What if the Nazis had won the war? That's the question posed by "The Man in the High Castle", the powerful drama now streaming on Amazon Video. If you were gripped by the dark and compelling Amazon show, here are our suggestions for other films and TV shows you might enjoy.
"The Man in the High Castle" is not the only book to contemplate how the world might look if World War II ended differently. Another example is the 1978 novel "SS-GB" by Len Deighton, the master of hard-boiled spy fiction who wrote "The Ipcress File" and other books on which the Harry Palmer films were based. "SS-GB" is set in Nazi-occupied Britain and sees a British policeman forced to team up with an SS officer to investigate a murder. Interestingly enough, UK broadcaster the BBC passed on producing "High Castle" but has recruited James Bond screenwriters Neal Purvis and Robert Wade to adapt Deighton's novel this year. A previous glimpse at British life under the Nazis comes in the powerful "It Happened Here", a film that took eight years to complete.
Other stories imagine what kind of society the Nazis would have built. Robert Harris' 1992 novel "Fatherland" was adapted into a TV movie by HBO in 1994, starring Rutger Hauer as a German police officer drawn into a web of conspiracy among high-ranking Nazi officials. The film earned Miranda Richardson a Golden Globe Award.
Of course, we don't need to look to fiction to find stories of heroic resistance against oppression and occupation. From 1958's "Carve Her Name with Pride", which told the true story of French spy Violette Szabo, to 2006's Dutch drama "Black Book", there are lots of films and TV shows that highlight the courageous contribution of resistance fighters and secret agents working in desperate conditions.
Another film drawn directly from real life is "Conspiracy", a BBC and HBO co-production that based its script on the minutes of the fateful Wannsee Conference, during which high-ranking Nazi officials met to plan the logistics of the Holocaust. Kenneth Branagh and Stanley Tucci head the cast as the film unfolds in chilling real time with no music. A more all-action look at intrigue within the Nazi power structure comes from "Valkyrie", in which Tom Cruise plays a general leading a plan to assassinate Hitler.
Real life is also the basis of "Letters From Iwo Jima", Clint Eastwood's sensitive 2006 war movie starring Ken Watanabe and Kazunari Ninomiya. US-produced but almost entirely in Japanese, the film depicts the bloody battle for the Pacific island from the Japanese perspective. Well-received in both Japan and the US for its balanced portrayal of the conflict, the film provides a compelling glimpse into the military culture of Imperial Japan.
After the war the Nazis and the Imperial Japanese were defeated, but that didn't stop speculation about whether some of the architects of Axis atrocities had escaped justice. "Marathon Man" and "The Boys from Brazil", both starring Lawrence Olivier, tell fictional stories about Nazis escaping to the Americas. "Brazil" involves clones of Hitler, while "Marathon" features stolen Jewish diamonds and a demonic dentistry scene that scarred a generation. "Is it safe?"
What do you think of our suggestions? What movies and TV shows do you recommend to fans of "The Man in the High Castle"? Let us know in the comments, or on Facebook and Twitter.