RTL Television Movie “Hindenburg”

The two-part RTL Television film “Hindenburg” premieres February 6 and 7, 2011:

Based on RTL’s description of the film, viewers shouldn’t expect too much historical accuracy;  it is a completely fictionalized love story (view another trailer) between a poor but good-looking airship designer and the daughter of a treacherous American family (sound familiar?) on a doomed ship filled with Gestapo agents, Luftwaffe pilots, escaping Jews, and a jester.  (See cast information and description in German.)


The movie includes political intrigue, romantic rivalries, murder, the obligatory time bomb, and a dog trained to raise his paw in a Hitler salute.

The 1975 Robert Wise film The Hindenburg with George C. Scott and Anne Bancroft also took historical liberties, but at least the sets were scrupulously accurate.  (Read a review of “œThe Hindenburg” (1975): Fact & Fiction)

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20 Comments on "RTL Television Movie “Hindenburg”"

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I have just seen it… it is horrendous… even worse because it is dubbed in English :argh: I agree with most things written by everyone else in this topic, horrible music, weird historical mistakes, etc,etc. But one of the most horrendous things about it all is the story. OH MEIN GOTT. IT IS SOOOOOOOO BAD!!! It all reminded me of ‘Dresden’ and ‘Titanic’, both very expensive historical dramas, both with very very very stupid stories, totally annoying and unrealistic ‘romances’ nobody cares about, just added to get ‘the girls’ happy. I just don’t understand it. If you have a boring… Read more »
Gordon Philbin

I have a question to ask.

I know there is critizism of how accurate the film is, but I’m dying to see it.
But since this has been released in Germany on TV and on Amazon UK on DVD, I don’t know if it will be shown in America.

Does anybody know if it will be in the American Market?

Hendrick Stoops
iI must say that from the breif clip I watched ,the CGI though slightly unrealistic in some parts is absolutely stunning. from what Ive heard I agree that Indenburg 1975 looks like a documentary compared to this. one thing that i di like however was the closeup of the letters burnig which seemed and undoubtedly was taken from insppiration off the newsreel. II have to second the mothion for aking a realistic movie or at least one where everything doesnt blow up. Perhaps a wha if kind of film with post hindenburg class airships? it could easily be a mystery,… Read more »

Well, I thought the CGI effects were pretty realistic (considering no other film has ever attempted it)…Wise’ film was SO bad (Bancroft & George C. Scott certainly deserved ‘Raseberry’ awards THAT year), I’m surprised that Universal was even associated with it…


Why not give us what we really want. A big production, big screen, Historically accurate epic on what really happened & some of the stories & characters surrounding the building & ultimate demise of The Hindenburg. We deserve that. C’mon people! Just give it to us. It would be huge box office gold if done right.


The special effects seem to be as good as there is for any Hindenburg disaster movie/video. I never liked how the Robert Wise film defaulted to black and white filming mixed with original footage. This should be good for some eye candy despite the other flaws that have been mentioned. Is there an english version of this movie or perhaps any links to video or TV schedules?


I watched the first part yesterday and am a bit disappointed by the liberties the producers took with the ship’s interiour design. It’s much more spacious than it was in reality and they seemed to change the layout and the colours of the walls and floor (and again the girders are gray instead of blue). They also showed the Blüthner piano to be on board on the Hindenburg’s final voyage. I am not sure whether I want to watch part 2 tonight as the story is really stupid. Well, what do I expect from an “RTL event movie”?


Did you see the second part, because I wanted to find out what had happened to the characters ?

I figured out that Fritz Eichholz is murdered in part 1 and that video on this page shows that Alfred Sauter didn’t make it. I as know what happens to the historical characters and that Merten Kröger, Jennifer van Zandt, and Mady Kerner survive the distaster.

Can you tell what happened to the other fictional characters (like the rest of the Kerner family, the Erdmann brothers, Gilles Broca, Jennifer’s parents, Bastian Leopold, Max Schmiedinger, and etc.)?

J. James
I saw snippets of it and color me surprised as well. I mean, the affects were spectacular compared to other disaster made-for-TV movies(I am talking to you, Poseidon Adventure), but why they messed around with the interior of the ship just doesn’t make sense. They portrayed it as much darker and edgier than it was in real life, I actually find the interior design rather cheery and bright. Also, bigger? And HOW. The cabins were huge compared to the real deal. And the lounge and dining room? I just don’t get it; they were already very spacious but apparently that… Read more »
M L Hopp

Well, yes, the ship model is rather pretty. Very nice. Not all that impressed by the plot as described above. Why, oh why, can no one ever do a proper movie about the Hindenburg? Or a movie where a zeppelin doesn’t get torched??? Yeah, I’m looking at you The Rocketeer. (amongst others…)

J. James

Pixar’s “UP” springs to mind. Then there’s “The Golden Compass”, “Watchmen” and “Stardust”. And then there’s all the Zeppelins you see popping up in alternate universes on TV series like “Fringe”.


> And once again as with the 1975 film the mooring mast is black.

What color was it IRL?

Patrick Russell

John, in real life the mooring mast was white with three red horizontal “stripes.”


The mooring mast was red and white.

Not to be contrarian, but I don’t even think the CGI is that good, even pre-crash. The takeoff shot in this trailer looks phony: the Zep is too sharp compared to the hangar to the right: it’s clear the hangar is from a B&W photo and the Zep is at least partly Aftereffects. They don’t match. Yes, the accuracy and realism looks laughable. Don’t think I’d even bother with this on American TV, if it ever got here. I’d rather just watch a good documentary on the subject. Same with Titanic. The History channel’s Titanic: Death of a Dream blew… Read more »