A video clip from the German film Downfall, a biopic of Adolf Hitler's final days in his Berlin bunker, has become a hit on YouTube after the subtitles were edited to tell the story of Edinburgh's embattled tram scheme. The expletive-ridden four-minute clip originally depicted Hitler screaming at his frightened generals as he is told about the Allied encirclement of Berlin.
But on the YouTube version, the English subtitles have been changed so that the Fhrer loses his temper when finding out about proposals for the 545 million tram line.
When one of his generals tells him the cost of the project will be "500 million quid – probably double that", Hitler rages: "500 million f****** quid . . . to replace the number 22 bus".
Click here to watch the video
He then goes on: "They are punishing the people of Edinburgh for voting against their ridiculous congestion charging! . . . Why didn't they just buy electric bendy buses?"
Alan Rudland, vice-chairman of the Leith Business Association, said the sketch was "absolutely hilarious", adding that traders had learned to "have a sense of humour" about the tram project.
He said: "There's a comic genius in some of the timing in the clip. You have to have a sense of humour about the tram project – it's about laughing in the face of adversity."
Councillor Gordon Mackenzie, the city's transport convener who is charged with bringing the tram project in on time and on budget, also managed to see the funny side.
He said: "Worth a look if you enjoy poking fun at politicians – who doesn't?"
But a spokesman for tram firm TIE declined to comment.
Released in 2004, Downfall featured Swiss actor Bruno Ganz as Adolf Hitler. The film won rave reviews and was nominated for an Oscar in the Best Foreign Language Film category.
TIE itself has not been slow to realise the potential of the internet, using YouTube to post regular promotional videos about the project.
Earlier this month, the Evening News revealed that staff at TIE are also being employed to help update social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
The creative genius behind the YouTube footage could not be contacted by the Evening News.
TAKING A CLIP . . .
THE Edinburgh tram project is the latest in a long line of subjects to be given the Downfall treatment on You Tube.
Previous efforts have used the acclaimed film to poke fun at Hillary Clinton during her presidential campaign, parking issues in Tel Aviv and even the death of Michael Jackson.
In one clip, Prime Minister Gordon Brown is cast as Hitler, with the English subtitles changed to refer to Labour's defeat in the Glasgow East by-election. The controversy surrounding President Barack Obama's proposed US healthcare reforms has also been parodied.