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Valkyrie

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Valkyrie is a 2008 film that depicts the events leading up to the 20 July Plot and its aftermath, starring Tom Cruise as Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg.

Thomas Kretschmann played the role of a major of the Reserve Army Otto Ernst Remer, and Christian Berkel also played a role. Some parodies use this film for the 20 July Plot detailed in the film, but many more use them simply for Kretschmann's role, and is thus classified as actor parodies.

Synopsis

Stauffenberg, who lost his right hand, two fingers of his left, and his left eye on the African campaign was recruited into the German Resistance movement headed by a committee comprising high members of the German government and military, after a failed assassination attempt on Hitler during a flight. Stauffenberg, shocked to see that o plan of action is in place after Hitler's assassination, thought up an idea to rectify Operation Valkyrie, a plan involving the deployment of the Reserve Army to maintain order, in order to dismantle the Nazi regime, and gets it signed by Hitler himself.

The committee then hatched a plan to assassinate Hitler and Himmler in the Wolfsschanze during a military briefing. In the first attempt, the Reserve Army was called to standby, but Himmler was absent in the briefing and the committee decided to abort. The indecision causes Stauffenberg to assume command of the next assassination attempt, which takes place on 20 July 1944. Unforeseen circumstances saw the briefing relocated to a wooden shack instead of the thick concrete bunkers, which meant the explosive energy would be dissipated, and lack of time caused only one explosive instead of two is armed. Furthermore the briefcase with the explosive was moved and a table leg shielded Hitler from the direct impact of the blast resulting in Hitler surviving the blast.

Stauffenberg, upon seeing the blast himself, immediately set off to Berlin convinced that Hitler is dead. Meanwhile in the communications center an inside officer communicates the situation to the other members, but the message was not clear, before severing the lines. Due to the unclear message the Operation was delayed. The Reserve Army was moved to secure and capture SS divisions and top members, which they claimed had transpired to coup. Meanwhile the lines from Wolfs Lair went back online, and conflicting orders were abound. Major Otto Ernst Remer, commanding officer of the Reserve Army in Berlin, was ordered to capture Goebbels, but Goebbels had Hitler himself, who was still alive on the phone convincing Remer that they themselves were the coup. Eventually, communications from Stauffenberg's office was severed when it was certain Hitler was still alive and on the radio, and most of the members were court martialled and executed.

In parodies

Many parodies use Otto Ernst Remer's appearances in the film as though it is Hermann Fegelein from Downfall. Christian Berkel who played Ernst-Günther Schenck in Downfall and Colonel Mertz von Quirnheim in Valkyrie, however receive little to no attention.

Trivia

  • A few actors of Valkyrie also appear later in Rommel, some presumed to play the same character in both films. Incidentally, or it is because of, both films include the 20 July Plot in their stories.
  • Several actors, while rehearsing their roles, tried to speak with an imitated German accent, but was told not to by the director, saying they aren't filming "a documentary".

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