View Full Version : Downfall
08-08-2005, 01:10 PM
Okay, apart from Whitenavel and myself, who else has seen DER UNTERGANG (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0363163/combined)?
No excuses, now. It's out on DVD and has an English language commentary.
It certainly addressed one of my pet peeves about Hollywood films and will be one of my favourite World War Two films. It should've won the Oscar.
People, who are shot by guns or hit by an exploding object, tend to die immediately after grasping their stomach, chest, or head, (and, maybe leaping thru windows and into the open), and seldom suffer gaping wounds, scream in agony ceaselessly, or struggle to get under cover away from more gunfire.
08-08-2005, 02:48 PM
Bruno Ganz is exceptional.
08-08-2005, 03:18 PM
Thanks Fortean - I'm ordering it from Amazon tomorrow! :)
08-08-2005, 03:44 PM
08-08-2005, 03:51 PM
it's Das Boot but not underwater. Great stuff.
08-08-2005, 03:58 PM
Realistic. Crass. Hard to watch at times...
Magda Goebbels: die Erste Dame des Dritten Reichs, teuflisch gelegte cianide Pillen in ihre Kinder beide, ihre Kiefer zusammen drückend. Besser zu sterben als, in der Weltleere des Regimes von Hitler nicht zu leben.
Let this film be the end of Bunkerville movies.
08-12-2005, 04:59 PM
I saw Downfall at the theater and loved it. And I just rented the DVD. Interesting on the DVD (bonus selection with interviews on the making of the film) was how everyone involved went overboard in defending how the movie "humanized" Hitler. I remember when it first came out that many groups (primarily Jewish) were upset because the film showed that Hitler could be charming and kind to those around him -- especially the women.
I'm Jewish myself, but I have no problem with the way Hitler was portrayed by Bruno Ganz. Past WWII films (for the most part) have made Hitler a one dimensional character. Certainly, he must have had some charm and charisma in order to gain so many followers. This is what great filmmaking is all about: taking a character like Hitler and showing both sides of the man.
12-29-2005, 10:27 PM
Got around to watching this tonight. Hard, hard movie to watch. Was misty eyed at times. Had seen the documentary, Hitler's Secretary, on which it was largely based. Not an easy film to watch. Felt like I needed a shower afterward.
12-29-2005, 11:12 PM
OK I'll see it
12-29-2005, 11:46 PM
I'd buy it if it was cheaper. I ain't paying no $22 for one movie.
12-30-2005, 12:36 AM
I liked the fact that his wife hated the dog because the dog got more attention. Any dog lovers out there???
12-30-2005, 01:46 AM
Great movie. The murder of the children was a great metaphor for the whole damn mess, and was so hard to watch.
12-30-2005, 06:57 AM
I'd buy it if it was cheaper. I ain't paying no $22 for one movie.
I should have listened to you.
Amazon is my worst vice
Republic of Stephen
12-30-2005, 07:41 AM
Brilliant movie. Deserves as much attention as Munich or Private Ryan.
01-06-2006, 06:59 AM
Anyone who thinks this movie showed anything nice in the way of the Nazi movement and hitler sorely missed the point. if anything it showed to what extent people would go to for something they believe in --- scary stuff.
01-06-2006, 09:24 AM
Anyone who thinks this movie showed anything nice in the way of the Nazi movement and hitler sorely missed the point. if anything it showed to what extent people would go to for something they believe in --- scary stuff.I'd counter that anyone who thinks this movie was a one dimensional portrayal of the Nazi inner circle sorely missed the point.
Hitler himself was shown to be ruthlessly brutal (and not more than a little insane) in his political and military decisions while being gentle, kind, and thoughtful (and still more than a little insane) in his personal life. This perception of Hitler was drawn from the documentary Blind Spot: Hitler's Secretary, which profiled Traudl Junge shortly before she died. After the war, she was amazed to discover the atrocities committed by Nazis during WWII. And she was around Hitler on a daily basis. Here were her own words at the end of Downfall ... All these horrors I've heard of during the Nurnberg process, these six million Jews, other thinking people or people of another race, who perished. That shocked me deeply. But I hadn't made the connection with my past. I assured myself with the thought of not being personally guilty. And that I didn't know anything about the enormous scale of it. But one day I walked by a memorial plate of Sophie Scholl in the Franz-Joseph-Strasse. I saw that she was about my age and she was executed in the same year I came to work for Hitler. And at that moment I actually realized that a young age isn't an excuse. And that it might have been possible to get to know things. The other characters may have largely been caricatures of various aspects of Nazism, particularly Magda and Joseph Goebbels who represented the most extreme believers in the Aryan ideal. Maria Braun was painted as a woman who loved her man, but didn't always understand his choices. A woman who loved more than she was loved (Hitler's attention to his dog demonstrated this elegantly). Dr. Ernst-Günter Schenck was shown as someone who did his duty as a Nazi, but was not a zealot. He stayed in Berlin to help the wounded as the Russians took the city. He was portrayed as a man of honor among these devils.
The film humanized as it condemned. A truly brilliant piece in many, many ways.
01-06-2006, 09:34 AM
Hitler and Napoleon both had only one testicle
"some assembly required" by Nkrumah Steward, creator of 8bm.
Fact: Hitler and Napoleon both had only one testicle.What I Took From This: Some men need little tiny red sports cars (http://wearpen.com/index2.php?v4&v0=52&go=sports+cars&url1=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.8bm.com%2Fepiphanies%2F12005 0.htm&pin=29126), and busty blond 19-year-old girls to show (http://naaklov.com/index2.php?v4&v0=52&go=show&url1=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.8bm.com%2Fepiphanies%2F12005 0.htm&pin=29126) that they still measure up...while others need to take over Europe
01-06-2006, 10:09 AM
"I'd counter that anyone who thinks this movie was a one dimensional portrayal of the Nazi inner circle sorely missed the point. "
for the record, by no means do I believe the movie was one dimentional. Nor, did my post say such. Just pointing out one aspect of the film.
not implying you were aiming that at me, just a point of clarification.
01-06-2006, 10:14 AM
For those interested in reading more about this time, I urge you to check out Gitta Sereny's book on Albert Speer. (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0679768122/qid=1136567552/sr=2-2/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_2/002-0390366-3260862?s=books&v=glance&n=283155) She's a British-based psychologist who interviewed Speer at length (and for an earlier book, the infamous Hoess of Auschwitz), and provides an intimate glimpse of the Hitler and Goebbels households, especially in the final months of the war.
01-06-2006, 10:34 AM
Interesting on the DVD (bonus selection with interviews on the making of the film) was how everyone involved went overboard in defending how the movie "humanized" Hitler. I remember when it first came out that many groups (primarily Jewish) were upset because the film showed that Hitler could be charming and kind to those around him -- especially the women.
Past WWII films (for the most part) have made Hitler a one dimensional character. Certainly, he must have had some charm and charisma in order to gain so many followers. This is what great filmmaking is all about: taking a character like Hitler and showing both sides of the man.I haven't seen it (yet). But this is a VERY interesting point. People are (and history is) far too eager to portray Hitler as the Devil incarnate, rather than as a very sick and perhaps perversely brilliant human. To humanize him would be to acknowledge that his pathology is human, and that we could in future encounter similar atrocities at the hands of a similar human. We'd rather fool ourselves into thinking that the "Final Solution" was an anomaly that could not possibly happen again. We ought to recognize it for what it was, learn from it, and always be vigilant for signs of a similar movement so that it can be squelched before its power becomes too great.
01-06-2006, 11:38 AM
"People are (and history is) far too eager to portray Hitler as the Devil incarnate, rather than as a very sick and perhaps perversely brilliant human"
there's is no doubt Hitler was brilliant and/or had brilliant people working with him. He was a great salesman. he knew his target audience, knew how to frame ideas and beliefs to a depressed nation. He knew the value of symbolism, exploited it to the fullest. It's very easy to understand how the nation fell in love with him. To deny the talent and skills, and intelligence Hitler had is to ignore how he got to power in the first place, how he accomplished what he did. Yes, he was an evil man, but to forget and even hide the brillance behind his evil we risk becoming ignorant to human nature and spirit and how there are people out there who know how to manipulate it.
Long winded, hope my point was made. More importantly understood.
01-06-2006, 01:09 PM
I dunno. Dubya's rise to power has made me rethink just how brilliant Hitler was in manipulating and selling the German masses. Millions of people don't seem all that difficult to fool in the end if you tell them what they want to hear. Plus Hitler was flying by the seat of his pants and looked it early on. He needed a specific series of events to unfold to gain absolute power in Germany and they all happened, but maybe it had something to do with fate, or the industrialists clearing the path for him, more than his charisma and genius. He was gambling at every turn and it shows in a lot of footage from those years. He was a bit of an awkward clown early on. And his hubris in making inept military decisions during the war showed just what a fool he really was. Hitler's brilliance was tapping into the primal sense of superiority and national pride of the populace. The populace enabled he and his party. Dubya and Rove et al have taken the same road with flag waving republicans
01-06-2006, 01:46 PM
Agreed Pen. We need movies like Downfall to remind us that the collective voice can easily be manipulated to drown out the voice of reason. A warning that a country gets the leadership it deserves if not vigilant and the world gets the violent fall out if not equally vigilant.
01-06-2006, 04:00 PM
Let's not forget Hitler also singlehandedly killed a fashion trend, those little mustaches.
If only he sagged his pants. Ah, one can dream.
01-12-2006, 03:37 PM
Saw it. Probably will go down as the definitive Hitler in the bunker movie, with a little better shading of the characters involved then those films before it, but you still felt like you'd seen the same narrative approach in Hitler: The Last 10 Days and The Bunker with Alec Guiness and Anthony Hopkins respectively. I wish the story would have been told from the perspective of Traudl Junge more than it was. At times she seemed a very incidental character. A compelling film, good performance from Ganz, but not a masterpiece
01-12-2006, 03:39 PM
Hitler mustaches are out?
01-15-2006, 03:55 PM
This thread reminds me of one of my favorite lines from Blazing Saddles.
"They lose me after the bunker scene."
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