Blood & Gold parents guide

Blood & Gold Parent Guide

It's hard to find humor in Nazis. This film tries and fails.

Overall D

Theaters: At the end of WWII, a German deserter finds himself entangled in a Nazi hunt for Jewish gold.

Release date May 26, 2023

Violence D
Sexual Content D
Profanity D
Substance Use D

Why is Blood & Gold rated TV-MA? The MPAA rated Blood & Gold TV-MA for language, sexual violence, smoking, violence.

Run Time: 100 minutes

Parent Movie Review

As the Allies press towards Germany at the end of World War II, Heinrich (Robert Maaser) decides that he has had enough. Heinrich never wanted a war, but after being conscripted he was forced to fight in nearly every theater of war. For the last six years, he’s fought to stay alive and protect his family. When he learns that they have been killed in an Allied bombing raid, Heinrich decides he’s had enough and deserts his unit.

Deciding to desert is easier than actually pulling it off. The unit sergeant (Roy McCrerey) and the SS attaché Von Starnfeld (Alexander Scheer) are eager to see him die for his treason against the Reich. Thankfully, Heinrich is able to get help from a determined local farmer, Elsa (Marie Hacke), who has no love for the Nazis herself. Von Starnfeld is hunting bigger game than Heinrich: the SS officer has heard a rumor about hidden Jewish gold in a nearby town, and he’s not going to leave until he finds it. Heinrich and Elsa won’t have an easy time sneaking around him…they might have to fight right through.

Action comedies are tricky enough without setting them in the Second World War. It’s not easy to balance excitement and amusement, but trying to include Nazis makes things a lot harder – and boy, does it show. Swinging between that famous (?) German humor and brutal Nazi war crimes means this film has the tonal consistency of a clown car in a freeway accident. When it works, it works. When it doesn’t….it gets dark. Very dark.

Blood & Gold has a plot and soundtrack vaguely inspired by spaghetti Westerns, but I wish they’d leaned into that angle more than the comedy. Not too much, mind - you don’t want to make a film that feels like The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly in Nazi uniforms. I think that kind of intense, lawless chase story would have worked better in the late-war German setting, with wolves at every door, food shortages, and a government too busy eating itself alive to do much else. As is, the Western elements feel tacked on, which is really disappointing.

If you were expecting an action-comedy-Western about Nazi Germany to be a rollicking family adventure full of good morals and laudable behavior, you might want to reexamine your expectations. The Nazis spend the film being, well, Nazis: chewing amphetamines, killing, torturing, and attempting to sexually assault civilians, stealing, and generally being the scum of the earth. No surprises here, but it’s still not a great watch for those with content sensitivities. I think this film had a good opportunity to make a quirky little genre mashup, but the lack of tonal consistency just makes it weird.

Directed by Peter Thorwarth. Starring Jördis Triebel, Alexander Scheer, Robert Maaser. Running time: 100 minutes. Theatrical release May 26, 2023. Updated

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Blood & Gold
Rating & Content Info

Why is Blood & Gold rated TV-MA? Blood & Gold is rated TV-MA by the MPAA for language, sexual violence, smoking, violence.

Violence: People are stabbed, cut, hanged, shot, blown up, poisoned, and thrown out of windows to their death. A man attempts to sexually assault another character but is interrupted, and later has scalding water poured on his genitals in the ensuing fight.
Sexual Content: There is an attempted sexual assault which does not include any nudity. There is one scene which contains a sexually crude conversation.
Profanity: There are 13 sexual expletives, 20 scatological curses, and occasional use of mild profanites and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult characters are seen drinking and smoking, and one character is frequently seen taking field-issued amphetamines called Pervitin.

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Other (and more consistent) attempts at finding humor in late-war Germany include Taika Waititi’s JoJo Rabbitand Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Bastards. This film borrows some elements from classic Westerns like The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly.