This two part drama, with a running time of almost three hours, gives us very little insight into the young Adolf Hitler and the stormy relationship with his overbearingly strict father and whizzes through his early years at breakneck speed.
Things slow down when ROBERT CARLYLE takes on the role of the Austrian. We see him develop from homeless outcast to struggling painter, decorated soldier to public speaker and, ultimately, leader of a nation.
What is evident from his intense portrail is that CARLYLE has extensively studied Hitler so he can perfectly mimic the mans mannerisms, something noticeable during the many speech scenes.
He also has strong support from a star-studded cast. MATTHEW MODINE is a dedicated journalist with the courage to speak out against Hitler and JENA MALONE plays the future Fuhrers tragic niece. LIEV SCHREIBER is a wealthy industrialist and JULIANNA MARGUILIES his wife, a woman who becomes obsessed with Hitler, while PETER STORMARE is the ruthless and arrogant SA bully, Rohm. Veteran actor PETER OTOOLE plays the ageing Chancellor Hindenburg in what is, sadly, a rather minor role. None of them try to disguise their voices but the production does not suffer in any way due to this.
As the story progresses we see a Hitler who increasingly blames the Jews for both his own misfortunes and those of Germany itself, who leads a failed coup but through sheer force of will finally joins the National Socialist Party and ousts its ineffective leader, Drexler. Once installed to power we see his reaction to the destruction of the Reichstag and swift assassination of several political rivals and former friends - such as Rohm - who can no longer be controlled or relied upon for support.
The drama ends with Hitler at a Munich Rally and, just before the end credits, gives a brief history of the Fuhrers relentless march to war, his ruthless oppression of the Jews and eventual suicide in 1945 as Germany crumbles around him.
Despite the quality of the drama itself, plus the extensive wealth of information available on the subject matter, Extra Features are extremely sparse and consist solely of the Original Trailer.