Hindenburg: The Last Flight is a 2011 drama/action film based on the crash of the Hindenburg. The plot of the film is largely fictitious. The first broadcast took place on 6 and 7 February 2011 on RTL and on ORF 2. The DVD was released on February 11, 2011.

Plot[edit | edit source]

The fictive plot of the two-parter shows, in addition to the primary action, which revolves around a bomb on board the Hindenburg, several other storylines.

The airship designer Merten Kroeger sees Jennifer van Zandt at a reception, in which he has fallen in love since he was rescued by her after his crash with a school glider in a pond from the water and revived. Jennifer is the daughter of an American chemical producer who wants to supply the Zeppelin shipping company with helium.

Kröger learns shortly before the departure of the Hindenburg from an on-board bomb. After a serious argument with Fritz Rittenberg, the admirer of Jennifer and shareholder IG Farben, he is under suspicion of murder and must go unrecognized on board. He's trying to figure out what to do with the assassination Jennifer is having with her mother on board.

Kröger is discovered, interrogated and tortured in the Hindenburg. Both the onboard manager of the Zeppelin shipping company and two Gestapo officers also on board doubt Kröger's history; rather, it is believed that he wants to smuggle important documents out of the country. These papers, containing attack plans of the German Wehrmacht, were, as it turns out, by the radio operator-Schmidt the Hindenburg smuggled on board. Through detective work by his friend Alfred Sauter, who serves as the first officer at the Hindenburg, and Jennifers evidence of the bomb are found. The search for the bomb begins. Due to a weather-related delay of the Hindenburg, there is a danger that a set to the time after landing time fuze could detonate the bomb in the air.

As it turns out, the purpose of the assassination attempt is to have the Hindenburg explode after landing in the United States, in order to achieve a lifting of the United States' embargo on Germany, thereby enabling the delivery of tetraethyl lead. The so improved aviation fuel should the Polish campaign be possible.

Other storylines are concerned u. a. with the variety artist Gilles Broca. This initially comes under suspicion of being

The Hindenburg Disaster in Hindenburg: The Last Flight

the bomber, as he may enter the hold of the Hindenburg to supply his accompanying German shepherd dog as the only passenger. Another story tells the story of the Jewish Kerner family, who secretly wants to emigrate with their assets. Ms. Kerner is pressed during the journey by the accompanying German Air Force officer Karl Erdmann.

During a sharp turning maneuver in Lakehurst, a tensioning rope breaks and strikes a crack in one of the carrier gas cells. Although Kröger manages to defuse the bomb at the last minute, due to the electrostatic discharge of Zeppelin (in the form of Elms fire ) in conjunction with the escaping hydrogen, it finally comes to ignite the gas; the Zeppelin burns down and kills u. a. Sauter, Jennifer's mother, Erdmann and the male members of the Kerner family to their deaths. Kröger and Jennifer survive, but they still have to deal with backers of the bomb at the end.

Cast[edit | edit source]

Maximilian Simonischek - Merten Kröger

Lauren Lee Smith - Jennifer van Zandt

Stacy Keach - Edward van Zandt

Greta Scacchi - Helen van Zandt

Hinnerk Schönemann - Alfred Sauter

Justus von Dohnányi - Max Kaufmann

Hannes Jaenicke - Gilles Broca

Christiane Paul - Anna Kerner

Pierre Besson - Gottfried Kerner

Alicia von Rittberg - Gisela Kerner

Marvin Bockers - Eric Kerner

Wotan Wilke Möhring - Col. Karl Erdmann

Sönke Möhring - Maj. Paul Erdmann

Andreas Pietschmann - Fritz Rittenberg

Heiner Lauterbach - Hugo Eckener

Michael Schenk - Bastian Leopold

Megan Gay - Olivia Norris

Sina Maria-Gerhardt - Erika Sauter

Nicola Thomas - Hilda Kaufmann

Ulrich Noethen - Kapitän Lehmann

Jürgen Schornagel - Kapitän Pruss

Martin Armknecht - Chefsteward Kubis

Stefan Weinert - Sturmbannführer Jürgens

Robert Seeliger - Herr Singer

Antoine Monot Jr. - Schmidt

Thure Lindhardt

Christian Serritiello - Chauffeur

Ricky Watson - Journalist

Vitus Wieser - U.S. Marine Guard

Piet Fuchs - Polizist

Harvey Friedman - Herbert Morrison

Jascha Stiller - Jakob

Kai Henschel - Höhensteuerpilot

Udo Hesselmann

Angus McGruther - Porter

Dieter Rupp - Matrose

Stephan Franz - Hitman

Philipp Liewald - Hindenburg Crew

Dennis Vehlen - Hindenburg Crew

Ingeborg Vehlen - Lakehurst Passenger

Background[edit | edit source]

The starting scenes were filmed in the fall of 2009 with a model of the control gondola on the site of the former air base Hopsten. The Hindenburg was later by CGI inserted -Effekten. The crash scenes were also shot using a small shell model on the grounds of the air base between Hopsten and Dreierwalde. The film was produced by TeamWorx and had a budget of over 10 million euros. This makes it the most expensive RTL in-house production so far. 

The visual effects of the movie were created by Pixomondo. The military history consultancy was taken over by the military historian Rolf-Dieter Müller.

The film regularly refers to the "flight" of the Hindenburg or "flying" in the Hindenburg, although this designation is false because the locomotion of "aircraft lighter than air" (aircraft that operate on the Archimedean principle, ie balloons, Airships, etc.) is referred to as "driving" and not as "flying". Even figures who would need to know this on the basis of their background (eg the managing director of the shipping company, Hugo Eckener, or the captain Max Pruss) use this wrong terminology. Also, zeppelins were usually "male", d. H. the name was not "the Hindenburg" but "the Hindenburg"; however, a ship crept accordingly Nomenclature gradually.

The film backdrops are based only partially on the original: The skeleton of duralumin was actually painted blue,


Hindenburg (2011) - Crash Scene

The Hindenburg Disaster from Hindenburg: The Last Flight (2011)

smoking allowed only in the closed smoking cabin on the lower deck of the passenger section next to the bar, the lounges and cabins much smaller and held in lighter colors, The 25 standard passenger cabins of the A-deck (upper deck) were windowless (all located in the interior of the passenger facility), and a podium construction of the dining and promenade deck was only at the sister ship Hindenburg, the LZ 130 . In addition, the aluminum Blüthner wing shown on the last drive was not on board.

The conversions carried out from 1936 to 1937, due to which the wing was removed for weight reasons, were at least partially taken into account in the film. In the 1937 season, the Hindenburg started with 10 new cabins for a total of 22 other passengers (9 two-, one four-person cabin), which were added to the B-deck (lower deck) starboard. These cabins were larger than the standard A-deck cabins and had large windows; The new wing had its own steward room and opposite toilets. This expansion was made possible by the fact that the Hindenburg should be filled with hydrogen gas instead of helium, which resulted in about 10 percent more buoyancy.

Reception[edit | edit source]

The quotas of the first part on 6 February 2011 were very satisfactory for RTL. 7.84 million viewers watched the first part of the RTL event movie, giving the private channel a 20.9 percent market share. The audience reached 4.43 million viewers and a rate of 27.7 percent. [6] In ORF 2 815,000 viewers saw (26 percent national market share) the first part and the second part 752,000. On average, there were 783,500 spectators in the two parts.

Criticism [edit | edit source]

"How this happens, however, shows a two-parter RTL, which outperforms the usual disaster routine of German television productions. And that's because the creators have invested: a lot of money, more than ten million euros. A lot of time, more than three years. And a lot of sense for a story that skilfully plays with history and fiction. The result is a "Titanic" of the skies, a downfall with an announcement and - what must be must be - with a great, dramatic, beautiful to see a love story. "- Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 

"Director Philipp Kadelbach pulls all the stops in the special effects, has housed it in the project budget of 10.5 million euros to copy the Hindenburg in the studio in part - and leaves the Zeppelin, who raised himself as the pride of Nazi Germany, in spectacular, digitally generated images go up in flames. Since the end of the "Titanic of the skies" of the spectacular Hollywood filming of the sinking of the steamer hardly. "- The press 

"Blood and action, sex and children's hearts: For their RTL two-parter" Hindenburg ", the film professionals of Teamworx patent explode all available effects. Unfortunately, the legendary airship itself is condemned to a decorative minor role." - Spiegel Online

Awards[edit | edit source]

  • German Television Award 2011 in the category Best Multi-Part

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.