Cruise film causes more controversy with 'fake' photos

21st June 2008, Comments 0 comments

The already controversial Tom Cruise project 'Valkyrie', depicting a plot to kill Adolf Hitler, has been futher beset by allegations of altering historical photos in promotional material

The producers of Tom Cruise's new film 'Valkyrie' have been accused of meddling with historical truth after experts claimed historical photos had been altered for use in promotional material.

A picture of former Nazi commander Claus Shenk Graf von Staffenberg is supposed to have been altered using computer software in order to make him appear more similar to Cruise, who plays him in the film. Von Stauffenberg was a leader of the failed plot to assassinate Nazi leader Adolf Hitler in the latter years of the second world war using a bomb in a briefcase.

The allegations, which first appeared on the US website, have received negative comment from German historians. Stauffenburg expert Peter Steinbach told Spiegel magazine that any manipulation degraded Stauffenburg from a key German historical figure to " a superman in an action film", accusing filmakers of "naive naturalism."

'Valkyrie' is not scheduled for release until the spring of 2009 but has already ruffled feathers in Germany during filming. Cruise's controversial membership of the Church of Scientology caused difficulties in both filming and public reception. Germany refused access to certain military sites, in part due to Cruise's religious orientation. In Germany Scientology is classed as a cult rather than a religion due to its lack of openness and financial obligations, being under surveillance by the German intelligence services. In the past it has even been banned completely.

The Stauffenburg family meanwhile are not happy about Cruise playing the role. Stauffenberg's son Bertold, 72, had previously said of the film, "I find it unappealing that my father is being played by a recognised Scientologist"

Dominic Hinde

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