Nazis as Movie Villains: The Evolution of a Cliche

By Eleanor Barkhorn, Spencer Kornhaber, & Daniel D. Snyder

Films use Nazis as bad guys for good reason: They were bad guys. But all too often, genocidal Germans act as cartoon crutches for storytellers looking to pit good against incontrovertible evil.

In films like the just-released Captain America, the outcome is blandness. In other cases, the presence of Nazis provides cover for gratuitous violence, or as shortcuts to creating a sense of persecution among the movie's protagonists.

Not all cinematic Hitler fans have been unambiguously depraved, but these ones were:

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2011/07/nazis-as-movie-villains-the-evolution-of-a-cliche/242519/