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View Full Version : Just Saw the Movie "Der Untergang"



Kaleun1961
01-18-2007, 02:07 PM
Last night I finally got round to viewing "Downfall" for the first time. The DVD version I viewed was in German with English subtitles, my preference for watching such films. I find that I always pick up a few new words and phrases each time I watch a German film without dubbing.

Bruno Ganz did an excellent job at portraying Hitler. I don't know if he won any awards, but I think he should have at least been nominated for the German equivalent of the Oscar. What came through in the film, which agreed with books I've read about Hitler, was his split personality: a socially affable person when in private, non-political discussions, as compared with his "public face." And how he looked so much like Hitler! I kept having to remind myself that this was an actor, not the real thing.

I was also eerily creeped out by the actors who portrayed Joseph Goebbels and Martin Bormann. It's always acting done well when you actually hate the person portraying the role. Well, I didn't hate the actors, of course, but their characters. I was confused at first by the actor who portrayed Keitel. When I saw him in his first scene I thought at first that he was portraying Heinz Guderian; he looked so much like Guderian.

And that gorgeous girl who portrayed Inge, the female flak gun crewman. What a doll! So saddened to see her fate in the film. Thomas Kretschmann, the actor who played Fegelein, was familiar to me as Leutnant von Witzleben from the film, "Stalingrad." The most chilling scene in the movie is when Magda Goebbels kills her children in the bunker. Her husband seemed not to have the guts to do the job himself, instead lurking outside the door as she does the deed. As well, you see the bizarre partying of the bunker's inhabitants, a last fling at merriment before the reality of the events outside: drunken revelling and debauchery, which astonishes those who have to report to the bunker. Lastly, in spite of what people may think of the SS, you see their particular form of soldierly honour shining through as the Russians close in on the bunker. Wilhelm Moehnke is a professional soldier right to the end, as are some of their Wehrmacht comrades. So sad to realize that so many good and honourable people who could have contributed to post-war Germany felt they could not endure the end of the Third Reich and the Russian occupation killed themselves in despair.

If you are a historical buff and you have not yet seen Downfall, do yourself a favour and buy it, borrow it or rent it. I was also curious to see a few events in the film portrayed factually which I have not seen before. Did this film draw upon previously unreleased documents or was it stating an opinion as fact? I am thinking especially of the closing scene, where the fates of various persons is related. It stated that Bormann shot himself on May 2, 1945, whereas most books I have read in the past state that his fate was unknown; some thought he got himself to South American and lived in the German expatriate society there.<div class="ev_tpc_signature">

http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a299/K-61/Miscellaneous/untitled.jpg

Kaiser_W
01-18-2007, 02:41 PM
Thomas Kretschmann was the german captain of U 571..

This was a great movie and I think Bruno Ganz did receive an award for it and the movie should have won best foreign film at the oscars, but fat chance a movie about Hitler winning an oscar. A book I recently read titled 'Soldat', ties in with the story. It's written from the point of view of an aid to the general who reported to the bunker to be executed.

Goose_Green
01-18-2007, 05:55 PM
Excellent review K61 http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

I bought it before Christmas for about 5 from Amazon and I have yet the right moment to sit down and watch it, it was recommended to me by an old friend who obviously remembered about my interest in WWII.<div class="ev_tpc_signature">

http://i113.photobucket.com/albums/n235/Goose_Green/sig1copy.jpg

Celeon999
01-19-2007, 02:26 AM
I have the Directors Cut which is about 25 minutes longer than the original DVD release.

http://img254.imageshack.us/img254/5030/pic0004aaav2.jpg


Yes, Bruno ganz recieved several film awards, german and swiss ones. He is from switzerland. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

Which fits the role pretty good as Hitler was also a "foreigner" http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif


Ganz took entire three months of preparations for the role. Watching footages of Hitler, reading books, speaking with people who knew Hitler etc...

Its interesting to see how he fled from reality by continueing work on his Germania models.<div class="ev_tpc_signature">

http://img354.imageshack.us/img354/7347/germanyf2t11x2ef.gif (http://imageshack.us)http://img111.imageshack.us/img111/341/sig31lu4.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

VikingGrandad
01-19-2007, 02:32 AM
Are the extra 25 minutes good Celeon?<div class="ev_tpc_signature">

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c188/VikingG/U-230.jpg

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Celeon999
01-19-2007, 03:05 AM
Originally posted by VikingGrandad:
Are the extra 25 minutes good Celeon?


Mostly some dialogue scenes. Nothing important.

An extended scene of the first briefing scene with Hitler and his Generals in which Hitler explains the reasons for his decision to stay in Berlin.

A scene in which the Hitler youth boy shots a soviet soldier.

I cant remember the others right now.


Did you know that the movie was shot in St.Petersburg in russia ? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

It was perfect for the movie. The architecture looks exactly like Berlin 60 years ago.

Additionaly the pyrotechnical team had less problems getting the necessary allowances for their explosion effects there.

In Berlin , they would never got the allowance to install their pyro stuff on historical buildings even if they had assured that nothing gets damaged by this.

Another good point was the availability of historical weapons and tanks from the Kubinka tank museum in Moscow.

Except the main characters, all people you see in the exterior shots are all residents of the streets the scenes were shot in. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

The team was going through the streets, ringing on every door to ask the people if they would like to act in a movie.

3.JG51_Molders
01-19-2007, 07:17 AM
Excellent review K61, I remember seeing this movie on History television. I checked the websites of stores close to me and found nothing so I may have to purchase it online. Anyone got a name of a store or stores that they saw it/purchased it in ?<div class="ev_tpc_signature">

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VikingGrandad
01-19-2007, 10:52 AM
Originally posted by Celeon999:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by VikingGrandad:
Are the extra 25 minutes good Celeon?

Mostly some dialogue scenes. Nothing important. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

OK, thanks for letting me know. I'm not sure the Director's cut version is available in the UK. There is a 1 disc version (http://www.play.com/DVD/DVD/4-/1009295/Downfall/Product.html) and a 2 disc version with extra features (http://www.play.com/DVD/DVD/4-/606435/Downfall/Product.html)


Originally posted by Celeon999:
Did you know that the movie was shot in St.Petersburg in russia ? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

It was perfect for the movie. The architecture looks exactly like Berlin 60 years ago.

Odd that a city in Russia looks like 1940's Berlin. The Nazis would have hated this - a film about Hitler's downfall, made by Germans and filmed in old Leningrad!<div class="ev_tpc_signature">

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c188/VikingG/U-230.jpg

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Celeon999
01-19-2007, 11:28 AM
Odd that a city in Russia looks like 1940's Berlin. The Nazis would have hated this - a film about Hitler's downfall, made by Germans and filmed in old Leningrad!


Thats because of the Gothic architecture which you can also find in London for example. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

And St.Petersburg has lots of it http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Peter the Great who founded the city in 1703 wanted it to be a "window to europe"

The city is beautiful http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/inlove.gif

And even its Subway/Metro can easily compete with that of Moscow http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/72/ST_Petersburg_Metro_Kirovsky_Zvod.jpg/800px-ST_Petersburg_Metro_Kirovsky_Zvod.jpg

And here another station http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/aa/Metropolitain_of_Saint_Petersburg_station_Awtowo.j pg/800px-Metropolitain_of_Saint_Petersburg_station_Awtowo.j pg <div class="ev_tpc_signature">

http://img354.imageshack.us/img354/7347/germanyf2t11x2ef.gif (http://imageshack.us)http://img111.imageshack.us/img111/341/sig31lu4.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

Celeon999
01-19-2007, 12:27 PM
Talking about Architecture.....


Remember the "Germania" model in the beginning of the movie ?

Ive found a little vid from a docu.

It shows a computer animation of what the capital of the world "Germania" (the renamed Berlin) was supposed to look like with the beginning of 1950. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/354.gif

Nazi megalomania at its best. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

Its in german so :

In the beginning you see the Triumph Arc.
50 times bigger than the one in Paris.

The 5000 meter long and 120 meter broad parade street leading to the Great Hall. (Planned to be a gathering place for 180.000 people.

The biggest building ever constructed. So big that it would theoreticly have its own little weather system in it. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif

Germania (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2jeEn3yvmk)<div class="ev_tpc_signature">

http://img354.imageshack.us/img354/7347/germanyf2t11x2ef.gif (http://imageshack.us)http://img111.imageshack.us/img111/341/sig31lu4.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

VikingGrandad
01-19-2007, 02:01 PM
So would Germania have completely replaced Berlin? I'm wondering if that 5000 meter long parade would be built in place of the Unter den Linden and Tiergarten?<div class="ev_tpc_signature">

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c188/VikingG/U-230.jpg

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Kaiser_W
01-19-2007, 02:50 PM
I think Peter the great actually had western european architects brought in to design the city to resemble its european counterparts. That's why it's so similar to Berlin. I could be wrong on this though.

Celeon999
01-20-2007, 02:24 AM
I think Peter the great actually had western european architects brought in to design the city to resemble its european counterparts. That's why it's so similar to Berlin. I could be wrong on this though.

You're right. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif He invited architects from all over europe to build a city that should be comparable with London, Paris or Madrid.




So would Germania have completely replaced Berlin? I'm wondering if that 5000 meter long parade would be built in place of the Unter den Linden and Tiergarten?



No not replace , but modify. Entire street blocks had to relocate for this of course.

So the city was supposed to become bigger while its core gets completely replaced by his "vision". http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

His most beloved project was the Great Hall (who expected that huh ?) http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif


In several spots in Berlin you can find these strange objects here


http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/1a/Berlin_belastungskoerper.jpg/800px-Berlin_belastungskoerper.jpg


These are (heavy-load testing blocks) made out of concrete. They were constructed to test if the sandy and partial swampy ground which Berlin is build on is able to carry the Great Hall at all. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif

Result : Yes it is possible. They sunk a bit into the ground but everything stayed within acceptable limits.

They are still there because they cant be demolished by explosives without blowing the whole neighbourhood away and it would be too costly to remove them the classic way.


You can see Germania completed in the alternate history movie "Fatherland" with Rutger Hauer.

The movie is good but the book is even better. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Fatherland by Robert Harris (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fatherland_%28novel%29)


http://img214.imageshack.us/img214/678/germania015vy.jpg
http://img215.imageshack.us/img215/4731/germania25ys.jpg <div class="ev_tpc_signature">

http://img354.imageshack.us/img354/7347/germanyf2t11x2ef.gif (http://imageshack.us)http://img111.imageshack.us/img111/341/sig31lu4.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

Goose_Green
01-20-2007, 03:02 AM
It looks like a massive version of Capitol Hill in Washington DC and St. Pauls Catherdal in London http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif Well, the dome bit anyway<div class="ev_tpc_signature">

http://i113.photobucket.com/albums/n235/Goose_Green/sig1copy.jpg

XyZspineZyX
01-20-2007, 03:12 AM
I didn't like the movie at all. The acting of Hitler was over the top and embarassing. Just another movie to take the piss out of the germans like so many before. I switched it off.