The film is to be shown everywhere, from the US and Canada to Mexico and Thailand - but not in Germany, where it has so far failed to find a distributor. For Von Glasow, who took 10 years to research and finance the film, this refusal to confront the story is evidence of what he still sees as the denial of past crimes.
We still cover up for the people in our families.
It's happened in my family. My grandfather owned the Cologne daily paper and shared a bunker with the Gestapo, but even my father - who is Jewish - says he was completely innocent. That's why I think it's great that Downfall has been made. Because it tries to open up this denial. Not all German reaction to the film has been so positive. While foreign critics in the US and elsewhere have described it as, among other things, 'one of the best war films ever made', Der Spiegel called Downfall 'ridiculous, superficial But it also portrays the Germans caught up in the fighting in Berlin as Hitler's victims too, and I think it's very dangerous if you get into the territory of the Germans feeling sorry for themselves.
The charge that Downfall shows ordinary Germans as victims of Hitler rather than as his enthusiastic collaborators is one which Eichinger flatly denies. They became victims of what they themselves had let happen. I do believe the film makes this clear. This book, as well as the memoirs of Hitler's secretary, Traudl Junge, who died in , became the source material for the film. His father, a doctor, served on the Russian front for four years and came back wanting to forget.
It sometimes made me very angry. The scenes in Downfall which have caused most outrage - those which show Hitler being nice to his dog and his secretaries or complimenting the cook on a plate of vegetarian ravioli - are all straight from the historical record. In only a couple of places does Eichinger fictionalise the story and stray towards Hollywood convention. One is the famous moment when a feeble and broken Hitler emerges from the bunker for the last time on 20 April - his 56th birthday - to pin decorations on the boy conscripts he has entrusted with defending Berlin to the last.
In the film, the boy whose cheek Hitler pinches in an almost fatherly way receives his honour for zapping Russians with a mortar, whereas the real boy recipient, Alfred Czech, as emerged only this week, won the Iron Cross which he has now thrown away for saving wounded German soldiers. In a rather queasy approximation of a happy ending to the film, the same boy is later shown escaping on a bicycle with Hitler's secretary through a sunlit forest, whereas in fact Czech and Junge were separately captured and it has been suggested that Junge had to give sexual favours to her Russian captors in order to escape.
Where the two-and-a-half-hour film is at its strongest is in its totally credible depiction of the events in that claustrophobic bunker and the barely repressed hysteria as Hitler loses what little grasp on reality he has left and his inner circle are left staring at oblivion. Particularly harrowing is the scene in which the ultra-fanatical Magda Goebbels brilliantly played by Corinna Harfouch breaks cyanide capsules between the teeth of her six sleeping children, one by one, because she cannot bear to think of them growing up in a world without National Socialism.
In Germany, the film has been what Eichinger calls a 'mega-hit', with 4. In the US, it was nominated for an Oscar as best foreign film. After three years in the red, Eichinger's company, Constantin Film, is making money again, thanks to the world's fascination with Hitler. There was a big, big chance audiences might turn away or people might say, "How could you do a movie like this?
Look at the world today. Again it is divided down racial lines - Christian fundamentalists against Muslim ones. Summer Movie Guide Log in with Facebook. Email address. Log In. First Name. Last Name. Sign Up. Email Address. Real Quick. We want to hear what you have to say but need to verify your email. Please click the link below to receive your verification email. Cancel Resend Email. Downfall Der Untergang Add Article. Downfall Der Untergang Critics Consensus Downfall is an illuminating, thoughtful and detailed account of Hitler's last days.
Super Reviewer. Share on Facebook. View All Photos. They are candidates for the post of personal secretary to the Fuehrer. Among them is year-old Traudl Junge, a fresh-faced girl from Munich. Traudl is chosen for the job and she is overcome with joy at the thought of serving beside her Fuehrer. Traudl Junge is asleep in her room, deep beneath the ground.
She is awakened by tremors from artillery fire. The enemy is getting closer. Charting the last 10 days of Hitler's life, from his 56th birthday on April 20th, to his suicide on April 30th, the film uses multiple characters to show the chaos of a country coming apart at the seams, from Hitler's henchman under the streets of Berlin, to the soldiers and civilians fighting and dying as the Soviet Army ravaged the city above.
Oliver Hirschbiegel. Bernd Eichinger. Aug 2, Newmarket Films. Bruno Ganz as Adolf Hitler. Alexandra Maria Lara as Traudl Junge. Corinna Harfouch as Magda Goebbels.
Ulrich Matthes as Joseph Goebbels. Heino Ferch as Albert Speer. Christian Berkel as Prof. Matthias Habich as Prof. Werner Haase. Donevan Gunia as Peter, the Hitler Youth kid.
Birgit Minichmayr as Gerda Christian. Rolf Kanies as Chief. Heinrich Schmieder. Dieter Mann as Generalfeldmarschall. Christian Redl as Generaloberst. Thomas Limpinsel. Thomas Thieme as Reichsleiter. Gerald Alexander Held as Walther Hewel. Jan 22, Full Review…. Apr 18, Rating: A Full Review…. View All Critic Reviews Jul 30, Partially based on the biography of Traudl Junge Adolf Hitler's personal secretary , the story follows the events of the Battle of Berlin as the Russian Army lays seize and Hitler and the Nazi high command face inevitable defeat.
The performances are also especially good; particularly Bruno Ganz, who gives an exceptionally compelling and humanizing depiction of Hitler. And, the directing of Oliver Hirschbiegel adds an extraordinary level of realism that's quite engrossing. Downfall presents a fascinating historical look into the Nazi regime, and at how they chose to face their defeat at the end of the war. Dann M Super Reviewer. May 26, Immersive, riveting, brilliantly acted, and tragic, Downfall is an amazing German film, depicting the last ten days of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime.
Undoubtedly one of the most remarkable things about Downfall are the performances. Bruno Ganz as Hitler was simply brilliant, showing a man profoundly troubled, tragically devoted, crazed, manic, but yet not without some hint of humanity.
Ganz's intensity on screen is riveting, inhibiting his character to such an extent, one may draw a parallel between the performance of Daniel Day-Lewis and his depiction of Lincoln, in its depth and nuance. The supporting cast is impressive as well, with each character feeling well realized and completely authentic. It is through their performances that we see the true complexity of the Nazi regime, filled with the dedicated, the opportunistic, the evil, and those desperately looking for direction.
We see their growing anxiety, and the tragic hopelessness of their fate. The film does an amazing job of serving as an effective character study of the players involved, namely Hitler, while at the same time working as an effective drama of the surrounding events. We see the chaos amidst the inevitable military defeat, the growing dissension, and the horrendous extent of murder left in its wake.
It never ceases to both engage and inform the viewer, making it a resounding success.
Downfall (German: Der Untergang) is a historical war drama film directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel from a screenplay by its producer, Bernd Eichinger. Der Untergang (original title) 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. What year did you register to IMDb movie-wise?.
A brilliant war film. Jeffrey M Super Reviewer. May 20, A very interesting look at an oft-over-reviewed subject. Christian C Super Reviewer. Jan 20, The intelligence of a German Shepherd, as energetic as a Boxer, as different as a Dachshund, with the bite of a Rottweiler. Downfall shows the last days of Hitler and the Battle of Berlin. Mostly through the eyes of Traudl Junge Hitler's Secretary. The first thing that hit me with this film was just how real it feels. It's not like watching a movie with make-up, actors, wardrobe, sets, etc.
You feel as though you are actually there, as it happens. It is totally believable. Many actors have played Hitler over the years. But not one of the them, including Guinness and Anthony Hopkins come anywhere near to Bruno Ganz in this movie. His tone, actions and expressions seem spookily accurate.
It is an amazing impersonation. After 70 years the characters have been built into "evil legends" for some and forgotten completely by others. For me a major advantage of this film is how "human" the characters are. The movie makes the statement that the major and heinous atrocities of World War II were not committed by monsters, but by Human Beings, real people, flesh and blood. This is a "powerhouse" of a film, that offers different perspectives, realism and poses some serious questions. I consider this movie a masterpiece and one of the best war movies ever.