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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:

Bernd Eichinger, Joachim Fest (based on the book "Der Untergang: Hitler und das Ende des Dritten Reiches" by) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
1,071 ( 77)
Top Rated Movies #131 | Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 22 wins & 33 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bruno Ganz ... Adolf Hitler
Alexandra Maria Lara ... Traudl Junge
Corinna Harfouch ... Magda Goebbels
Ulrich Matthes ... Joseph Goebbels
Juliane Köhler ... Eva Braun
Heino Ferch ... Albert Speer
Christian Berkel ... Prof. Ernst-Günther Schenck
Matthias Habich ... Prof. Werner Haase
Thomas Kretschmann ... Hermann Fegelein
Michael Mendl ... General Weidling
André Hennicke ... General Mohnke
Ulrich Noethen ... Heinrich Himmler
Birgit Minichmayr ... Gerda Christian
Rolf Kanies ... General Hans Krebs
Justus von Dohnányi ... General Wilhelm Burgdorf (as Justus von Dohnanyi)
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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:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The button that Adolf Hitler removes from his jacket and gives to Magda Goebbels is the Gold Nazi Party badge, awarded to high-ranking party members who had constant membership from 1925. Hitler gave himself Badge No. 1 when he authorized it in 1933, even though he was not the first party member. The Soviets found the badge in the bunker and it was stored in a vault at the Lubyanka, the KGB headquarters. In 1996 the FSB, the Russian Federation successor to the Soviet KGB, revealed that it had the badge and in 2005 put it on display. In November that year, it was stolen in a brazen smash-and-grab raid. The burglar escaped even though he triggered the display alarms. So far, it has not yet been recovered. 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 »

Alternate Versions

Extended version includes 22 minutes of additional footage. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Look Who's Back (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Davon geht die Welt nicht unter
(Michael Jary / Bruno Balz)
© 1942 by Ufaton-Verlagsgesellschaft mbH
Performed by Zarah Leander
Courtesy of BMG Music Publishing Germany, Munich
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User Reviews

 
Distanced and sober view of Hitler's last days
12 November 2004 | by engelstSee 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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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

Germany | Austria | Italy

Language:

German | Russian | French | English

Release Date:

8 April 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Downfall See more »

Filming Locations:

Russia See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

EUR13,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$18,195, 20 February 2005

Gross USA:

$5,509,040

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$92,181,574
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (extended)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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