Punching Nazis in Frock Flicks

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Since the horrific events in Charlottesville, Virginia, last Friday and Saturday, I’ve seen this GIF on social media more times than I can count:The Sound of Music (1965)

We here at Frock Flicks are heartily on board with the sentiment, because there’s no question that Nazis, old and new, are dirtbag assholes who deserve punching in the face.* Let’s call out white supremacy when we see it, no equivocating, none of this “many sides” crap. We love historical costume dramas for the history, and we should be learning from that history — stuff like Nazis are always the bad guys.

Now historical movies don’t always have the best track record for spotlighting anti-semitism, racism, and sexism. A few comic-book movies and WWII battle movies enjoy beating the crap out of Nazis, but frock flicks tend to give Nazis a pass (there’s even an whole subgenre of period ‘love across enemy lines’ flicks, ew). But I’ve tried to find a few films that give us some satisfaction of punching Nazis, either literally or metaphorically, to remind ourselves that we all need to stand up to today’s Nazi rhetoric and white supremacy wherever we see it, online and off.

*Note: Do not even get into a “it’s not OK to punch anyone, not even Nazis” debate here. I will delete you ASAP.

 

Indiana Jones movies (1981-1989)

Indy is pretty much the patron saint of punching Nazis in movies. Also, your favorite 1930s archeology professor.

 

Charlotte Gray (2001)

Charlotte Gray (2001)

Looking for women who hold their own against Nazis in historical films? This one’s heavy on the romance, but Cate Blanchett is a French Resistance fighter with pluck and verve (and awesome outfits).

 

Black Book (2006)

Black Book (2006)

This is more of a sexy spy thriller, but Carice van Houten (aka Melisandre in Game of Thrones) seduces Nazis and works secrets out them as a Jewish Dutch Resistance double-agent. Use ’em and lose ’em, girl!

 

Swing Kids (1993)

Swing Kids (1993)

Kendra loves the dancing, and you can’t deny that. But the story’s set in 1939 Hamburg with a Hitler Youth background. Along with the singing and dancing, there’s a “who’ll join or ditch the Nazis?” plot.

Swing Kids (1993)

 

Female Agents (2008)

Female Agents (2008)
An engrossing film with Sophie Marceau leading a commando group of female resistance fighters in occupied France. Not much on the costume front, but strong, resourceful women characters worth watching!

 

The Sound of Music (1965)

The Sound of Music (1965)
Obviously, for that GIF alone, but behind the love story about a dissatisfied nun-in-training is Austria’s involvement in World War II.

 

Not sure why this topic is relevant in the United States in 2017? Try a quickie history lesson via film…

The Book of Negroes (2015)

A TV miniseries focusing on an African woman sold into slavery who is caught up in a revolution and escape.

 

Roots (2016)

Roots (2016)

TV miniseries about an African man sold to slavery in America and his descendants. Based on the landmark 1970s series. Read our reviews of part I, 2, 3, and 4.

 

Beloved (1998)

Beloved (1998)

Haunting story of a formerly enslaved woman, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Toni Morrison.

 

Selma (2014)

Selma (2014)

Oscar-winning story of crucial events in the Civil Rights Movement, lead by Martin Luther King Jr.

 

Malcolm X (1992)

Malcolm X (1992)

Biography of the civil rights leader. In his own words: “We declare our right on this earth, to be a human being, to be respected as a human being, to be given the rights of a human being, in this society, on this earth, in this day, which we intend to bring into existence by any means necessary.”

Malcolm X (1992) Malcolm X (1992)

 

 

Well, you can at least do more than just watch movies. If you have a few bucks to spare, consider giving to a one-time or monthly donation to the Southern Poverty Law Center. For nearly 50 years, the SPLC has been tracking hate groups in the U.S. and working to teach tolerance in our communities.

 

Got more anti-racist, anti-white-supremacy, pro-punching-nazi frock flicks you want to recommend?

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About the author

Trystan L. Bass

Twitter Website

A self-described ElderGoth, Trystan has been haunting the internet since the early 1990s. Always passionate about costume, from everyday office wear to outrageous twisted historical creations, she has maintained some of the earliest online costuming-focused resources on the web. When she’s not dressing up in costumes, she can be found traveling the world with her sweetie and, occasionally, Kendra and Sarah. Her costuming and travel adventures are chronicled on her website, TrystanCraft. She also maintains a popular fashion blog, This Is CorpGoth, dedicated to her “office drag.”

69 Responses

  1. Adina

    They aren’t necessarily frock flicks, but the new Wolfenstein games allow you to shoot Nazis with 2 guns at once in an alternate 1960s america.

    Reply
    • Saraquill

      On a similar note, I recommend Lois Lowry’s book “Number the Stars,” featuring metaphorical Nazi punching.

      Reply
    • ladyaquanine73551

      The men in my family (dad, my brother, and my grandpa) all have played that game, but they played the old-school versions from the early 90s (I’ll never miss the loud fake noises and the huge pixels–ugh!). My dad has played a later version where you fight Nazis in a castle deep in the forests of Germany during WWII. Never heard of the alternate history game, though I doubt my dad would play it.

      Reply
  2. Cheryl from Maryland

    Perfect, and thank you. Not just for the Nazi references, but that the majority of the WWII films feature women making a difference, and then the extended reach with the history lessons of why no sane (or insane — you all know whom I’m referencing) person should tolerate this crap.

    Reply
  3. susan l eiffert

    Thank you for taking a stand. A friend also suggests making donations
    in memory of heather Heyer who was killed in Charlottesville.

    Reply
  4. Susan Pola Staples

    And although Indie punches Nazis, my favourite scene from pic is ‘Wrath of God’ melting Nazis. Kinda wish I could cobble Drogon breathing fire on Nazis.
    What about the British series WISH YOU LUCK? It’s about the Anglo-French Resistance.

    Reply
  5. Saraquill

    This flick doesn’t focus of pretty frocks, but “Rabbit Proof Fence” stars three Australian Aboriginal girls who pull a “screw this, we’re out of here” to the country’s anti-Aboriginal eugenics camps.

    Reply
    • ladyaquanine73551

      I thought that scene where he stole the uniform at that submarine bay was funny. He finds he stole it from a bean-pole soldier and it won’t fit over his muscular chest. Then some stupid Nazi soldier is berating him in German, (mom translated it and said he was basically yelling at Indy about why he was poorly dressed, mistaking him for a lower-level soldier). So you hear this jabbering going on for a few seconds, and then Indy just knocks the guy out, shutting him up (yay!) Then he steals the larger soldier’s uniform, xD

      Reply
  6. Marcela Gorga

    Hi there!

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while now, but I’m too shy to comment most times. But I gotta say thank you so much for this post and for saying what needs to be said and pointing out that what happened on Friday was horrible. If we don’t call out these monsters, we’ll leave the the social field open for them to take over.

    Reply
  7. myladyswardrobe

    This is not, unfortunately, a film which has others punching Nazis. However, I think it is a salutary lesson as to how seemingly “normal” people can become killers.
    This is the precis of the film in Wikipedia:

    “Conspiracy is a 2001 BBC/HBO war film which dramatizes the 1942 Wannsee Conference. The film delves into the psychology of Nazi officials involved in the “Final Solution of the Jewish Question” during World War II.
    The movie was written by Loring Mandel, directed by Frank Pierson, and starred an ensemble cast, including Colin Firth, David Threlfall, Kenneth Branagh as Reinhard Heydrich and Stanley Tucci as Adolf Eichmann. Branagh won an Emmy Award for Best Actor, and Tucci was awarded a Golden Globe for his supporting role as Eichmann.”
    ……..

    Reply
    • myladyswardrobe

      ….. (adding rest here as the website was hiding the “post comment” button)….

      It has famous names acting in it – and its all word for word accurate. And sends a shiver down one’s spine. This should be watched by all as a reminder how easy it is to descend into genocide despite a perfectly civilised facade.
      The Nazis we’ve been seeing on the news recently are certainly scary but they are a mob. I’m more scared about the Nazis that are in government – central or local. The ones that allow the mob a free reign and therefore tacit approval of what they are doing. We do not want another Kristalnacht or Anschluss. Or a Holocaust.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conspiracy_(2001_film)

      Reply
      • ladyaquanine73551

        You should try reading the teen fiction novel “The Wave.” It’s based on a real experiment that took place at a high school in CA. Of course, the story uses fictional names and locations, but basically, a history teacher held a social experiment, explaining just how powerful the brainwashing of citizens was in 1930s Germany. It was frightening just how eager the students in the entire school embraced the idea of “strength through discipline,” and wanted to be part of “The Wave.” It got so bad that Jewish kids were being beat up later on.

        Thankfully, the teacher finally abolished the whole thing by revealing to the kids who their great “leader was,” and showed a video of Hitler spewing out his disgusting rhetoric. That ended the experiment in a spectacular way, and the kids finally understood for real as to why Germans happily let the Nazi Party and Hitler take over their country.

        We read this when I was in high school, as well as watching the movie, and boy was it an eye-opener.

        Reply
      • Ellen Wolf

        What I found really chilling about Conspiracy was the way the film told the story using
        the notes taken at the actual meeting they were dramatizing. The actors quoted word for word what the people they were portraying said. There was no fighting or gunfire like you expect in a war movie, just a bunch of men meeting and coldly planning how to kill.

        Reply
  8. Sharon

    I’ve written out the Malcolm X quote and put in my diary, I’ve tried explaining your website to civilians, difficult………..now you’ve added a new level,
    BRAVO!! X

    Reply
  9. Katleen Norvell

    Thank you for this thread. While I don’t support the antifa’s (“Black Bloc”) methods, I have to give them credit during the Inauguration riot in DC, one of them punched Richard Spencer (notorious local neo-Nazi leader) in the nose. And for the record, SPLC will be in my will.

    Reply
  10. Margaret Astrid Creelman

    All the Queen’s Men. Eddie Izzard, Matt LeBlanc, men in drag sneaking an Enigma machine right out from under the Nazi collective noses. Bonus for showing what Hitler and his bozos did to their own people during the war, plus how homosexuals trying to keep under the radar in an oppressive regime.

    Reply
  11. Kaite

    The Free State of Jones. It didn’t make much of a splash when it was released in the theaters, I think because no one was quite sure how to market a Civil War movie that didn’t romanticize the War itself, and a lot of people seemed to assume that it was a typical “white savior” movie, when it really wasn’t.
    Its the true story of a Confederate deserter named Newt Knight who goes home when he concludes that its a ‘rich man’s war and a poor man’s fight’, and goes back home, where he joins with a group of runaway slaves who are already in the swamp. The movie goes through Reconstruction, and shows the way that the attempts to forge an alliance between poor whites and freedmen failed in heartbreaking detail. Although Knight is the protagonist, the other people in the movie are not flat, and their purpose isn’t to help Knight learn to be a better person.

    Reply
  12. MM

    This indie film is still raising funds to complete the first in what will hopefully a series and is striving to be one of the first serious attempt to chronicle the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and 100th Infantry Battallion.
    https://www.goforbrokemovie.com/

    Japanese Americans who were being persecuted in their own country fight Nazis.

    Reply
  13. Terry Towels

    ‘To Be or Not to Be’ Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft take on the Nazis in Poland.

    Reply
    • Trystan L. Bass

      I love that one! Also considered ‘The Producers’ tho I can never quite tell when it’s set (contemporary or historical). But y’know ‘Springtime for Hitler’ is one of the best satires ever.

      Reply
      • indiaedghill

        The Producers is a contemporarily-set movie: ie, it’s set in the year it was filmed. (BTW, watch for a female extra in a very flashy suit. She walks by in a couple scenes set miles from each other.) The play-within-the movie, “Springtime for Hitler,” is set during the Third Reich. I adore the movie, and the one thing that seriously dates it for me is trying to remember why hippies were supposed to be inherently funny.

        Reply
        • Trystan L. Bass

          Hah, I forgot about those references! I think the remake is trying to be set in a nebulous 1940s-60s “old Broadway” time because it has a very exaggerated look.

          Reply
      • Jenno

        Mel Brooks wrote an incredibly prescient lyric for Adolf Elizabeth (keep it gay!) Hitler to sing:
        It ain’t no mystery
        If it’s politics or history
        The thing you gotta know is
        Everything is show biz!

        Reply
    • Jamie Jo

      the original with Jack Benny and Carole Lombard is EVER SO MUCH BETTER. I’d suggest watching that one. Mr. Bennys father walked out when he saw his son in a Nazi uniform and scolded him very harshly. Jack told him he fought the Nazis and tricked them so his father went back and sat thru the movie, cheering his son and telling everyone he was Jacks father! I HIGHLY suggest watching the original, it’s better, has Carole Lombard (her very last film) and Jack is a LOT funnier than Mel.

      Reply
      • MoHub

        You beat me to it. I guess I was typing while your message posted. Glad we’re in agreement, though.

        Reply
    • MoHub

      The 1942 original—with Jack Benny and Carole Lombard—is better. Of course, that one was contemporary, while the Brooks version was a period piece.

      Reply
  14. Jamie Jo

    There is a movie on Irena Sendler, a nurse who saved Jewish children as part of the Polish Underground. it’s The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler. it’s VERY good, not sure if there is much punching out of Nazis, but there is a lot of cheating them of the murder of innocents.

    Reply
  15. Marina Baldock

    There is a very quirky Australian comedy series called “Danger 5”. Set in an alternative 1960s where 5 spies try and take down Hitler each episode. (And then the second series sets in the 80s). The entire premise of the show is bringing down Nazis.
    Trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Z09bNgSeMI

    Reply
  16. Karen

    The series, “X Company”…a CBC (Canada) produced series that got some mention on Frock Flicks a while back…loved that one! Spies, Nazis, war…

    Reply

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