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Tom Cruise brings Valkyrie to Berlin

Tom Cruise said Tuesday he felt a huge burden of responsibility to history in bringing the story of one of Germany's few anti-Nazi heroes to the screen.

BERLIN - Tom Cruise said Tuesday he felt a huge burden of responsibility to history in bringing the story of one of Germany's few anti-Nazi heroes to the screen.

In "Valkyrie," Cruise plays Col. Claus Graf Schenk von Stauffenberg - the aristocratic army officer who was among those executed after a failed attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler in July 1944.

"I think it's the most challenging film I've ever made," Cruise said at a news conference in Berlin before the movie's European premiere.

"The whole time, we carried a huge burden of the responsibility of the history," he said. He added that he and the crew wanted "to represent the spirit of the resistance and history in the most accurate way and also ... deliver a piece of entertainment."

The movie was shot in Berlin in 2007, at locations including the site where the anti-Hitler plotters were executed - the so-called Bendlerblock, part of the Defence Ministry grounds and now a memorial to the anti-Nazi resistance.

"We felt very privileged to have that opportunity to shoot there," Cruise said.

A grandson of Stauffenberg, Philipp von Schulthess, plays a small supporting role as an aide to fellow conspirator Maj. Gen. Henning von Tresckow.

"We're all, most of us, are very excited about the film," Schulthess said of the family's reaction.

"We're excited because we think it's important that the story's being told and we feel that ... it's a great opportunity to tell the story to a broader audience than was previously possible," he said.

 
 
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