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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.

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(screenplay), (book) | 2 more credits »
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Top Rated Movies #119 | Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 21 wins & 29 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

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Michael Mendl ...
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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)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Also helping Bruno Ganz in preparing for the role was the unique, only known recording of Adolf Hitler when he held a private conversation with Field Marshal Gustaf Mannerheim of Finland; at that time a World War II ally of Germany against the Soviet Union. Hitler unexpectedly showed up to congratulate Mannerheim on his 75th birthday on June 4, 1942. Finnish intelligence agents secretly made the recording in a train wagon; as Hitler did not allow recordings nor photographs to be taken in private. Some 11 minutes of the recording feature relaxed, normal-tone talk in which Hitler generally describe his views about the war. One of two copies of the tape was discovered in 1992 and has since been studied by scientists and historians. See more »

Goofs

In the first scene featuring Heinrich Himmler, when chatting with Hermann Fegelein, the left ear piercing of actor Thomas Kretschmann can clearly be observed. While not unheard of at this point in history, it is a near impossibility that Fegelein would have such a piercing. 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 »

Connections

Referenced in Mixxxer Show: Kovy (2016) 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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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Impressive
12 November 2004 | by (Mainaschaff, Germany) – See all my reviews

Considering the fact how hard it is to make an adequate movie about the Third Rich and especially Hitler himself, "Der Untergang" is a superb portrayal of the last days of Hitler, his minions and the Third Rich. First of all, Bruno Ganz' performance is magnificent, brilliant, perfect. You're beginning to think he IS the Fuehrer, his look, his mannerism, his sick philosophy of life and his downfall are absolutely convincing. After seeing him you can finally understand why so many people back then were attracted by his charisma, but thanks to Ganz' performance you do not forget about the terrible crimes he committed by his followers and about the evil inside the sick soul of this man. His minions weren't that important in this movie, except for Joseph Goebbels and his family. Heinrich Himmler, the ReichsfuehrerSS, was portrayed as the man he was: an idiotic coward, who was in great part responsible for the Holocaust and still believed in a peace agreement with the allied forces, although this idea was completely out of place. Albert Speer as one of the less criminal national socialists was also quite good interpreted. Martin Bormann, Alfred Jodl and Wilhelm Keitel, 3 other important Nazis, got too few screen time, and Hermann Goering didn't even show up, he was just mentioned. I think Goebbels wasn't portrayed that authentic as he could have, due to the fact he was the most intelligent of Hitler's inner circle, but in some scenes he seemed like someone who could just repeat his own slogans. The part about Traudl Junge and the boy from the Volkssturm, Peter, was also quite good, but it was clearly overshadowed by the Hitler/ minion part. There are also some surprisingly well done battle- sequences taking place in Berlin, in which you can also see a part of the pretty high amount of blood and violence, for example when a soldier gets shot through his head, some officers are committing suicide or the killing of the Goebbels children, a scene which gave me the chills. Due to it's high authenticity, great actors and an important message, this movie could become as important as Schindler's List already is, in order to show today's youth the insanity of Hitler and the whole Third Rich and to make them avoid racist and extreme right wing organisations. All in all, this is one of the best German flicks I've ever seen - although there isn't such a huge number of good German movies. 10/10


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