The Road Movie Book

By Steven Cohan; Ina Rae Hark | Go to book overview

1

“HITLER CAN'T KEEP 'EM THAT LONG”

The road, the people

Bennet Schaber

Hitler has a passion for movies - including the products of Hollywood. (Two of his favorites were It Happened One Night and Gone with the Wind.)

William L. Shirer, Berlin Diary, Dec 1, 1940

That was the first bad thing I'd heard about [It Happened One Night]. I was shocked and started to analyze it, but I gave it up. But I resent it like the devil.

Frank Capra, 1941

In an entry from his diary for November 5, 1939, William Shirer makes the following observations, worth quoting at some length.

Hitler is a fiend for films, and on evenings when no important conferences are on or he is not overrunning a country, he spends a couple of hours seeing the latest movies in his private cinema room in the Chancellery. News-reels are a great favorite with him, and in the last weeks he has seen all those taken in the Polish war, including hundreds of thousands of feet which were filmed for the army archives and will never be seen by the public. He likes American films and many never publicly exhibited in Germany are shown him. A few years ago he insisted on having It Happened One Night run several times. Though he is supposed to have a passion for Wagnerian opera, he almost never attends the Opera here in Berlin. He likes the Metropol, which puts on tolerable musical comedies with an emphasis on pretty dancing girls. Recently he had one of the girls who struck his fancy to tea. But only to tea. In the evening, too, he likes to have in Dr. Todt, an imaginative engineer who built the great Autobahn network of two-lane motor roads and later the fortifications of the Westwall. Hitler, rushing to compensate what he thinks is an artistic side that was frustrated by non-recognition in his youthful days in Vienna, has a passion for architects' models and will spend hours fingering them with Dr. Todt. Lately, they say,

-17-

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The Road Movie Book
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Plates ix
  • Introduction 1
  • Works Cited 14
  • Part I - Mapping Boundaries 15
  • 1 - “hitler Can't Keep 'Em That Long” 17
  • 2 - Western Meets Eastwood 45
  • 3 - Mad Love, Mobile Homes, and Dysfunctional Dicks 70
  • Notes 86
  • Works Cited 89
  • 4 - On the Run and on the Road 90
  • Works Cited 107
  • Part II - American Roads 111
  • 5 - Almost like Being at Home 113
  • 6 - Wanderlust and Wire Wheels 143
  • 7 - Exposing Intimacy in Russ Meyer's Motorpsycho! and Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! 165
  • 8 - The Road to Dystopia 179
  • Works Cited 202
  • 9 - Fear of Flying 204
  • Notes 227
  • Works Cited 228
  • Part III - Alternative Routes 231
  • 10 - The Nation, the Body, and the Autostrada 233
  • 11 - “we Don't Need to Know the Way Home” 249
  • 12 - Hom E and Away 271
  • 13 - Race on the Road 287
  • 14 - Revitalizing the Road Genre 307
  • 15 - My Own Private Idaho and the New Queer Road Movies 330
  • 16 - Disassociated Masculinities and Geographies of the Road 349
  • Index of Films 371
  • General Index 375
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