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

8.3
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 204,529 users   Metascore: 82/100
Reviews: 540 user | 193 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 #117 | 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

Karl Richter, a member of the German NPD, managed to get into the movie via the normal way of being cast. He plays the uncredited part of Generalfeldmarschall Keitel's adjutant. He later expressed his pleasure and satisfaction when the casting crew asked him to try on the uniform, lift his right arm and shout "Heil Hitler." The filmmakers did not know who he was and that he actually was quite experienced in performing the salute. See more »

Goofs

As the "corpses" of Eva Braun and Adolf Hitler are paced in their grave outside the bunker in preparation for cremation, the bodies clearly move their legs in an attempt to lie flat in the hole. 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 ...
See more »

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

Spoofed in Mannerheim kuulee (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

When I Am Laid In Earth
from "Dido and Aeneas"
Composed by Henry Purcell (1659-1695)
Arranged by Horst Liebenau and Stephan Zacharias
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

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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