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First but not the best
22 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Since most review's of this film are of screening's seen decade's ago I'd like to add a more recent one, the film open's with stock footage of B-17's bombing Germany, the film cut's to Oskar Werner's Hauptmann (captain) Wust character and his aide running for cover while making their way to Hitler's Fuehrer Bunker, once inside, they are debriefed by bunker staff personnel, the film then cut's to one of many conference scene's with Albin Skoda giving a decent impression of Adolf Hitler rallying his officer's to "Ultimate Victory" while Werner's character is shown as slowly coming to realize the bunker denizen's are caught up in a fantasy world-some non-bunker event's are depicted, most notable being the flooding of the subway system to prevent a Russian advance through them and a minor subplot involving a young member of the Flak unit's and his family's difficulty in surviving-this film suffer's from a number of detail inaccuracies that a German film made only 10 year's after WW2 should not have included; the actor portraying Goebbels (Willy Krause) wear's the same uniform as Hitler, including arm eagle- Goebbels wore a brown Nazi Party uniform with swastika armband-the "SS" soldier's wear German army camouflage, the well documented scene of Hitler awarding the iron cross to boy's of the Hitler Youth is shown as having taken place INSIDE the bunker (it was done outside in the courtyard) and lastly, Hitler's suicide weapon is clearly shown as a Belgian browning model 1922-most account's agree it was a Walther PPK-some bit's of acting also seem wholly inaccurate with the drunken dance scene near the end of the film being notable, this bit is shown as a cabaret skit, with a intoxicated wounded soldier (his arm in a splint) maniacally goose-stepping to music while a nurse does a combination striptease/belly dance, all by candlelight... this is actually embarrassing to watch-the most incredible bit is when Werner's Captain Wust gain's an audience alone with Skoda's Hitler, Hitler is shown as slumped on a wall bench, drugged and delirious, when Werner's character begin's to question him, Hitler start's screaming which bring's in a SS guard who mortally wound's Werner's character in the back with a gunshot-this fabricated scene is not based on any true historic account-Werner's character is then hauled off to die in a anteroom while Hitler prepare's his own ending, Hitler's farewell to his staff is shown but the suicide is off-screen, the final second's of the movie show Hitler's funeral pyre smoke slowly forming into a ghostly image of the face of the dead Oskar Werner/Hauptmann Wust-this film is more allegorical than historical and anyone interested in this period would do better to check out more recent film's such as the 1973 remake "Hitler: the last 10 day's" or the German film "Downfall" (Der Untergang) if they wish a more true accounting of this dramatic story, these last two film's are based on first person eyewitness account's, with "Hitler: the last 10 day's" being compiled from Gerhard Boldt's autobiography as a staff officer in the Fuehrer Bunker and "Downfall" being done from Hitler's secretary's recollection's, the screen play for "Der Letzte Akte" is taken from American Nuremberg war crime's trial judge Michael Musmanno's book "Ten day's to die", which is more a compilation of event's (many obviously fanciful) than eyewitness history-it is surprising that Hugh Trevor Roper's account,"The last day's of Hitler" was never made into a film.
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