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Hindenburg (1975)

Poster: Winnie the Pooh Enters The Hindenburg

Winnie the Pooh Enters The Hindenburg is an upcoming film to be made by Billy2009. It will appear on Google Drive in 6-1-2015.

Plot

Kathie Rauch (Ruth Schudson) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin sends a letter to the German Embassy in Washington, D.C.claiming the Hindenburg zeppelin will explode after flying over New York. In the meantime, Luftwaffe Colonel Franz Ritter (George C. Scott) boards with the intention of protecting the Hindenburg as various threats have been made to down the airship, which some see as a symbol of Nazi Germany.

Ritter is assisted by a Nazi government official, SS/Gestapo Hauptsturmführer Martin Vogel (Roy Thinnes), who poses as an "official photographer" of the Hindenburg. However, both operate independently in investigating the background of all passengers and crew on the voyage. Ritter has reason to suspect everyone, even his old friend, Countess Ursula von Reugen (Anne Bancroft), whose Baltic estate in Peenemunde had been taken over by the Nazis and appears to be escaping Germany to visit her daughter in Boston.

Other prime suspects include card sharks Emilio Pajetta (Burgess Meredith) and Major Napier (Rene Auberjonois), Edward Douglas (Gig Young), a suspicious German-American ad executive, as well as several crew members and even the Hindenburg captains Pruss (Charles Durning) and Lehmann (Richard A. Dysart). Many possible clues turn out to be red herrings, such as Joe Spah (Robert Clary) sketching the ship's interior as an idea for a Vaudeville show and mysterious names which later turned out to be the name of race horses on board the Queen Mary (where Douglas' competitor is travelling).

As the Hindenburg makes its way to Lakehurst Naval Air Station, events conspire against Ritter and Vogel. They soon suspect the rigger Karl Boerth (William Atherton), a former Hitler Youth leader who has become disillusioned with the Nazis. Ritter attempts to arrest him but he resists and requests help from Ritter, who sympathizes with him because his son was killed in an accident a year before while in the Hitler Youth. Ritter later receives news that Boerth's girlfriend, Freda Halle (Lisa Pera), was killed while trying to escape arrest as the Hindenburg crossed the Atlantic. Boerth, upon hearing the news of Halle's death, plans to commit suicide by staying aboard the airship as the bomb goes off, to show that there is a resistance against the Nazi party. Ritter reluctantly agrees with Boerth to set the bomb to 7:30, when the airship should have landed and passengers disembarked, saying an explosion in flight is the "last thing he wants".

While setting up the bomb, Boerth drops the knife part which is recovered by a crew member. To cover up the loss of his knife, Boerth steals a knife from fellow rigger Ludwig Knorr. Vogel starts to work behind Ritter's back, arresting Boerth and confiscating the Countess's passport.

As the airship approaches Lakehurst Naval Air Station at 7:00, Ritter now realizes the landing has been delayed and searches for Boerth to ask where the bomb is. Vogel is caught by Ritter in the cargo bay torturing Boerth and gets into a fight with Ritter and is knocked unconscious. An injured Boerth tells Ritter the bomb is in the repair patch of gas cell 4. Ritter attempts to defuse the bomb, but is distracted by a now-awakened Vogel and is unable to do so in time. The bomb explodes, killing Ritter instantly and sending Vogel flying down the walkway. Vogel survives, being carried by ground crewmen. Boerth was injured from being tortured by Vogel and dies of his burns, but manages to set the Channing's dog free before the ship crashes to the ground.

At this point, the film changes to monochrome in order to match up with the newsreel footage of the disaster. Passengers and crew struggle to survive the fire. The disaster scene ends when the camera pans over wreckage, towards a strip of burning fabric that says "Hindenburg" on it. The following day, with the fire cleared, a short list of some of the passengers and crew who died or survived (this includes fictionalized characters) is described briefly, while the wreckage is examined for the inquiry before being cleaned up.

The story ends with a tribute to Herbert Morrison's radio commentary, with the memorable quotation, "Oh, the humanity!" as the Hindenburg flies once again, only to disappear again in the clouds.

Trivia

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