Movie Renter's Guide - April, 2009


"Valkyrie" (2008) (SD DVD)


In Hitler's Germany, during WW-II, Valkyrie was the code name for a document that was to be executed in the case of emergency. It involved calling up Army reserves and securing important areas of Berlin.

Several high ranking German officers and businessmen wanted to see Hitler assassinated, but they needed the right man to pull it off.

Col. Claus von Stauffenberg (Cruise) comes along at just the right time, and he agrees to do it. He is promoted to Reserve Army Chief of Staff so he will have access to Hitler.

Two packages of C4 explosive, with pencil style detonators, are placed in Stauffenberg's briefcase, and at a July 20, 1944 meeting at Wolfsschanze (Wolf's Lair - a secret place in the forests of Rastenburg, East Prussia), where Hitler held staff meetings, he puts his briefcase next to Hitler in the meeting room, and has one of the attending soldiers call him to the phone when the explosives are supposed to go off.

An explosion occurs, and Valkyrie is activated. Stauffenberg and many others assume that Hitler has been killed, and SS men are arrested.

Unfortunately, someone moved the briefcase to the outside of one of the table's legs, and Hitler was protected from the main blast, so he survived.

The perpetrators are rounded up and executed, including Stauffenberg.



  • United Artists
  • 2008, Color, Rated PG-13, 2 Hr 1 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • 480p
  • Codec: MPEG-2
  • English 5.1 DD
  • Starring Tom Cruise, Kenneth Branagh, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson, Terence Stamp
  • Directed by Bryan Singer
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Yes
  • Sex: No
  • Language: Mild


Cruise should not have been cast as the main character, because he is so recognizable, one is constantly thinking that here is Cruise with an eyepatch, rather than being immersed in Stauffenberg's character and actions. However, it is an interesting tale, and a true story. There were 16 attempts on Hitler's life during his reign of power, and 15 of them failed, including this one. The 16th was successful, but Hitler had to do it himself.


For an SD DVD, the image is amazingly sharp, and I had to look close to make sure I wasn't watching a Blu-ray version (review copies are often sent to me as "Screeners" in plain envelopes with no cover art or details). DD 5.1 does a good job as well.


These include the Director's Commentary, Journey to Valkyrie, the Valkyrie Legacy, and other things.