|Directed by||Oliver Hirschbiegel|
|Music by||David Holmes|
|Edited by||Alexander Dittner|
Lucky Bird Pictures
|Distributed by||NFP marketing & distribution|
13 Minutes (German: Elser – Er hätte die Welt verändert) is a 2015 German drama film directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel that tells the true story of Georg Elser's failed attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler in November 1939. The title of the film is drawn from the fact that Elser's bomb detonated in a venue that the Fuhrer had left just 13 minutes before.
It was screened out of competition at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival. It was one of eight films shortlisted by Germany to be their submission for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 88th Academy Awards, but it lost out to Labyrinth of Lies.
In November 1939, after planting a bomb inside a column of a Munich bierkeller, Georg Elser (Christian Friedel) attempts to cross into neutral Switzerland but is caught at the border. His home-made bomb detonates but misses killing Adolf Hitler, the German leader, by just 13 minutes.
The German security services find incriminating evidence on Elser and link him to the assassination attempt. They believe Elser must have been working with a group of conspirators and torture Elser to find this information. They also round up members of his family from his home village, including Else Härlen (Katharina Schüttler), a married woman Elser has been seeing.
When Else Härlen is brought before Elser, he fears for her life and tells Kripo police chief Arthur Nebe (Burghart Klaußner) and Gestapo head Heinrich Müller (Johann von Bülow) that he acted alone, procuring detonators from a steel factory and stealing dynamite from a nearby quarry. He outlines the two clockwork mechanisms he built to time the explosion and hopefully kill Hitler as he made a speech. Still believing Elser could not have attempted the assassination alone he once more is tortured using drugs (Pervitin), but with the same result as before — he insists that he acted alone.
Through flashbacks it is learned that Elser came to despise the Nazis and saw that Hitler needed to be removed to save Germany. Following his arrest, Elser was kept in concentration camps for five years and was shot a few days before American forces liberated Dachau concentration camp (a few weeks before the war ended).
- Christian Friedel as Georg Elser
- Katharina Schüttler as Else Härlen
- Burghart Klaußner as Arthur Nebe
- Johann von Bülow as Heinrich Müller
- Felix Eitner as Eberle
- David Zimmerschied as Josef Schurr
- Rüdiger Klink as Erich
- Simon Licht as SS Obergruppenführer
- Cornelia Köndgen as Maria Elser
- Martin Maria Abram as Ludwig Elser
- Michael Kranz as Franz Xaver Lechner
The film has been received generally positively by critics, holding a 60% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The review in The Guardian newspaper noted the film as "...a heartfelt study of a man who tried to kill Hitler" The newspaper was also very complimentary about Christian Friedel's performance as Elser.
However, the entertainment magazine Variety were less impressed, saying "... the absence of subtlety combined with predictable dollops of sentimentalism once again trivialize events in the name of making them understandable". In the Daily Telegraph review, the reviewer noted the film as having an "...overbearing sentimentalism and lacquered, Oscar-hungry sheen".
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- Roxborough, Scott (27 August 2015). "Oscars: Germany Picks 'Labryinth of Lies' for Foreign Language Category". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 27 August 2015.
- "Elser (13 Minutes)". Retrieved 3 July 2016.
- Bradshaw, Peter (16 July 2015). "13 Minutes review – a heartfelt study of a man who tried to kill Hitler". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
- Weissberg, Jay. "Berlin Film Review: '13 Minutes'". Variety. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
- Smith, Patrick (16 July 2015). "13 Minutes review: 'Subtle it is not'". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 28 March 2016.