Monday, March 14, 2005


Original title: Der Untergang
True historical war story
In German with English subtitles

The Allied invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944 marked the beginning of the end of the German Third Reich. In December 1944 a massive offensive aimed at pushing the Allies back from German home territory was planned for the Ardennes region of southern Belgium. The führer, Adolf Hitler, moved his headquarters from East Prussia to the west to personally direct this attack. When it failed, the Germans made an orderly withdrawal between January 8 and 16, having used more of their resources than they could afford on this last desperate attempt to regain the initiative in the West.

Hitler returned to Berlin despite the fact the invading Soviet forces were closing in on the city. He moved into the fortified bunker beneath the Chancellery, the seat of the Reich government. In a state of extreme nervous exhaustion and trapped underground, he continued to direct the German war effort without accepting the inevitability of defeat.

Bruno Ganz: Adolf Hitler
Alexandra Maria Lara: Traudl Junge, his principal secretary
Juliane Kohler: Eva Braun, his long time mistress
Ulrich Matthes: Joseph Goebbels, Minister of Propaganda
Corinna Harfouch: Frau Magda, Goebbels’ wife and mother of their six children
Heino Ferch: Albert Speer, Hitler's chief architect
Thomas Kertschmann: SS-Gruppenführer Hermann Fegelein, Eva’s brother-in-law
Ulrich Noethen: Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler, leader of the SS

This is by far the most accurate film I’ve ever seen of the last days of Hitler, his minions of the Third Reich. Everything looks so authentic and real. Most of the actors have a very uncanny likeness to the person they are portraying, even without the benefit of makeup. Some give truly incredible performances.
The film offers no commentary or judgement. It simply shows the facts.

for scenes of violence, some disturbing images and brief nudity.

The movie is over two hours long, but doesn’t seem like it.

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