Traudl Junge, Adolf Hitler's "last" secretary, was interviewed by Michael Mussmano several times; part of her recollections were included in his "Ten Days to Die" from which this film is adapted. In Junge's memoirs, "Until The Final Hour," she says that Mussmano helped arrange for her to spend two weeks in Austria advising the director during filming, for which she was paid DM1500. See more »
I saw this obscure German film in Toronto in 1956, my first exposure to Oskar Werner. A "sleeper" of a movie for me, but so long ago and it seems never to be seen again. The topic has been treated many times but never, I think, to such effect. The last days in the bunker are entirely through the wondering subjective eyes of Werner, as Captain Wuest, a rather unimportant guardsman. Hitler and his henchmen are always kept at a distance, the way Wuest views them from his station, and what stands out in my memory is the finale of a drunken champagne party as though in celebration of something, but in reality as their means to forget the impending doom looming ahead as the Russians can be heard closing in. The problem with films portraying famous or infamous people is that they are almost always unbelievable because we are unwilling to suspend our disbelief, aware that they are actors up there trying to imitate the unknowable. Here, at least for the English speaking audience, the problem does not arise, we understand only through subtitles, and we hear the characters speaking in their own language. And, thank God, it is in black and white. The impact of the film stays with me still, and of course, Werner was a major revelation.
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