7.6/10
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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.

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Writers:

(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

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Renaud Verley ...
Günther Von Essenbeck
Umberto Orsini ...
...
Baron Konstantin Von Essenbeck (as René Koldehoff)
...
Baron Joachim Von Essenbeck (as Albrecht Schönhals)
...
Nora Ricci ...
Governess
...
Irina Wanka ...
Karin Mittendorf ...
Thilde Thallman
Valentina Ricci ...
Erika Thalman
Wolfgang Hillinger ...
Janek
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

18 December 1969 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Luchino Visconti's The Damned  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First part of Luchino Visconti's German Trilogy also including Death in Venice (1971) and Ludwig (1973). See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Sophie Von Essenbeck: Don't fool yourself, however, Elizabeth. Don't dream of coming back one day to find a Germany which was so dear to your heart. It's finished, that Germany, forever. There will be no other Germany but this one, and you will not be able to escape it for it will spread before you know it all over Europe and everywhere!
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
"Abandon hope all ye who enter here".
14 July 2006 | by (Virginia, USA) – See all my reviews

The first chapter in Lucino Visconti's trilogy of "German Decadence", "The Damned" ("Götterdämmerung"), 1969 is a deep and heavy drama; or rather tragedy with many references to Shakespearean and ancient tragedies themes. The film follows a German rich industrialist family, the munitions manufacturers (possibly modeled after Germany's Krupp family) who attempts to keep their power during the rise of Nazism regime. It takes place from the night of the Reichstag fire when the Von Essenbecks have gathered in celebration of the patriarch Joachim's birthday to their eventual downfall ("The Fall of Gods" is the film's Italian title) shortly after the Night of Long Knives.

A Marxist and an aristocrat, Visconti was both repelled by and drawn to the decaying society that he depicts in impressive and loving details and often in a flamboyant style - the examples are the scene with Helmut Berger impersonating Marlene Dietrich's Lola-Lola "Blue Angel", the beer party, the orgy and following them massacre during the "Night of Long Knives".

Both film's titles, "The Damned" and "The Fall of the Gods" prepare us for entering the gates of Inferno - "Abandon hope all ye who enter here". The characters we met, the members of the respected and famous family are "Fallen Gods" and they are ready to take the eternal damnation of their souls in the exchange for Power which is above money, love or any human feelings. The weakest and tender will vanish; the most unscrupulous, merciless, backstabbing, hating and cruel will celebrate on this feast during the time of plague.

The acting is very impressive by all members of a fine international cast that includes Ingrid Thulin, Dirk Bogarde, Charlotte Rampling, Renaud Verley, Umberto Orsini and Helmut Berger. I just want to say couple of words about Ingrid Thulin (Baroness Sophie, the widowed daughter in law of a steel baron Joachim) and Helmut Berger as her son, Martin. I've never seen Ingrid Thulin as beautiful, desirable yet wicked and evil as the German Lady Macbeth/Queen Gertrude/Agrippina the Younger. I dare say that I like her in Visconti's film better than in Bergman's films that made her world famous. Helmut Berger was born to play Martin - immoral, corrupted, and bad to the bone playboy-pedophile Hamlet/Nero in Nazi uniform yet at some point strangely sympathetic. And was he pretty as Lola-Lola :).

8/10


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