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Undergångens arkitektur (1989)

An absorbing and chilling documentary about the National Socialist aesthetic, and how attempts to create the Aryan Ideal caused the extermination of millions. Aspects covered include: ... See full summary »




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Credited cast:
Rolf Arsenius ...
Narrator (original version) (voice)
Narrator (German, subtitled English versions) (voice)
Sam Gray ...
Narrator (dubbed English version)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Martin Bormann ...
Himself (archive footage)
Karl Brandt ...
Himself (archive footage) (as Dr. Karl Brandt)
Arno Breker ...
Himself (archive footage)
Hermann Giesler ...
Himself (archive footage)
Joseph Goebbels ...
Himself (archive footage) (as Josef Goebbels)
Heinrich Himmler ...
Himself (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage)
Wilhelm Keitel ...
Himself (archive footage)
Viktor Lutze ...
Himself (archive footage)
Narrator (French version) (voice)
Alfred Rosenberg ...
Himself (archive footage)
Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt ...
Himself (archive footage)


An absorbing and chilling documentary about the National Socialist aesthetic, and how attempts to create the Aryan Ideal caused the extermination of millions. Aspects covered include: Hitler's epiphany while viewing Wagner's opera 'Rienzi', the rise of the homo-erotic Grecian/Nordic ideal, the parallels drawn between the 'degenerate' art of the cubists and dadaists and the mentally ill/physically deformed, the Nazi obsession with purity and cleanliness, and, finally, the descent of the Jewish people to the level of a virus/vermin. Written by Dawn M. Barclift

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Skönhetskult och barbari i Tredje Riket


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Release Date:

13 October 1989 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

The Architecture of Doom  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


While researching this film in Germany, 'Cohen, Peter' stumbled upon an obscure industrial documentary about various methods of vermin control for factory use. This short, entitled "Kleinkrieg" (or "Little War"), proved invaluable as it was the first to advocate the use of Zyklon-B as an effective means of mass extermination. See more »


Features Der ewige Jude (1940) See more »


Rienzi (excerpt)
Music by Richard Wagner
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User Reviews

Competent, judicious narration
27 February 2010 | by See all my reviews

A documentary worthy of the work of Richard J Evans, looking in depth at the importance f art to the NSDAP regime and top Hitler's weltpolitik. However, I'm not clear as to why many reviewers have singled out Sam Gray's narration for particular derision. True, there are a couple of instances where his pronunciation is not perfect, such as Berchtesgaden, and referring to "the Grecian capital" seems strange, but then he's American and perhaps it's like others referring to Beijing as Peking; to each his own. One can also hear gasps of air and creaking of chairs, particularly when Hitler's Berghof chalet is described which seems a bit careless of the producer, and the sounds of birds chirping during Hitler's three hour tour of Paris are incongruous to say the least. However, Gray's narratives competent and judicious which is not surprising as he has played judges and doctors for so long on television: Judge Greenspan in The Sopranos, Judges Chabot and Leon in Law and Order, Dr. Hough in Equal Justice, Judge Weiss in the film Suspect, Dr. Henry Spivak in C.A.T. Squad, Judge Kaufman in Concealed Enemies, Judge Mineon in Rage of Angels, Dr. John Wolff in Hanky Panky and Dr. Bernstein in A Little Sex. Remark has also been made as to this monotone delivery but, again, I don't know how else he should speak- in the same excitable manner as that of the German propaganda films? www.tracesofevil.blogspot.com

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