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Downfall (Der Untergang)

Director(s): Olivier Hirschbiegel

Theatrical Release: 2004

Cast: Bruno Ganz, Alexandra Maria Lara, Juliane Kohler, Corinna Harfouch, Ulrich Matthes, Christian Berkel

Genre(s): Drama, docudrama, biography

Countries: Germany (East/West)


Location in store: German Cinema

IN
(1 / 1)
Ant Rating
7.0
MyRating
--
Running Time: 155m.

The last ten days of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi regime are seen through the eyes of a young woman in his employ in this historical drama from Germany. Traudl Junge (Alexandra Maria Lara) was 22 years old when, in the fall of 1942, she was hired to be personal secretary to Adolph Hitler (Bruno Ganz). In April of 1945, Junge was still working for Hitler as Allied forces were bearing down on Germany and the leader retreated to a secret bunker in Berlin for what would prove to be the last ten days of his life, as well as that of the Third Reich. As Hitler's mistress Eva Braun (Juliane Köhler) attempts to throw a cheerful birthday party for her man, Hitler's closest associates, including Heinrich Himmler (Ulrich Noethen), Josef Goebbels (Ulrich Matthes), and Albert Speer (Heino Ferch), urge him to flee the city with only Goebbels maintaining any illusions that the Third Reich has any hope of survival. Hitler refuses to leave Berlin, and he spends his final days ranting and raving to Junge, blaming all around him as he tries to understand where his leadership went wrong. Meanwhile, Goebbels and his wife round up their six children and bring them to the bunker as Berlin begins to topple, determined to take their lives rather than face the Allies after Germany's certain defeat. Der Untergang (aka The Downfall) was based in part on the memoirs of the real-life Traudl Junge, whose experiences also formed the basis of the 2002 documentary Im Toten Winkel: Hitlers Sekretarin (aka Blind Spot: Hitler's Secretary). -- Mark Deming (allmovie.com)
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