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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.

Writers:

(screenplay), (book) | 2 more credits »
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Top Rated Movies #121 | Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 21 wins & 29 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Eva Braun
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Prof. Werner Haase
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General Mohnke
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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:

$3,540,118 (Germany), 17 September 2004

Opening Weekend USA:

$24,220, 18 February 2005, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$5,509,040, 2 November 2013

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$92,180,910, 2 November 2013
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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

Christian Berkel, who portrays Schenck, stated his own background is not too far from his character. His father was also a doctor during the war, arrested by the Russians afterward, then released. His mother's side, however, was Jewish. Almost all of his relatives on her side, save his grandmother and two cousins, were lost in the camps. See more »

Goofs

Toward the end of the film when SS Doctors Ernst-Günter Schenck and Werner Haase are walking through the bunker on their way to see Adolf Hitler, an SS officer is seen wearing a Wehrmacht Officers hat. 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 »


Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
A magnificent piece of cinema. Spectacular in every respect
21 April 2005 | by See all my reviews

Truly great movies are few and far between these days; but Der Untergang most definitely represents one of those rare occasions. Oliver Hirschbiegel, who brought us the wonderful 'Das Experiment' has produced a film that is very nearly perfect. Depicting the final ten days of Hitler and the National Socialist regime, Der Untergang or 'The Downfall' to give it it's English title is an expose of failure and the way that a madman can bend a whole nation into doing his bidding. The film is very realistic, and an excellent ensemble cast breathe life and believability into the roles of the various members of the Nazi party and because every performance is picture perfect, the whole thing comes together brilliantly as one whole piece. Bruno Ganz gives the central performance as the Fuhrer himself and it is one of the greatest performances I've ever seen in a film. His portrayal of Hitler in the middle of his downfall is absolutely perfect, and Ganz excellently portrays the man's every emotion. It must be difficult to play such a notorious character as Hitler himself, but Ganz rises to the occasion and gives it his all.

It is not the acting or the realism that is Der Untergang's main claim to greatness, however - it's the double meaning behind every scene. Each one is perfectly composed, and all the time you're watching you can not only see what's happening on screen but also take note of the implications surrounding it. Through every scene, there's always the notion that a nation is falling. That's another thing that's great about this movie - the way that it manipulates the audience into an awkward situation. On the one hand, we know that Hitler and the Nazi regime were unspeakably evil; but while we're watching this almost great nation crumble around it's leader, it is hard to watch without feeling some sympathy for the country, in spite of the ideals that were preached. I thought it would be impossible to generate feelings for the Nazi's; but Der Untergang has managed even that. 'The Downfall' is an apt title for this movie, as aside from depicting an important event in history; the film is fundamentally about failure. The entire movie focuses on one man's huge downfall, and it is both a heartbreaking and powerful cinematic experience. Der Untergang is not to be missed.


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