The Twisted Cross (1956)

Genres - History  |   Sub-Genres - Biography, Politics & Government  |   Run Time - 60 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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The second in NBC's series of 60-minute Project 20 historical documentaries, "The Twisted Cross" was assembled by the same production team responsible for the classic WW2 series Victory at Sea. Relying almost exclusively on newsreel footage, the documentary chronicles the dizzying rise and precipitous fall of Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler. Some of the authentic film excerpts had only recently been declassified, and thus were being seen on TV for the very first time. Only when no contemporary film existed did the special rely upon re-enactments (most notably, the scenes of Jews being rounded up for concentration camps were lifted from fictional films made long after the fact). Originally hosted by Today Show emcee Dave Garroway, the film is narrated by Alexander Scourby, who performed the same function for Project 20's inaugural 1955 effort, Nightmare in Red. Rebroadcast several times throughout the 1950s and 1960s, The Twisted Cross was later widely distributed for classroom use, and in the 1980s the film resurfaced on cable TV.

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Keywords

dictator, fall [downfall], Nazi, newsreels, suicide, swastika