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The Damned (1969)

La caduta degli dei (Götterdämmerung) (original title)
R | | Drama, War | 18 December 1969 (USA)
The dramatic collapse of a wealthy, industrialist/Junker family during the reign of the Third Reich.



(story and screenplay), (story and screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Renaud Verley ...
Günther Von Essenbeck
Umberto Orsini ...
Reinhard Kolldehoff ...
Baron Konstantin Von Essenbeck (as René Koldehoff)
Albrecht Schoenhals ...
Baron Joachim Von Essenbeck (as Albrecht Schönhals)
Nora Ricci ...
Elisabeth Thallman
Irina Wanka ...
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 <daleoc@interaccess.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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


Drama | War

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?


French censorship certificate #36763 See more »


Throughout the film, SS-Captain Aschenbach is referred to as a "Hauptsturmfuhrer". However, prior to 1934 (when the film is set) the SS referred to the rank of Captain as "Sturmhauptfuhrer". See more »


Martin Von Essenbeck: I will destroy you, Mother!
See more »


Featured in Nazithon: Decadence and Destruction (2013) See more »


Nachts ging das Telefon
Performed by Zarah Leander
Written by Walter Kollo
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User Reviews

Fall of the Gods
18 March 2006 | by See all my reviews

"La Caduti dei degli" may take place during Hitler's time.Actually it makes me think of a Shakespearian tragedy.A tragedy with many characters performed by a stellar cast :Helmut Berger,Helmut Griem,Dirk Bogarde,Ingrid Thulin ,all extraordinary thespians.Actually Martin at the beginning of the story is close to Hamlet and Sophie recalls Gertrude.

Nothing predated "la caduti dei degli" except for the long "dinner" scene in Minnelli's " Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse" and of course Frank Borzague 's "mortal storm".The three works involve a whole family during the Nazi era.

Admirable scenes:the first pictures, Hell's antechamber; the dinner in the baroque Essenbeck mansion when Berger does his Marlene "Blaue Engel" Dietrich imitation (impressive!); the incest night with an unusually inventive use of light;the orgy; the final "wedding" when a a mushy sentimental song can be heard.

In "Ludwig" three years later,only one character would remain on stage. Visconti was a master.

8 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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