In an atmosphere of political tension when the French still control Algiers, an Algerian is killed on the beach and a French man who has lived in Algiers all his life is arrested for the ... See full summary »
The power and fortune of the Von Essenbeck family remained intact even when Germany lost World War I, and during the depression that followed. Now it's 1934, and the baron has summoned his family to a dinner that also brings a cousin rising in the Nazi party to the great house accompanied by a rising manager at the baron's company. Two little girls recite poetry in the parlor and then play hide-and-seek with their cousin Martin (Helmut Berger). Suddenly there is a scream. The baron has been shot with their father's gun and the father flees the country.Written by
Dale O'Connor <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Most of the previous reviews noted the link in this sumptuous piece of high camp with Hamlet, but only one noted the secondary English title was a direct reference to Wagner's Twilight of the Gods. Presenting the rise of Nazism as a camp Wagnerian Soap Opera was what Visconti was after, I think. He succeeds brilliantly. Yes, it is distasteful in it's perversions, but Nazism was pretty distasteful in it's reality, and perverted too. I am not gay, but the Night of the Long Knives is one of the most memorable bits of cinematography I have seen- a cross dressing SA thug by the Wannansee having a premonition of doom at the hands of the SS- go figure! Thulin and Rampling are superb, Bogarde believable (in an utterly unbelievable role), and Berger chews the carpet in a way that gives overacting a good name. Not to be missed.
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