Elsa, She-Wolf of the S.S.

Elsa alert!

This fortnight’s Forgotten tackles one of those curiously lighthearted responses to the dark days of WWII. Take off on a flight of fantasy — and KILL HITLER!

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2 Responses to “Elsa, She-Wolf of the S.S.”

  1. I commend to you for pure low-quality strangeness two Hal Roach streamliners:

    “The Devil With Hitler” has Satan (Alan Mowbray, biggest name in either film) trying to impress his board of directors by going up to fetch Hitler. Hitler is entertaining Mussolini and a Japanese diplomat named Suki Yaki. Meanwhile, an American insurance salesman arrives, convinced that selling Hitler a life insurance policy is a career-making idea. He changes his mind and eventually Satan helps him escape with the girl.

    A sequel, “That Natzy Nuisance”, brings back the same three actors as Adolf, Benito and Suki. They convene on the island Norom (spell it backwards) to cut some sort of deal with Paj Mub (likewise). Some shipwrecked American sailors eventually inflict non-fatal cartoon-style punishment for the death of their shipmates and others.

    Both are less entertaining than they sound; neither is as good as the Three Stooges shorts with Moe as the great dictator. But they’re intriguing as you try to imagine the mindset of the makers, and the reaction of wartime audiences.

  2. Milos Forman said that when Czech audiences finally got to see The Great Dictator after the war, it was a huge relief to finally be able to laugh at the monster who had been oppressing them. I guess American audiences got some of that relief early via escapist fantasies of comical, painless victory.

    The weird thing about Passport is that it doesn’t accomplish its mission and doesn’t end with any particular promise of doing so.

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