In 1945, The Third Reich is in its death throes with the Allies relentlessly attacking the capital city of Berlin. Its Fuehrer, Adolf Hitler, retreats into his fortified bunker in Berlin with his senior staff. There, gripped with both delusions of grandeur and despair, Hitler commands a hopeless last stand with resources existing largely in his own mind. While resisting the pleas of rational minions like Albert Speer, basic reality finally comes unavoidable. With that, Hitler and his fanatical fellows prepare for their own end even as their grandiose dreams are becoming a smoking ruin above. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Reporters on the set said the sense of realism was so intense that at one point, when Anthony Hopkins entered the room to prepare for the next scene, actors portraying SS troops found themselves snapping to attention. See more »
Bormann refers to Gen. Patton's 3rd Division as crossing the Rhein. Patton commanded Third Army, a fact which the German staff would be all too aware of. See more »
Unless you understand the psychological make up of the German People and can clearly understand the German language it is hard to understand the absolute Charisma of Adolph Hitler or how the Third Reich came into being. This made for TV documentary is very accurate in its depictions, taken from interviews of an American officer over many years with the survivors of the events portrayed. The film chronicles the last 105 days of the life of Hitler and his inner circle from the moment he descends to the bunker in January 1945 until his death on April 30th of that year. Between the make-up and the acting of Anthony Hopkins you might well believe that Hitler was alive again, so compelling his performance. The late Richard Jordan gives one his finest performances as Reichsminister Albert Speer, Hitler's architect and later minister of munitions during the war. And to answer the carping critique of another commentator, everything I have read in history, which as it is my college major, is considerable, points to Speer's becoming a voice of reason and having a change of heart about the German Empire toward the end of the war. What was undeniable is the fact that those closest to him remained fanatically loyal, for the most part, some of them even pot the time that this film was made.
Two other outstanding performances were Michael Lonsdale (Moonraker) as Martin Borman and Piper Laurie as Magda Geobels, wife of Hitler's propaganda minister. She did kill her six children (or was it 7, I lost count) before dying with her husband in a suicide pact at the bunker. Whatever your feelings about Hitler, this film is a definite must see.
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