Tom Cruise stars as the leader of a group of disaffected German officers who attempted to assassinate Adolf Hitler on 20 July 1944 in director Bryan Singer’s (X-Men) dramatisation of actual events conceived as a suspense thriller. Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg (Cruise) is the leader of the 10th Panzer Division in Tunisia. Unlike those ensconced in Germany, he has first-hand experience of military failures in the field and also a soldier’s view of the acts of genocide perpetrated by the Reich. In his journal, he declares Hitler an enemy of Germany, but believes he won’t find anyone brave enough to help get rid of the Fuhrer. He then closes the journal nervously when a soldier turns up at his tent, a gentle but firm reminder of how dangerous such thoughts would have been. Then, in an air raid, von Stauffenberg loses an eye, but gains the insight that something must be done. Upon recovering from his injuries, he is approached by representatives of a group who have already tried to assassinate Hitler using a bomb concealed in a bottle of Cointreau. Among their number are Major-General Henning von Tresckow (Kenneth Branagh) and General Friedrich Olbricht (Bill Nighy). What follows is a dangerous game of plot and concealment with the high-stakes aim of killing Hitler and ending the war. Of course, the failure of the plot is well known. But on the way to this failure, there is plenty of intrigue in who can be trusted and who can’t and the knowledge that each of those involved in the plot face certain death if, or when they fail. An ensemble cast of British acting talent also includes Tom Hollander, Tom Wilkinson, Terence Stamp, Kevin McNally and Eddie Izzard.
Valkyrie – Saturday 12.20am Channel 4