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The Hindenburg Academy Award Winner! Academy Award Winner! Academy Award Nomination! Academy Award Nomination! Academy Award Nomination! 

By Jeff Shannon

"One gasbag meets another" is how critic Pauline Kael described the "flatulent seriousness" that director Robert Wise brought to this 1975 thriller about the ill-fated German zeppelin which exploded while landing in New Jersey in 1937. The great air disaster is speculatively depicted here as an act of sabotage, and the airship's trans-Atlantic journey gives the saboteur's plot plenty of time to unfold while the story introduces a variety of characters aboard for the luxurious flight. While the anti-Nazi message is delivered loud and clear, Anne Bancroft and George C. Scott lead an illustrious cast in what amounts to a pre-World War II episode of The Love Blimp, only there's not much romance and precious little suspense. It's all rather flatly intriguing, but aviation buffs will certainly appreciate the meticulous attention to period detail, and the film won special achievement Oscars for its impressive sound and visual effects. Worth a look, if you're a student of this particular chapter of history, and the movie earns some credit for having at least the kernel of a good idea.

See Also: Disaster Films of the Super70s.

Academy Awards

The Hindenburg received Academy Awards for Special Achievement Awards (Albert Whitlock - Visual Effects, Glen Robinson - Visual Effects) and Special Achievement Awards (Peter Berkos - Sound Effects). The Hindenburg also received Academy Awards nominations for Art Direction/Set Decoration (Edward C. Carfagno - Art Direction, Frank McKelvy - Set Decoration), Cinematography (Robert L. Surtees) and Sound (Leonard Peterson, John A. Bolger, Jr., John Mack, Don K. Sharpless).

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FILM FACTS

Buy this VHS movie from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Soundtrack unavailable at Amazon.com - try eBay (see links below)Rated PGNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Robert Wise

Stars: George C. Scott, Anne Bancroft, William Atherton, Roy Thinnes, Gig Young, Burgess Meredith, Charles Durning, Richard A. Dysart, Robert Clary, René Auberjonois, Katherine Helmond

Released: December 25, 1975

Availability: DVD VHS


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