7.5/10
11,107
52 user 61 critic

Before the Fall (2004)

Napola - Elite für den Führer (original title)
In 1942, Friedrich Weimer's boxing skills get him an appointment to a National Political Academy (NaPolA) - high schools that produce Nazi elite. Over his father's objections, Friedrich ... See full summary »

Director:

8 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Wave (2008)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A high school teacher's experiment to demonstrate to his students what life is like under a dictatorship spins horribly out of control when he forms a social unit with a life of its own.

Director: Dennis Gansel
Stars: Frederick Lau, Max Riemelt, Jennifer Ulrich
Drama | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

In Berlin, a cop closes in on an all-female vampire trio who just took in a new member, Lena.

Director: Dennis Gansel
Stars: Karoline Herfurth, Nina Hoss, Jennifer Ulrich
Crazy (2000)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Benjamin is a 16 year old, paralyzed on one side of his body, with lousy grades in math, who switches to a boarding school to reach grammar school. Acclimatization to the new environment is... See full summary »

Director: Hans-Christian Schmid
Stars: Robert Stadlober, Tom Schilling, Oona-Devi Liebich
Free Fall (2013)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A soon-to-be-father policeman falls for a gay fellow officer and his life starts falling apart.

Director: Stephan Lacant
Stars: Hanno Koffler, Max Riemelt, Attila Borlan
Generation War (TV Mini-Series 2013)
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

Five friends go out to war and promise each other to be back for Christmas.

Stars: Volker Bruch, Tom Schilling, Katharina Schüttler
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A journalist gets caught up in a terrorist plot in Moscow while investigating the Russian secret service.

Director: Dennis Gansel
Stars: Moritz Bleibtreu, Kasia Smutniak, Max Riemelt
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A dramatization of the final days of Sophie Scholl, one of the most famous members of the German World War II anti-Nazi resistance movement, The White Rose.

Director: Marc Rothemund
Stars: Julia Jentsch, Fabian Hinrichs, Alexander Held
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

This tragicomedy is a self-ironic portrait of a young man who drops out of university and ends up wandering the streets of the city he lives: Berlin. The film deals with the desire to ... See full summary »

Director: Jan Ole Gerster
Stars: Tom Schilling, Katharina Schüttler, Justus von Dohnányi
Girls on Top (2001)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Inken (Diana Amft) is an eighteen-year-old girl, frustrated for not having had an orgasm yet with her boyfriend. Her two best friends are Vicky (Felicitas Woll), who is in the same ... See full summary »

Director: Dennis Gansel
Stars: Diana Amft, Felicitas Woll, Karoline Herfurth
Comedy | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A coming-of-age story set in Germany in the 1960s. Siggi becomes involved in a love triangle when he falls for Luise, but the tightening political climate forces him to make a fateful decision.

Director: Dominik Graf
Stars: Max Riemelt, Jessica Schwarz, Ronald Zehrfeld
Egoshooter (2004)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

Jakob is stuck in the transition between his teenage years and adulthood, still uncertain about what to do with his life, constantly hanging around with his friends and some girls, partying... See full summary »

Directors: Christian Becker, Oliver Schwabe
Stars: Tom Schilling, Camilla Renschke, Max Timm
Das Phantom (TV Movie 2000)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

After the partner of a policeman is killed he is drawn into a mysterious plot of conspiracy and terrorists.

Director: Dennis Gansel
Stars: Nadeshda Brennicke, Mathias Herrmann, Jürgen Vogel
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Jonas Jägermeyr ...
Christoph Schneider
Leon A. Kersten ...
Tjaden (as Leon Alexander Kersten)
Thomas Drechsel ...
...
...
...
Joachim Bißmeier ...
Michael Schenk ...
Sportlehrer
Justus von Dohnányi ...
Gauleiter Heinrich Stein (as Justus von Dohnàny and Justus von Dohnányi)
...
Frau Stein
...
Katharina (as Julie Marie Engelbrecht)
Johannes Zirner ...
Torben Send
Alexander Held ...
Friedrichs Vater
Edit

Storyline

In 1942, Friedrich Weimer's boxing skills get him an appointment to a National Political Academy (NaPolA) - high schools that produce Nazi elite. Over his father's objections, Friedrich enrolls, seeing this as his ticket out of factory life to university and a good salary. During his year in seventh column (fifth form), this innocence is altered as Friedrich encounters hazing, cruelty, death, and the Nazi code. His friendship with Albrecht, the ascetic son of the area's governor, is central to this education; a night in the forest hunting for escaped Russian POWs brings things to a head. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Men Make History. We Make The Men.

Genres:

Drama | Sport | War

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 January 2005 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Before the Fall  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$8,036 (USA) (7 October 2005)

Gross:

$144,065 (USA) (19 May 2006)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| |

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

About 44 minutes into the US DVD edition of the movie, there is a scene where Albrecht pauses sadly over a picture of a fallen soldier, Torben Send. Torben was the previous editor of the school paper. There was a brief scene with the two of them before Torben left for the army, but it was ultimately cut from the film. See more »

Goofs

During Friedrich's glider flight, his helmet is securely strapped at the start but is shown unstrapped a few seconds later. He kept both hands on the glider's yoke. See more »

Quotes

Christoph Schneider: Pull yourself together!
Albrecht Stein: Pull myself together? Do you know what we just did? You shouldn't have shot! You shouldn't have shot!
Tjaden: I didn't give the order. Your father said they had guns!
Albrecht Stein: Why are you looking at me like that?
Friedrich Weimer: I'm not looking at you.
Albrecht Stein: I know what you're thinking. Don't look at me like that!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Smagsdommerne: Episode #2.10 (2005) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Dead Nazis Society
24 April 2005 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

NAPOLA is on screen in a German Film festival touring Australia and like DOWNFALL may get a proper cinema release. It is certainly a commercial film. Not unlike Dead Poets Society but in a Nazi sports academy instead, NAPOLA features an exceptionally good looking cast and really absorbing locations and detail. I found it quite an experience to sit with a largely German audience, many of whom were clearly old age couples and a lot of 30 somethings who were Jewish. Those Anglos like me and my friends enjoyed the atmosphere provided by the audience as much as this very well made film. It is the first time ever I have been able to really feel (what I have always only imagined) a true sense of the thrill that German WW2 teenagers had by joining an elite Nazi regime, their sense of belong to something that was glorious and encompassing. Some more brutal elements from the teachers and Nazi hierarchy I personally found not too far removed from my experience of Catholic school in late (anti-vietnam) 1968! Sorry about that but it really did. Another person commenting on this page is angry that the film is misleading from his genuine Napola experience and it is well worth reading his comments as he was actually there in 38-42. I am sure he would know. However for today, NAPOLA needs to speak to a new audience and present an experience in a new and idealized way to people who have only imagined what it was like; I think the film must fit that in order to succeed as a film in 2005. I found that acceptable. There is many strong physical and emotional scenes, the teen casting is quite ideal and the castle location is eerie and medieval and exactly what I have seen in Hitler Youth Documentaries: turrets, Nazi flags, flames, stone walls etc....it all looks evocative and thrilling in cinemascope. For a 20 something audience this film succeeds well for them, those older might see it as a Nazi pantomime with overtones and snowy style of "The Emperor's Club" or "Dead Poets Society". But for a look into a thrilling and brutal world of elite Nazi sports and harsh idealism, NAPOLA is a very commercial and visually successful film. One sensational scene under the ice on a lake is right out of DAMIEN OMEN 2 and a bit of TITANIC thrown in as well. It is a great scene and quite heartbreaking. The use of snowflakes is particularly emotional in several scenes. If NAPOLA gets a commercial release I would certainly suggest you see it, it delivers what we as an audience want to see in a Nazi teen movie, especially with ideal casting and production values. I also find it quite interesting to see modern German film makers explaining the Nazi past in what seems to be a brave attempt at being honest about its seduction of morals and values and visual excitement.


39 of 46 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
How Gay is it? Jason69850
Napola on Bluray! tad-32
No sign of this movie elsewhere MrPavlov
Deutsche Meinung um Friedrich und Albrecht? WallyWaffles
Other Sugguestions for Movies about the Hitler Youth? Strange_Ramblings
whirled up nazi *beep* aweisenberger
Discuss Before the Fall (2004) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?