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

8.3
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 202,044 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

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

When Hermann Göring's telegram is received in the bunker, a closeup shows the teletype machine printing the message in lowercase letters with German umlauts converted to ae, oe, ue and the closing note "heil hitler, h. goering, reichsfeldmarschall" aligned to the left. When the communication officer removes the paper from the machine, the text is mixed uppercase/lowercase with umlauts and the closing note is right aligned. 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

Referenced in Australian Pie (2005) 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

 
Impressive
12 November 2004 | by (Mainaschaff, Germany) – See all my reviews

Considering the fact how hard it is to make an adequate movie about the Third Rich and especially Hitler himself, "Der Untergang" is a superb portrayal of the last days of Hitler, his minions and the Third Rich. First of all, Bruno Ganz' performance is magnificent, brilliant, perfect. You're beginning to think he IS the Fuehrer, his look, his mannerism, his sick philosophy of life and his downfall are absolutely convincing. After seeing him you can finally understand why so many people back then were attracted by his charisma, but thanks to Ganz' performance you do not forget about the terrible crimes he committed by his followers and about the evil inside the sick soul of this man. His minions weren't that important in this movie, except for Joseph Goebbels and his family. Heinrich Himmler, the ReichsfuehrerSS, was portrayed as the man he was: an idiotic coward, who was in great part responsible for the Holocaust and still believed in a peace agreement with the allied forces, although this idea was completely out of place. Albert Speer as one of the less criminal national socialists was also quite good interpreted. Martin Bormann, Alfred Jodl and Wilhelm Keitel, 3 other important Nazis, got too few screen time, and Hermann Goering didn't even show up, he was just mentioned. I think Goebbels wasn't portrayed that authentic as he could have, due to the fact he was the most intelligent of Hitler's inner circle, but in some scenes he seemed like someone who could just repeat his own slogans. The part about Traudl Junge and the boy from the Volkssturm, Peter, was also quite good, but it was clearly overshadowed by the Hitler/ minion part. There are also some surprisingly well done battle- sequences taking place in Berlin, in which you can also see a part of the pretty high amount of blood and violence, for example when a soldier gets shot through his head, some officers are committing suicide or the killing of the Goebbels children, a scene which gave me the chills. Due to it's high authenticity, great actors and an important message, this movie could become as important as Schindler's List already is, in order to show today's youth the insanity of Hitler and the whole Third Rich and to make them avoid racist and extreme right wing organisations. All in all, this is one of the best German flicks I've ever seen - although there isn't such a huge number of good German movies. 10/10


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