Spoiler Points for Valkyrie (2008)

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Spoiler Points for Valkyrie (2008) [PG-13] 120 minutes
WIP™ Scale: $14.25
DVD Release Date: Unscheduled (please check back)
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Spoiler Points for Valkyrie

If you had to rush from the theatre mid-film because you thought you saw giant winged creatures circling your seat in the middle of Valkyrie, then this spoiler is for you.

• Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg (Tom Cruise) is injured in an allied bombing in North Africa causing him to lose an eye, a hand, and two fingers off the other hand. The maimed war hero is known for his decidedly anti-Nazi leanings and, therefore, appointed to a high office in the war ministry under the command of General Friedrich Olbricht (Bill Nighy). Olbricht invites Stauffenberg to meet with Ludwig Beck (Terence Stamp) who will become the leader of the military should a successful coup and assassination of Hitler be orchestrated. In this meeting, Stauffenberg challenges the resistance notion that simply an assassination of Hitler isn't enough, there must be a military plan to take over the country in the vacuum left.
• Eventually, Stauffenberg suggests they rewrite operation Valkyrie, the secret military plan by Hitler to be engaged in the attempt of a coup whereby a military reserve army would be put in charge to arrest and process all traitors. Stauffenberg is charged with re-writing the plan, securing Hitler's signature to the plan, and then carrying out the assassination attempt.
• The first attempt is called off because Hitler's number two, Himmler (Matthias Freihof), is not present. This angers Stauffenberg who wants full command of the next attempt and he gets it.
• The next attempt is set to go, but there's a glitch. The bomb is designed to be used inside the Wolf's Lair, a concrete, reinforced bunker that will protect Hitler from outside bombing should the allies receive his location. Due to the heat, the bomb has to be used inside a nearby home. Stauffenberg, nonetheless, goes on with the plan and leaves the bomb in his briefcase under the table being used by Hitler and his men to plan their next moves against the allies.
• Stauffenberg uses a pre-arranged phone call to get him out of the room. As he walks away, the heat accelerates the explosion and he presumes that Hitler and his inner circle have all just been obliterated. He, his asst., and driver race away back to the airstrip. Back at the Lair, General Erich Fellgiebel phones in that the bomb has gone off, and then severs all communications between the lair and the outide world. But, General Olbricht is too afraid to initiate operation Valkyrie. He worries that just because the bomb went off doesn't mean Hitler is dead. His refusal to act until he hears from Stauffenberg directly costs the resistance precious time. Stauffenberg arrives in Berlin to find nothing in motion. He acts swiftly, and operation Valkyrie is initiated. General Friedrich Fromm (Tom Wilkinson) is the only one with the authority to start the operation, so they forge his signature on the document. The reserve army is activated and they announce that Hitler (David Bamber) is dead, the victim of an SS coup.
• Their plan ultimately fails despite early success because Hitler is not dead and he gets word to Himmler who then calls on the commander of the reserve forces to capture alive the men really responsible for the coup. Throughout the evening, the tide turns against the resistance. Eventually, everyone is arrested.
• In the end, everyone associated with the resistance is put to death by firing squad. Hitler survives until the allies take Berlin, and he commits suicide.

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