Adolf Hitler: My Part in His Downfall

Well if you don’t know Spike Milligan you darn well should. Along with Harry Secombe, Michael Bentine, and Peter Sellers, Milligan wrote and performed in the BBC seminal radio show The Goon Show which fostered Beyond The Fringe, Cook and Moore and of course Monty Python. Milligan is pretty much universally acknowledged The Father of Modern British Comedy.

That said this 1972 adaptation of his war memoirs is less than satisfying. Milligan was actually in the war and was wounded during the Battle of Monte Cassino in the Italian campaign. The book itself is a jumble of anecdotes, actual letters, and Milligan’s own narrative. It is a bittersweet absurdist view of war and the military. Milligan claims every word was true. This film unfortunately suffers from that smug self-consciousness which afflicted most films of 1972; What’s Up, Doc?, The Thing With Two Heads, Butterflies Are Free, etc.

The film is vaguely amusing but that’s all. The only aspects recommending it are Milligan playing his own father in the flick, and maybe if you can glean the humor through the heavy handed direction it will intrigue you enough to read the book: Adolf Hitler: My Part in His Downfall, Volume One.

Available On Demand.

Directed by: Norman Cohen

Starring: Jim Dale, Arthur Lowe, Bill Maynard, Geoffrey Hughes, Windsor Davies

Screenplay by: Johnny Byrne In Collaboration With Norman Cohen

Not Rated

Written by

An award-winning L.A. playwright and rabble-rouser of note who has hoisted glasses with Orson Welles, been arrested on three continents and once beat up Charlie Manson. His first play, "Among the Vipers" was a semi-finalist in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition and was featured in the Carnegie-Mellon Showcase of New Plays. It was produced at the NPT Theater in Ashland, Oregon and Los Angeles’ celebrated Odyssey Ensemble Theatre. His following play, “The Little Boy Who Loved Monsters” was produced at The Hollywood Actors Theater, where he earned praise from the Los Angeles Times for his “…inordinately creative writing.” The play went on to numerous other productions including Berlin’s The Black Theatre under the direction of Rainer Fassbinder who wrote in his program notes of Kearney, “He is a skilled playwright, but more importantly he is a dangerous one.” Ernest Kearney has worked as literary manager or as dramaturge for among others The Hudson Theater Guild, Nova Diem and the Odyssey Ensemble Theatre, where he still serves on the play selection committee. He has been the recipient of two Dramalogue Awards and a finalist or semi-finalist, three times, in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition. His work has been performed by Michael Dunn, Sandra Tsing Loh, Jack Colvin and Billy Bob Thornton, and to date, either as playwright or director, he has upwards of a hundred and thirty productions under his belt, including a few at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater as puppeteer. Kearney remains focused on his writing, as well as living happily ever after with his lovely wife Marlene. His stage reviews and social essays can be found at and Follow him on Facebook.

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