Downfall (2004)

R   |    |  Biography, Drama, History


Downfall (2004) Poster

Traudl Junge, the final secretary for Adolf Hitler, tells of the Nazi dictator's final days in his Berlin bunker at the end of WWII.


8.2/10
307,623

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  • Bruno Ganz in Downfall (2004)
  • Bruno Ganz in Downfall (2004)
  • Bruno Ganz in Downfall (2004)
  • Ulrich Matthes in Downfall (2004)
  • Bruno Ganz in Downfall (2004)
  • Downfall (2004)

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User Reviews


21 April 2005 | The_Void
8
| A magnificent piece of cinema. Spectacular in every respect
Truly great movies are few and far between these days; but Der Untergang most definitely represents one of those rare occasions. Oliver Hirschbiegel, who brought us the wonderful 'Das Experiment' has produced a film that is very nearly perfect. Depicting the final ten days of Hitler and the National Socialist regime, Der Untergang or 'The Downfall' to give it it's English title is an expose of failure and the way that a madman can bend a whole nation into doing his bidding. The film is very realistic, and an excellent ensemble cast breathe life and believability into the roles of the various members of the Nazi party and because every performance is picture perfect, the whole thing comes together brilliantly as one whole piece. Bruno Ganz gives the central performance as the Fuhrer himself and it is one of the greatest performances I've ever seen in a film. His portrayal of Hitler in the middle of his downfall is absolutely perfect, and Ganz excellently portrays the man's every emotion. It must be difficult to play such a notorious character as Hitler himself, but Ganz rises to the occasion and gives it his all.

It is not the acting or the realism that is Der Untergang's main claim to greatness, however - it's the double meaning behind every scene. Each one is perfectly composed, and all the time you're watching you can not only see what's happening on screen but also take note of the implications surrounding it. Through every scene, there's always the notion that a nation is falling. That's another thing that's great about this movie - the way that it manipulates the audience into an awkward situation. On the one hand, we know that Hitler and the Nazi regime were unspeakably evil; but while we're watching this almost great nation crumble around it's leader, it is hard to watch without feeling some sympathy for the country, in spite of the ideals that were preached. I thought it would be impossible to generate feelings for the Nazi's; but Der Untergang has managed even that. 'The Downfall' is an apt title for this movie, as aside from depicting an important event in history; the film is fundamentally about failure. The entire movie focuses on one man's huge downfall, and it is both a heartbreaking and powerful cinematic experience. Der Untergang is not to be missed.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The scene of Albert Speer's last interview with Adolf Hitler reflects the account in Speer's published autobiography (Speer confesses to disobeying Hitler's "Nero Decree" in order to save German resources and lives, and Hitler weeps at the betrayal). Historian Gitta Sereny has however argued that Speer's account is itself inaccurate, since in the first draft of his memoir he does not mention his confession and Hitler's response. Speer escaped a death sentence at the Nuremberg Trials after claiming not to have known of the Holocaust, and research after his death has proved this claim untrue.


Quotes

Traudl Junge: I've got the feeling that I should be angry with this child, this young and oblivious girl. Or that I'm not allowed to forgive her for not seeing the nature of that monster. That she didn't realise what she was doing. And mostly because I've gone so...


Goofs

In the film, Hermann Fegelein is shown as being arrested, dragged outside and summarily shot. In fact, Fegelein was arrested and kept in a cell for at least three days in the Führerbunker before Hitler ordered him stripped of rank and to be subjected to court martial, during which he was so drunk he vomited and urinated on the floor. It was only after the court martial that he was shot.


Crazy Credits

After the final credits there is a statement by the real Traudl Jung about her feelings of guilt and responsibility. In the British Cinema release, this is moved to before the credits.


Alternate Versions

German TV version features ca. 22 minutes of additional footage.


Soundtracks

When I Am Laid In Earth
from "Dido and Aeneas"
Composed by
Henry Purcell (1659-1695)
Arranged by Horst Liebenau and Stephan Zacharias

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Biography | Drama | History | War

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