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The Damned (1969)
"La caduta degli dei (Götterdämmerung)" (original title)

R  |   |  Drama  |  18 December 1969 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 5,032 users  
Reviews: 54 user | 42 critic

The dramatic collapse of a wealthy, industrialist/Junker family during the reign of the Third Reich.



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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 10 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Friedrich Bruckmann
Helmut Griem ...
Renaud Verley ...
Günther Von Essenbeck
Umberto Orsini ...
Herbert Thallman
Reinhard Kolldehoff ...
Baron Konstantin Von Essenbeck (as René Koldehoff)
Albrecht Schoenhals ...
Baron Joachim Von Essenbeck (as Albrecht Schönhals)
Nora Ricci ...
Elisabeth Thallman
Irina Wanka ...
Lisa Keller
Karin Mittendorf ...
Thilde Thallman
Valentina Ricci ...
Erika Thalman
Wolfgang Hillinger ...


The power and fortune of the Von Essenbeck family remained intact even when Germany lost the great war and during the depression that followed. Now it's 1934 and the baron has summoned his family to a dinner that also brings a cousin rising in the Nazi party to the great house accompanied by a rising manager at the baron's company. Two little girls recite poetry in the parlor and then play hide-and-seek with their cousin Martin. Suddenly there is a scream. The baron has been shot with their father's gun and the father flees the country. Written by Dale O'Connor <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He was to become the second most powerful man in Nazi Germany.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, nudity and aberrant sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

18 December 1969 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Luchino Visconti's The Damned  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This was the first X-rated film to be shown on American network television, although heavily edited and in a late-night time slot. See more »


The film is set between 1933-1934, yet most of the insignia and badges, shown worn on the German military and Nazi Party uniforms, were not invented until after 1938. See more »


Martin Von Essenbeck: You give him everything, everything that belongs to me - my factory, my money, my house, brick-by-brick! Even my name and your love! You're the worst, so it's you I hate! You can't imagine the evil I wish you!
See more »


Referenced in Salon Kitty (1976) See more »


Nachts ging das Telefon
Performed by Zarah Leander
Written by Walter Kollo
See more »

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User Reviews

An Operatic Horror Fest
7 February 2007 | by (New Zealand) – See all my reviews

The great Luchino Visconti concocts a stunning banquet of horrors with some of his favorite gourmet dishes: the corruption and decadence of the upper classes, incest, mamma's boys and monstrous/fascinating mothers. The setting this time is National Socialist Germany where the perversions find their perfect home. There is, however, a slight but disturbing enjoyment of the whole putrid thing. Visconti's extraordinary attention to detail requires more than a couple of viewings. Ingrid Thulin's hairstyles are a masterpiece on their own. After Ingman Bergman, Visconti gives her her most showy role. She's a pervert's mother if I ever saw one. Magnificent in her over the top understatement. Creepy Helmut Berger is perfect here. Even his real voice adds to the luridness of his character. In "Ludwig" he was dubbed by Giancarlo Giannini transforming his third rate talent into something,seemingly, transcendental. Dirk Bogarde, Charlotte Rampling, Umberto Orsini plus the gorgeous Renaud Verley and Florinda Bolkan contribute considerably to the rigid and humorless vision of one of the greatest aesthetes the movies have ever known.

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