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The Last Ten Days (1955)

Der letzte Akt (original title)
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Cast

Credited cast:
Albin Skoda ...
...
Hauptmann Wüst
Lotte Tobisch ...
Willy Krause ...
Erich Stuckmann ...
Erland Erlandsen ...
Curt Eilers ...
Leopold Hainisch ...
Otto Schmöle ...
Herbert Herbe ...
Hannes Schiel ...
Erik Frey ...
Otto Wögerer ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Herta Angst ...
Jutta Brinkmann, 13jähr. Tochter
Helene Arcon ...
Hanna Reitsch / Flugkapitän
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From Heil to Hell!...

Genres:

Drama | History | War

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Details

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Release Date:

16 September 1955 (Belgium)  »

Also Known As:

The Last Ten Days  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

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User Reviews

 
Hitler turns against Germany and the human race
7 July 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Each of the several movie versions of the last days of Hitler is worth seeing. (See, for example, "Downfall" (2004), "Hitler: The Last Ten Days" (1973)) They vary in accuracy, in the extent of fictional material introduced, in the creative impulse, and in how strongly the Hitler character comes across as really being Hitler.

This version is a very strong version with its own particular approach and features. Albin Skoda, who plays Hitler, resembles him closely, a big plus. The lines he delivers ring true as do his various moods, ranging from mild to raging, bitter and hateful. This portrayal is a strong plus to the movie, which naturally seeks to satisfy our curiosity about this man. The script clearly shows his hatred of Jews and his very strong self-centered character, believing so much in his own gifts and blaming others for his failures. We see his condemnation of Germans, Germany, the armed forces and even the SS, upon which he had placed his military hopes. We see his complete insensitivity to the death and destruction of innocent people and a desire to push a button and take the whole world down. We see his liking for children but do not get a good feel for his relationship with Eva Braun (Lotte Tobisch).

Director G.W. Pabst, one of the greats from the silent days, gives us a thorough film noir here in look, lighting and cinematography.

The screenplay is episodic. Except for one or two of the military figures around Hitler in the bunker, it doesn't attempt to develop those characters. Goebbels and his family are rather a blank in this film. Instead, the film pays much attention to the plight of besieged Berliners outside the bunker and to the character played by Oskar Werner. It also at times depicts support personnel in a bar/cabaret/dance floor near the bunker. The fate of all of these people depends on the decisions of Hitler.

Werner plays an officer who has been sent to see Hitler in order to get orders to relocate a division that's being surrounded. His quarters are in the bunker but his efforts to see Hitler are largely frustrated. Through his eyes, we see the unreal atmosphere and direction of Germany's military and political affairs near the end of the Third Reich.

Outside the bunker in Berlin, SS men accost military stragglers or those with legitimate missions, brand them as traitors and hang them. People who remain in Berlin have taken to the subway tunnels for protection.

In these ways the screenplay becomes more than just an account of Hitler's last days, although that is a focal point. It broadens into an account also of Germany's last days under Hitler. Military forces and civilians were being sacrificed for no good reason. The tone is neither melodramatic nor documentary. The film is measured and observant, balanced, bringing before our eyes the emotional episodes it is seeing and showing us. "This is what happened" is what it conveys, and the extreme and unusual nature and emotion of it are enough to show us without the need for embroidering it.


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