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Downfall (2004)

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.

Writers:

(screenplay), (book) | 2 more credits »
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Top Rated Movies #116 | Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 21 wins & 25 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Matthias Habich ...
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Michael Mendl ...
André Hennicke ...
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Justus von Dohnányi ...
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Storyline

In April of 1945, Germany stands at the brink of defeat with the Soviet Armies closing in from the west and south. In Berlin, capital of the Third Reich, Adolf Hitler proclaims that Germany will still achieve victory and orders his Generals and advisers to fight to the last man. "Downfall" explores these final days of the Reich, where senior German leaders (such as Himmler and Goring) began defecting from their beloved Fuhrer, in an effort to save their own lives, while still others (Joseph Goebbels) pledge to die with Hitler. Hitler, himself, degenerates into a paranoid shell of a man, full of optimism one moment and suicidal depression the next. When the end finally does comes, and Hitler lies dead by his own hand, what is left of his military must find a way to end the killing that is the Battle of Berlin, and lay down their arms in surrender. Written by Anthony Hughes {husnock31@hotmail.com}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

April 1945, a nation awaits its...


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, disturbing images and some nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

8 April 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Downfall  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

€13,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$210,232 (Austria) (17 September 2004)

Gross:

$5,501,940 (USA) (10 June 2005)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (extended)

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During the war, the majority of the cyanide capsules produced were made in the concentration camps, which made sabotage a real problem. This is one of the reasons why many Germans who committed suicide by cyanide also shot themselves to make sure they would die. This is also the reason why Adolf Hitler's beloved dog Blondi was poisoned; he wanted to make sure his batch of cyanide was not fake. See more »

Goofs

After Adolf Hitler's conference on 22 April, when it was announced that Steiner's assault did not happen, Hitler and his entourage exited to the corridor where all kinds of people were waiting. Amongst them a Großadmiral (the equivalent of a 5-Star or Grand Admiral). The only two Grand Admirals during the Third Reich were Eric Raeder, who had resigned from his command post earlier and was not in the Führerbunker during the last days, and Karl Dönitz, who had his headquarters in Flensburg in Northern Germany, far away from Berlin. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
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 obliviously. Because I wasn't a fanatic Nazi. I could have said in Berlin, "No, I'm not doing that. I don't want to go the Führer's headquarters." But I didn't do that. I was too curious. I didn't realise that fate would lead me ...
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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. See more »


Soundtracks

Die Blauen Dragoner Sie Reiten
(Hans Hertel / G.W. Harmssen)
Courtesy of Voggenreiter Verlag, Bonn
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
This movie has physically touched me! ....wow.
28 February 2005 | by (London) – See all my reviews

I don't know what to say about this film. I am almost speechless.

First of all, this is almost PERFECT cinema, beautifully shot, acted, lit, staged and on and on. BUt it is also the only film in recent memory that had an almost physical impact on me. I left feeling disoriented and very disquieted, a feeling that lasted for several hours.

What we have here is an exercise in patience. A film that allows us to watch the disintegration of the largest empire in modern history, from the inside out. Beginning after the start of the siege of Berlin, the bulk of the film takes place in the cramped bunkers below the city, where Hitler and his officers are trapped like rats on a sinking ship, aware of their fate, but not smart enough, not willing enough, or maybe incapable of escaping the fates they created for themselves.

This is a daring, brilliant film with a virtuoso performance by Bruno Ganz as Hitler. He shows us that beneath the genocidal, world changing shell of hatred that the globe knew, Hitler was still that petty, hatefilled, failed art-student that he was before becoming the greatest villain in history.

awesome, awesome, awesome movie.


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