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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:

Bernd Eichinger (screenplay), Joachim Fest (book) | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
1,036 ( 340)
Top Rated Movies #132 | Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 22 wins & 32 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bruno Ganz ... Adolf Hitler
Alexandra Maria Lara ... Traudl Junge
Corinna Harfouch ... Magda Goebbels
Ulrich Matthes ... Joseph Goebbels
Juliane Köhler ... Eva Braun
Heino Ferch ... Albert Speer
Christian Berkel ... Prof. Ernst-Günther Schenck
Matthias Habich ... Prof. Werner Haase
Thomas Kretschmann ... Hermann Fegelein
Michael Mendl ... General Weidling
André Hennicke ... General Mohnke
Ulrich Noethen ... Heinrich Himmler
Birgit Minichmayr ... Gerda Christian
Rolf Kanies ... General Hans Krebs
Justus von Dohnányi ... General Wilhelm Burgdorf
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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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bruno Ganz studied Parkinson's disease patients in a Swiss hospital to prepare for his role as Adolf Hitler. See more »

Goofs

The soap dispensers in the bunker's restrooms were, despite their classic looks, not invented until 1950 in France. They are called "Savon rotatif" (rotary soap) and were - more or less a piece of soap on a wall-mounted stick - a standard issue in French schools and magisterial buildings for many years. 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 »

Alternate Versions

Extended version includes 22 minutes of additional footage. See more »


Soundtracks

When I Am Laid In Earth
from "Dido and Aeneas"
Composed by Henry Purcell (1659-1695)
Arranged by Horst Liebenau and Stephan Zacharias
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User Reviews

 
A magnificent piece of cinema. Spectacular in every respect
21 April 2005 | by The_VoidSee all my reviews

Truly great movies are few and far between these days; but Der Untergang most definitely represents one of those rare occasions. Oliver Hirschbiegel, who brought us the wonderful 'Das Experiment' has produced a film that is very nearly perfect. Depicting the final ten days of Hitler and the National Socialist regime, Der Untergang or 'The Downfall' to give it it's English title is an expose of failure and the way that a madman can bend a whole nation into doing his bidding. The film is very realistic, and an excellent ensemble cast breathe life and believability into the roles of the various members of the Nazi party and because every performance is picture perfect, the whole thing comes together brilliantly as one whole piece. Bruno Ganz gives the central performance as the Fuhrer himself and it is one of the greatest performances I've ever seen in a film. His portrayal of Hitler in the middle of his downfall is absolutely perfect, and Ganz excellently portrays the man's every emotion. It must be difficult to play such a notorious character as Hitler himself, but Ganz rises to the occasion and gives it his all.

It is not the acting or the realism that is Der Untergang's main claim to greatness, however - it's the double meaning behind every scene. Each one is perfectly composed, and all the time you're watching you can not only see what's happening on screen but also take note of the implications surrounding it. Through every scene, there's always the notion that a nation is falling. That's another thing that's great about this movie - the way that it manipulates the audience into an awkward situation. On the one hand, we know that Hitler and the Nazi regime were unspeakably evil; but while we're watching this almost great nation crumble around it's leader, it is hard to watch without feeling some sympathy for the country, in spite of the ideals that were preached. I thought it would be impossible to generate feelings for the Nazi's; but Der Untergang has managed even that. 'The Downfall' is an apt title for this movie, as aside from depicting an important event in history; the film is fundamentally about failure. The entire movie focuses on one man's huge downfall, and it is both a heartbreaking and powerful cinematic experience. Der Untergang is not to be missed.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

Germany | Austria | Italy

Language:

French | English | German | Russian

Release Date:

8 April 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Downfall See more »

Filming Locations:

Russia See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

EUR13,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$18,195, 20 February 2005

Gross USA:

$5,509,040

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$92,181,574
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (extended)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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