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Downfall (2004)
"Der Untergang" (original title)

8.3
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 201,729 users   Metascore: 82/100
Reviews: 537 user | 194 critic | 35 from Metacritic.com

Traudl Junge, the final secretary for Adolf Hitler, tells of the Nazi dictator's final days in his Berlin bunker at the end of WWII.

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Title: Downfall (2004)

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Top 250 #118 | Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 24 wins & 21 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Matthias Habich ...
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Michael Mendl ...
André Hennicke ...
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Birgit Minichmayr ...
Rolf Kanies ...
Justus von Dohnányi ...
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Storyline

In April of 1945, Germany stands at the brink of defeat with the Soviet Armies closing in from the west and south. In Berlin, capital of the Third Reich, Adolf Hitler proclaims that Germany will still achieve victory and orders his Generals and advisers to fight to the last man. "Downfall" explores these final days of the Reich, where senior German leaders (such as Himmler and Goring) began defecting from their beloved Fuhrer, in an effort to save their own lives, while still others (Joseph Goebbels) pledge to die with Hitler. Hitler, himself, degenerates into a paranoid shell of a man, full of optimism one moment and suicidal depression the next. When the end finally does comes, and Hitler lies dead by his own hand, what is left of his military must find a way to end the killing that is the Battle of Berlin, and lay down their arms in surrender. Written by Anthony Hughes {husnock31@hotmail.com}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

April 1945, a nation awaits its...


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, disturbing images and some nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

16 September 2004 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Downfall  »

Box Office

Budget:

€13,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$201,836 (Brazil) (6 May 2005)

Gross:

$1,288,633 (Brazil) (8 July 2005)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Clips from this movie are used in numerous parodies that appear on YouTube in which a scene (usually the one of Adolf Hitler yelling at his subordinates) is re-subtitled to imbue it with unintended comedic meaning. The first such video was "Hitler gets banned from Xbox Live;" other subjects include Nashville's gas crisis of 2008, changes to Epcot at Walt Disney World, the delay of the release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009), fans' disappointment with the first Avatar (2009) trailer, the "Balloon Boy" hoax of October 2009, and Brett Favre signing with the Vikings. Many of the parodies have Hitler yelling at his subordinates about punctuation or spelling errors, in reference to the fact that sticklers for editing are sometimes derided as "Grammar Nazis." In 2010, Constantin Films, which owns the rights to Downfall, started taking down the parodies, arguing that their copyright was being infringed. Shortly thereafter, new parody videos appeared decrying Constantin Films' actions as "Naziesque." Contrary to the reaction of Constantin Films, director Oliver Hirschbiegel claims to have seen over a hundred of such parodies, and enjoyed them very much. YouTube has since stopped blocking these parodies. See more »

Goofs

The soap dispensers in the bunker's restrooms were, despite their classic looks, not invented until 1950 in France. They are called "Savon rotatif" (rotary soap) and were - more or less a piece of soap on a wall-mounted stick - a standard issue in French schools and magisterial buildings for many years. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Traudl Junge: I've got the feeling that I should be angry with this child, this young and oblivious girl. Or that I'm not allowed to forgive her for not seeing the nature of that monster. That she didn't realise what she was doing. And mostly because I've gone so obliviously. Because I wasn't a fanatic Nazi. I could have said in Berlin, "No, I'm not doing that. I don't want to go the Führer's headquarters." But I didn't do that. I was too curious. I didn't realise that fate would lead me ...
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Crazy Credits

After the final credits there is a statement by the real Traudl Jung about her feelings of guilt and responsibility. In the British Cinema release, this is moved to before the credits. See more »

Connections

Featured in Auge in Auge - Eine deutsche Filmgeschichte (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Davon geht die Welt nicht unter
(Michael Jary / Bruno Balz)
© 1942 by Ufaton-Verlagsgesellschaft mbH
Performed by Zarah Leander
Courtesy of BMG Music Publishing Germany, Munich
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The Most Impressive, Depressive and Realistic Dramatic Movie about the World War II
19 January 2006 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

"Der Untergang" is certainly the most impressive, depressive and realistic dramatic movie about the World War II ever made. I have never seen a film picturing the insanity of Hitler in his very last days in a bunker in Berlin with his high command, and how the German people were hypnotized by him like in this film. Last year, I saw the deceptive, boring, pretentious and overrated "Molokh", showing a caricature of Hitler and Eva Braun in Bavaria. But "Der Untergang" is awesome and comparable to "Apocalypse Now!", my favorite movie of war.

Two years ago, I saw the powerful "Das Experiment" and I was impressed with the work of Oliver Hirschbiegel. With "Der Untergang", this director is certainly included in my list of favorite directors. It is difficult to highlight one actor or actress in this constellation of stars, but I was impressed with the performance of Bruno Ganz and his "human" Hitler, totally different from the stereotypes usual in other movies. The cinematography and the battles are stunning, and the scenario of Berlin completely destroyed recalled the neo-realistic movie of Roberto Rossellini "Germania Anno Zero".

For those who know Germany and German people, it is amazing to see how this wonderful country survived to the chaos, destruction and lack of command, arrived from the ashes like Phoenix and sixty years later is again one of the greatest nations. For those who might have believed in Hitler and his Nazi Party, it is impressive to see how people is forgotten and treated without compassion by their leader in his last hours. And for those who love war, I really recommend to watch this magnificent anti-war movie, and see the behavior of the leaders and population when a war is lost. My vote is ten.

Title (Brazil): "A Queda! As Últimas Horas de Hitler" ("The Fall! The Last Hours of Hitler")


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