Oscars collections, Margaret Herrick Library
  8. ^ "This Should Be Stopped," by James G. Stahlman, Nashville Banner, September 13, 1939 (accessible via Margaret Herrick Library at, pps. 9–11)
  9. ^ "'Goose Step' Begins Run," Los Angeles Times, February 3, 1940, p. A7

External links

This page was last edited on 10 April 2024, at 11:17
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