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Downfall (2004)

Der Untergang (original title)
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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(screenplay), (book) | 2 more credits »
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Top Rated Movies #120 | Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 21 wins & 29 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

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Michael Mendl ...
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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:

8 April 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Downfall  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

€13,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$210,232 (Austria) (17 September 2004)

Gross:

$5,501,940 (USA) (10 June 2005)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (extended)

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the opening scene of the film, where Traudl is being interviewed for the position of Hitler's secretary in late 1942, she introduces herself to him as Traudl Humps. However, in all scenes in the bunker in April 1945, she is referred to as Frau Junge. In June 1943, Traudl, with Hitler's approval, married Waffen-SS officer Hans Hermann Junge, who was subsequently killed in action in France in August 1944. Because the film jumps directly from 1942 to 1945, these events aren't depicted. However, her name change is correct. See more »

Goofs

The last day of the war, Weidling's speech to the German soldiers is transmitted via car with loud speakers. This car is actually a Soviet car GAZ-63 and its production has begun 3 years later - in 1948. There's Russian text visible on the hood of the car: "Avtozavod imeni Molotova" - Molotov's car factory. 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 De wereld draait door: Episode #4.58 (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

 
Distanced and sober view of Hitler's last days
12 November 2004 | by (Brussels, Belgium) – See all my reviews

The first 15 minutes made me doubt the qualities of this movie. The situations were a bit forced and the cuts were strange. But after the uncomfortable beginning the movie took momentum and kept it until the end.

I think the choice of depicting Hitler as a human being with a dispassionate and modest direction was excellent. The film never tries to force viewers into an opinion. Everybody can form his own opinion. Too often the horrors of WWII led writers and directors to depict Nazis as monsters. Perfectly normal human beings can be cruel and merciless if they are blinded (by hate for example), which should never be forgotten.

In a way, a human Hitler to me is more guilty than a raving monster. He had the choice and he chose to do wrong. He could choose life and he chose murder and destruction. A human being lost respect for the life of other human beings and led a country into genocide. Ultimately he loses respect for all life and starts sacrificing his own soldiers at random. This is what I value this film for, making the idea of a human Hitler tangible.

It was very brave to make this film, given that controversy was almost certain to arise. One of the highlights of this year, to be sure.


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