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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 <email@example.com>
This really is Luchino Visconti's magnum opus - The Damned is an utterly engrossing work of art that grabs you from the start and doesn't relinquish its grip until the final frames. The accents from the international cast takes a little getting used to - the soundtrack is in English (some sync sound, some dubbed) and Dirk Bogarde's refined English accent doesn't really suit the part of a German industrialist at first but once you get used to these incongruities the cast seems perfect! The cinematography is beautiful, capturing the decaying elegance perfectly. The score by Maurice Jarre adds to the atmosphere nicely even if it is a little reminiscent of Dr Zhivago. The film's themes are quite challenging and sometimes uncomfortable to watch but it's always compelling and absorbing even at 2 hours 35 minutes.
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