(1975) The last flight of the German dirigible Hindenburg culminated in a fire as it was preparing to land on May 6, 1937, at Lakehurst Naval Air Station in New Jersey. The film is based on the book by Michael M. Mooney, which I am reading now.
The World War II significance of the Hindenburg is that it was such a PR propaganda ploy for the Nazis, a symbol of their strength and ingenuity.
What fascinated me was watching what it was like to be on board … floating through the air, looking out the windows, having dinner and cocktails in the formal dining room.
After the crash there were investigations by both the United States and Germany. Even though there had been bomb threats before the flight the US didn’t want to find out anything that would precipitate an international crisis. And Hitler didn’t want the disaster to be anything but what he called it … an act of God.
The movie focused on the bomb theory. George C. Scott played the Luftwaffe Colonel who uncovers it too late. Anne Bancroft plays a Countess who an anti-Nazi and wants to join her daughter in Boston, permanently. Many of the characters were based on actual Hindenburg passengers, although in most cases the names were changed. I’ll know more when I’ve finished the book!
Amazing to me when you watch the newsreels (and several are incorporated in the movie) is that of the 97 people on board only 36 died. How anyone got out alive is a miracle.