Der Untergang   2004   Germany Downfall
Downfall Image Cover
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Director:Oliver Hirschbiegel
Studio:Sony Pictures
Writer:Joachim Fest, Traudl Junge
IMDb Rating:8.4 (104,159 votes)
Awards:Nominated for Oscar. Another 14 wins & 13 nominations
Genre:Biography, Drama, History, War
Duration:155 min
Languages:German
IMDb:0363163
Amazon:B0009RCPUC
Search:NetflixYouTube
Oliver Hirschbiegel  ...  (Director)
Joachim Fest, Traudl Junge  ...  (Writer)
 
Bruno Ganz  ...  Adolf Hitler
Alexandra Maria Lara  ...  Traudl Junge
Corinna Harfouch  ...  Magda Goebbels
Ulrich Matthes  ...  Joseph Goebbels
Juliane Köhler  ...  Eva Braun
Heino Ferch  ...  Albert Speer
Christian Berkel  ...  Prof. Dr. Ernst-Günter Schenck
Matthias Habich  ...  Prof. Dr. Werner Haase
Thomas Kretschmann  ...  SS-Gruppenführer Hermann Fegelein
Michael Mendl  ...  General der Artillerie Helmuth Weidling
André Hennicke  ...  SS-Brigadeführer Wilhelm Mohnke
Ulrich Noethen  ...  Reichsführer SS Heinrich Himmler
Birgit Minichmayr  ...  Gerda Christian
Rolf Kanies  ...  General der Infanterie Hans Krebs
Justus von Dohnanyi  ...  General der Infanterie Wilhelm Burgdorf
Rainer Klausmann  ...  Cinematographer
Justus von Dohnányi  ...  General der Infanterie Wilhelm Burgdorf
Comments: April 1945, a nation awaits its...

Summary: The riveting subject of Downfall is nothing less than the disintegration of Adolf Hitler in mind, body, and soul. A 2005 Academy Award nominee for best foreign language film, this German historical drama stars Bruno Ganz (Wings of Desire) as Hitler, whose psychic meltdown is depicted in sobering detail, suggesting a fallen, pathetic dictator on the verge on insanity, resorting to suicide (along with Eva Braun and Joseph and Magda Goebbels) as his Nazi empire burns amidst chaos in mid-1945. While staging most of the film in the claustrophobic bunker where Hitler spent his final days, director Oliver Hirschbiegel (Das Experiment) dares to show the gentler human side of der Fuehrer, as opposed to the pure embodiment of evil so familiar from many other Nazi-era dramas. This balanced portrayal does not inspire sympathy, however: We simply see the complexity of Hitler's character in the greater context of his inevitable downfall, and a more realistic (and therefore more horrifying) biographical portrait of madness on both epic and intimate scales. By ending with a chilling clip from the 2002 documentary Blind Spot: Hitler's Secretary, this unforgettable film gains another dimension of sobering authenticity. --Jeff Shannon


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