The Hindenburg (1975)
Directed: Robert Wise
A film that chronicles the events of the Hindenburg disaster in which the zeppelin burst into flames.
- A real-life tragedy nearly happened during the filming of the Hindenburg's fiery death. A full-scale section of the Hindenburg's nose was built for the film, and was set to be destroyed by fire for the film's final destruction sequence. A half-dozen stunt artists wearing fire-retardant gear were placed in the nose replica as it was set afire; however, the fire quickly got out of control, causing several stunt artists to get lost in the smoke, damaging several cameras filming the action, and nearly destroying the sound stage. Some of the footage from this sequence was used in the final cut of the film, but the full sequence, as it had been planned, was not included.
- A lot of the fictional characters in The Hindenburg were based off real people on the zeppelin or associated with the zeppelin:
- Col. Franz Ritter (played by George C. Scott) was based off Col. Fritz Erdmann.
- Eleanore Ritter (played by Joyce Davis) was based off Fritz's wife Dorothea.
- Martin Vogel (played by Roy Thinnes) represents Karl Otto Clemens, even though there is no evidence of Karl being in the Gestapo.
- Karl Borth (played by William Atherton) was named Erich Spehl in real life; his mistress, Freda Halle (played by Lisa Pera) was Beatrice Friedrich.
- The Breslau family (played by Alan Oppenheimer, Katherine Helmond, Jean Rasey, Johnny Lee and Stephen Manley) was actually the Doehner family.
- Countess Ursula von Reugen (played by Anne Bancroft) was loosely based off of Margaret Mather.
- Captain Fellowes (played by Stephen Elliott) was based off U.S. Navy airship commander Charles Rosendahl.
- Lieutenant Hank Truscott (played by Kip Niven) was based on Lieutenant George F. Watson.
- Chief Steward Hirsch (played by Charles Macaulay) was based off Chief Steward Heinrich Kubis.
- Rigger Neuhaus (played by Michael Richardson) was based off Rigger Hans Freund.
- Cabin Boy Flakus (played by Jimmy Davilla) was based off Werner Franz.
- William Atherton [Karl Boerth]
- Peter Canon [Ludecke]
- Colby Chester [Eliot Howell III]
- Joe Di Reda [Schulz]
- Richard Dysart [Captain Ernst Lehman]
- Ted Gehring [Knorr]
- Rex Holman [Dimmler]
- Curt Lowens [Elevator Man Felber]
- Jan Merlin [Speck]
- Rollin Moriyama [Mr. Shimura]
- Alan Oppenheimer [Albert Breslau]
- George C. Scott [Colonel Franz Ritter]
- Gig Young [Edward Douglas]
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