E-mail this image
The only good Nazi is a dead Nazi.
Not surprisingly, that was the feeling During World War II, as movie audiences cheered and hollered whenever the villainous Nazis were mowed down by stars such as Errol Flynn and John Wayne. Hollywood's fascination continued over the years -- there have been ruthless Nazis such as Ralph Fiennes' soulless butcher in "Schindler's List," idiotic dummkopfs in "The Producers" and "Hogan's Heroes" and more recently more nuanced Nazis such as Kate Winslet in "The Reader" and Tom Cruise in "Valkyrie."
In his multi-Oscar-nominated "Inglourious Basterds," writer-director Quentin Tarantino has created one of the most memorable Nazi screen villains ever -- Col. Hans Landa -- a diabolical and eccentric SS officer known as "the Jew Hunter." Landa is brought brilliantly to life by Austrian actor Christoph Waltz, who has won practically every award this season and is considered a front-runner for the supporting actor Oscar. In a way, the film is something of a throwback to the take-no-prisoners spirit of the World War II films; Brad Pitt, the leader of the "Basterds," doesn't want to understand the Nazis, he just wants to kill them -- or scalp them, or both.
Here's a look at the various ways Nazis have been portrayed in cinema in the past.
Full story: The good, the bad and the Nazi
By Susan King
February 26, 2014