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Downfall
Year:
2004
Country:
Italy, Germany, Austria
Genre:
Drama, Biography, History, War
IMDB rating:
8.3
Director:
Oliver Hirschbiegel
Bruno Ganz as Adolf Hitler
Alexandra Maria Lara as Traudl Junge
Corinna Harfouch as Magda Goebbels
Ulrich Matthes as Joseph Goebbels
Juliane Köhler as Eva Braun
Heino Ferch as Albert Speer
Christian Berkel as Prof. Dr. Ernst-Günter Schenck
Matthias Habich as Prof. Dr. Werner Haase
Thomas Kretschmann as SS-Gruppenführer Hermann Fegelein
Michael Mendl as General der Artillerie Helmuth Weidling
André Hennicke as SS-Brigadeführer Wilhelm Mohnke
Ulrich Noethen as Reichsführer SS Heinrich Himmler
Birgit Minichmayr as Gerda Christian
Rolf Kanies as General der Infanterie Hans Krebs
Storyline: 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.
Type Resolution File Size Codec Bitrate Format
720p 1280x720 px 9445 Mb h264 N/A mkv Download
HQ DVD-rip 576x320 px 1394 Mb mpeg4 1082 Kbps avi Download
Reviews
One of the Best Movies I've Ever Watched
Seriously, I wasn't expecting much, but this was one of the best movies period. The actors and acting was terrific, the sets were incredible (St. Petersburg, Russia), the emotions... I felt like I was in Berlin during the last few days, I felt like I was in the bunker with Hitler. It is the most realistic depiction of the situation I had ever seen, and I almost felt a tear in my eye. And that is something, coming from a 40 year old Army veteran. The last 5 minutes, I was on the edge of my seat, when the Russians showed up. Anyway, this movie is totally recommended by me, but brush up on your Nazi history first, or you won't know who is who.

I also liked it because it showed Hitler as a real human, and not the usual Anthony Hopkins/Alec Guiness "nutbag" Hitler, or the stereotypical "demon" Hitler. It showed him as he was, a broken down egomaniac. I will totally buy this movie and add it to my collection, which is rare for me to do these days.
2006-05-19
The madness, the propaganda, the glamour
I just saw this film yesterday, after listening to violent reactions on the radio. Here in Argentina there's a big Jewish community and it had a big impact. One of the presenters of a radio program was very offended by the fact that there were a lot of deaths depicted in the film but the actual moment when Hitler shoots himself wasn't. The man wanted to see it, needed it for his own satisfaction! That's disturbing, knowing there's so much hate going around, and in persons too young to ever have had direct contact with the facts in question. That implies that someone older took a lot of work in implanting that hate. That's frightening. On the film, I think the great thing about this film is you can see a person or persons who have undergone a process of dehumanization and indoctrination that at the time point of the movie is completely irreversible, and they acknowledge they have no future in a project different than theirs. Hitler makes clear at several points that he chose to construct himself as such a person, and in the end he is nearly delusional, unable to separate the fatherland from his own personna, but remaining a human being when he's not concerned with matters of state. That makes his craziness much more believable, almost schizophrenic. On the whole, you see masses brainwashed by propaganda, some of them wanting blindly to be brainwashed, some accepting it warmly because of a sense of security. That is the story of Junge, as most of the others. I think that's the fatherland concept, you know you can relax and enjoy your country because there's a hard guy in the government that cares for you, and if you support him without asking too much, things will be great for you and the likes of you. I think it's good to see that in a global context. The moral for me is that when in a tragic national situation people look for comfort, they'd rather accept propaganda that makes them feel secure and positive rather than question from their own points of view. So blocks of power are formed on stereotypes and propaganda, and measures taken in the end that no ordinary person would avail in a day to day basis, but the death of individual unbiased thinking ends up like that.
2005-06-03
The Most Impressive, Depressive and Realistic Dramatic Movie about the World War II
"Der Untergang" is certainly the most impressive, depressive and realistic dramatic movie about the World War II ever made. I have never seen a film picturing the insanity of Hitler in his very last days in a bunker in Berlin with his high command, and how the German people were hypnotized by him like in this film. Last year, I saw the deceptive, boring, pretentious and overrated "Molokh", showing a caricature of Hitler and Eva Braun in Bavaria. But "Der Untergang" is awesome and comparable to "Apocalypse Now!", my favorite movie of war.

Two years ago, I saw the powerful "Das Experiment" and I was impressed with the work of Oliver Hirschbiegel. With "Der Untergang", this director is certainly included in my list of favorite directors. It is difficult to highlight one actor or actress in this constellation of stars, but I was impressed with the performance of Bruno Ganz and his "human" Hitler, totally different from the stereotypes usual in other movies. The cinematography and the battles are stunning, and the scenario of Berlin completely destroyed recalled the neo-realistic movie of Roberto Rossellini "Germania Anno Zero".

For those who know Germany and German people, it is amazing to see how this wonderful country survived to the chaos, destruction and lack of command, arrived from the ashes like Phoenix and sixty years later is again one of the greatest nations. For those who might have believed in Hitler and his Nazi Party, it is impressive to see how people is forgotten and treated without compassion by their leader in his last hours. And for those who love war, I really recommend to watch this magnificent anti-war movie, and see the behavior of the leaders and population when a war is lost. My vote is ten.

Title (Brazil): "A Queda! As Últimas Horas de Hitler" ("The Fall! The Last Hours of Hitler")
2006-01-19
this is the best....
Who better to make a WWII film than the Germans themselves? This is possibly the best WWII film I have seen yet. It is a very intense movie about the final days of Adolf Hitler (a SUPERB roll played by Bruno Ganz, he should get at least one Oscar for this...) which had me coming back to see the movie a second and even a third time (I saw T3 only twice, he he). And not only Bruno Ganz has done a great performance, the entire cast gives it all their best. Very good film indeed.

As I said, it's a film about Adolf Hitlers final days, trapped in a bunker in Berlin, while the Russians are slowly moving closer. Hitler losing his faith in a 'good' outcome, the final bullet, everything is has happened for real. But when I left the cinema I had the idea I had just been watching a fictional story. A perfect script, made in real life 59 years ago. Not much to say about anything else. If you are interested in WWII stuff, go see it in the cinema, it's worth every penny.
2004-12-21
The best and most gripping film I've ever seen
I hate the term 'war' films. The best 'war' films aren't war films at all, they are anti-war films. By that I mean that the films portray a story that should leave all who watch them with a deeper understanding of the suffering involved, the lives that are destroyed and the pointless waste. There have been several excellent films of this genre. Saving Private Ryan, Schindlers List, Gallipoli, Lion of the Desert are just a few. This film, this masterpiece, sits atop that list. I have never seen a more gripping saga in my life, absolutely stunning.

Every performance from every actor, from the incredible Bruno Ganz, down to the young children playing the Goebbels children, was immaculate.

Even now, several weeks after I first saw it, I have vivid memories of scenes from the film, not just the graphic harrowing scenes which I think will always remain with me, but the conversations, the one between Hitler and Speer springs to mind. Added to these are the scenes of Hitler's rages and the brilliantly intimate camera work which gives the viewer a 'close up', 1st person view of the film.

There are far too many excellent reasons why someone should watch this film to be listed here.

Basically, it will keep you enthralled for the two and a half hours (it flies by), and it will leave you emotionally drained at the end.

Trust me....this is no 'war' film!
2005-11-15
Fascinating but Cold German Entry into its own History.
"Downfall" is a fascinating and compelling look at the mindset of the German people at the end of WWII, inspired mostly by the firsthand account of one of Hitler's secretaries who survived the madness that was his bunker in those last days. Here we have an excellent performance from Bruno Ganz as Adolph Hitler, who shows the man's insanity, inhumanity, and his cunning way with people in his intimate circle that allowed him to seduce those around him and the German population at large. Even as everything was falling apart he still had both men and women falling at his knees begging for his next proclamation and willing to follow any order her decreed. In the end, the crushing defeat of his grand ideals, coupled with his irrational hatred for Jewish people that is actually a projection of his own inner hatred for himself and Germany ("The Germans seal their own fate. I have no sympathy for the so-called civilians," he says towards the end of days), lead him into paranoid despair and eventual suicide. Likewise, we get a searing performance from Julian Kohler (a fantastic actress best known for her lead in "Nowhere in Africa") as Eva Braun, representing perfectly the German elite seduced by the promises of a Utopian Third Reich, and who are in utter and complete denial of the horrors around them right up to the last minute as everything they fought for comes spiraling down into their own self-made hell.

One of the few flaws of the film is that it can't decide at times whether to be a straightforward docu-drama (there are often too many of Hitler's inner circle to keep track of) or a soaring WWII epic (there's some compelling subplots revolving around Hitler's youth movement added for dramatic effect). While it may not reach the sublime artistic ideals of "The Pianist" or have the emotional heft of "Schindler's List" or "Saving Private Ryan," "Downfall" deserves a place next to those films for it's unique perspective, for better or worse, on one of the most influential men of the last hundred years and the defining moments of the 20th century.
2005-08-08
Der Untergang is cinema gold!
I have to say,Downfall was probably the best movies I have ever seen.Not only did the movie focus on the last days of Hitler,but also the last days of the third Reich.Seeing it through the eyes of one of Hitler's personal secretaries,Traudi Junge,gave me a clearer image of Nazi Germany's downfall.

This is one of the very few movies I have seen that I believed I wasn't watching actors on the screen.It was SO real.You see how the members of the bunker have doubts and know they're not going to win.Bruno Ganz as the famous dictator was pure magic on the screen.He was like Hitler reincarnated for the screen.

Like no other movie before,I can still remember the scenes vividly.The scenes just stay in my head,so much that i can probably watch the movie in my head.

Another thing that made the movie real was the accuracy.Like previous movies about Hitler,they most likely "twist the plot" so it can appeal to a large audience.But this movie,they stayed close to the actual story as much as possible.The creators really did their homework on the accuracy thing.

I was impressed Hitler wasn't really the main character,because not only do we see his side of the story,but for the first time ever,they show the other members side as well.We see a more definitive take on the whole regime.

I would recommend this movie to anyone interested in the last days of Nazi Germany.Der Untergang is cinema at it's best.
2007-05-21
The last days at the bunker
This magnificent film goes where no one else dared to go to show us the last days of Adolf Hitler. The director, Oliver Hirshbiegel, working with a big cast, brings to life the madness of the last days of the monster, as observed by a young and impressionable secretary who witnessed most of the crisis.

At the beginning of the film we watch as five young women are brought to be interviewed by Hitler for a job as his personal secretary. Young Traudl Junge is selected. She is a pretty woman who is naive in many ways and probably had no inkling about the trip she was going to embark.

The film captures the tragic figure of Hitler as everything is caving in on him and his grand plans for victory. We watch a man at the beginning of the film that is still thinking he is in command of the German forces, but his authority has eroded, as it becomes clear to the people under him the war is lost and it will be a matter of time before they are defeated.

We watch the life of privilege the higher ups led inside the bunker. It was a fortification in which all comforts the regular Germans could not imagine existed. We get to know the people in Hitler's inner circle. The Goebbels, both Joseph and Magda, supporters of the regime, maintain the loyalty to the Fuhrer until the end. The scene where Magda Goebbels murders her children is hard to take and we keep sinking in our seats, as we can't believe such cruelty existed. In her narrow view of things, Magda must take her family with her to a death these children didn't deserve.

The film is totally dominated by Bruno Ganz. As Hitler, he makes us see this man as he probably was in real life. Mr. Ganz's uncanny resemblance with Hitler is what makes the film works the way it does. At times, Mr. Ganz is totally irrational, and at times, he is presented as a lost man who can't see what he has done to Germany and to Europe and the world.

As Traudl Junge, the young secretary, Alexandra Maria Lara gives a subtle performance. She saw plenty inside the bunker and lived to tell it to the world. The other excellent performance is given by Corinna Harfouch, who as Mrs. Goebbels makes us cringe in horror because of what she is capable of doing. Juliane Kohler, as Eva Braun, is an enigma. At times, she is presented as a carefree young woman who might have loved Hitler. Yet, we don't ever know what made this Eva Braun tick. Ulrich Matthes as Joseph Goebbels and Heino Ferch as Albert Speer are equally effective playing these two men.

The director and his team have to be congratulated for taking us on a voyage to see the last moments of the Third Reich.
2005-03-19
Far and away the best film of 2005
I came across this film in the video store while searching for a movie I have already forgotten. It wedged in a tiny column in between entire walls of "Brokeback Mountain" and "The Wedding Crashers." It was only because of the Oscar buzz over the former and the sophomoric media hoopla over the latter that this film has received such little attention here in the US despite being vastly superior to either.

What impressed me the most about this film was Bruno Ganz's acting. His portrayal of Hitler was the capstone to a production effort that could have stood without him. As a historian I have seen the footage of Hitler giving speeches and read numerous accounts of his madman personality (both on stage and in private) that held his audiences spellbound. Ganz could have been forgiven had he failed to capture this virtually impossible act, yet he does so flawlessly. Words can't really describe it; the viewer must witness it for himself. At the same time, however, Ganz manages to portray the human side of Hitler as well, the non-drinking, non-smoking vegetarian who was an absolute hit with children. It is a true testament to Ganz's performance that some historically-illiterate critics felt that he portrayed Hitler as being "too human" while others felt he went overboard in his portrayal of Hitler's lunacy.

Ganz is not the whole show, however. Much of the movie is focused on the plight of every Berliner, ranging from Eva Braun and Hitler's close subordinates to Hitler Youth mounting a last stand in the streets to the old men and women being chased through the streets as "deserters" by the SS. The acting is superb across the board and the production of Berlin burning is downright disturbing in its accuracy. Those with narrow attention spans will have difficulty with the length but the engaged viewer will find themselves enjoying every minute. This film is a true masterpiece and the best piece of German cinema since "Das Boot".
2006-05-19
The Truth Is Chilling
I had the DVD of this film for my birthday, and quite by chance also bought The Name Of The Rose (also produced by Bernd Eichinger) so I had the experience of watching two movies by this superb producer in two days, filmed 20 years apart.

To save anyone who doesn't want to read further: I have over 200 DVDs in my collection and have no hesitation in placing this as #1.

Now for the review: I'm not sure it is possible to write a 'spoiler' for historic events (not counting the people who came out of Titanic crying because 'the ship sank'<??>). We know Hitler died, we know the Allies won WWII.

I came to this movie having read the book "The Last Days Of Hitler" by Hugh Trevor-Roper, who was the officer British Intelligence charged with finding out the truth, in September 1945. Obviously I was curious to see how Downfall compared.

The main difference is in focus. While the book looks from the top (leadership) down, the film looks from the bottom (Traudl Junge - a secretary) up. The difference in perception is fascinating.

Hitler: Our first view of him is somehow of a kindly man who stops dictating, looks at Traudl and says "Let's try again" when she fails to keep up with him. The duality of this, his private character is incredible and makes one think bipolar or schizophrenia as it seems impossible to believe that the raging monster who says that the German people do not deserve to survive is the same one who orders Junge and Christian to leave the bunker. If in his eyes the German people do not deserve life, why does he show concern for them? Is it because among his inner circle they are one of the vanishing number who have never betrayed him?

Eva Braun: Blind loyalty is the only description I can find for her. Her devotion to Hitler is total, even when pleading for the life of Fegelein she bows unquestioningly to his decision.

Traudl Junge: I can't say more than the lady herself, who in the DVD starts and ends the film with her judgment on herself. Her very simple stance (paraphrased) was "Ignorance is no excuse. Youth is no excuse. I could have asked. I didn't want to know."

Josef Goebbels: Frightening. A true sociopath in every sense of the word. Hitler may have had the 'excuse' of mental illness towards the end, but Goebbels' actions were those of a rational thinking man who just did not see anything wrong in his actions. The ranting of a clearly unhinged mind is one thing, but save us all from the man who calmly considers his actions and rationalises such atrocities as those explained away by Goebbels.

However, again like Hitler, his portrayal showed a stark duality to his character. One moment singing 'Happy Birthday' to Hitler with his children, with a warm smile and sparkling eyes; the next telling Traudl Junge very calmly that the German people quite rightly deserved the fate that was being visited on them.

Magda Goebbels: As with other reviewers here, I found her almost the most chilling, second only to her husband. How any mother could deliberately and calmly bring about the deaths of her own children is something a rational mind cannot comprehend.

Every single performance in the movie was captivating. I was glued to the screen from beginning to end. Bruno Ganz et al were perfect in their roles and brought every person back to life; as noted above sometimes to chilling effect. Talking to a friend on the phone about the film he thought I meant that the characters were stereotypical 'nasty Germans', but this is *not* the case.

I've mentioned the duality of the main characters, but there were others, Prof. Dr. Ernst-Günter Schenck, Prof. Dr. Werner Haase, SS-Gruppenführer Hermann Fegelein to name but a few who showed that not all Germans were rabid Nazis, and that those who were, were very much in the minority. The Army in particular just wanted to get the war over with the minimum of casualties; a wish shared I think by every military commander throughout history.

The look of the film was authentic and very atmospheric; whether in the cramped bunker (apparently built more as an authentic replica than a film-set) where the shots were mostly taken hand held as there was no space for a mounted camera; to the outdoor shots filmed in St Petersburg. It is rivaled in this respect only by Enemy At The Gates for capturing the full horror and idiocy of war.

For true historians of the war - a must see.

For all modern history students - a must see.

For all who have never lived through war (I myself am 36 so I have not)

Lest We Forget.

A Must See.
2006-05-31
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