Write descriptive essay about Downfall movie 2004, write an essay of at least 500 words on Downfall, 5 paragraph essay on Downfall, definition essay, descriptive essay, dichotomy essay.
Italy, Germany, Austria
Drama, Biography, History, War
IMDB rating:
Oliver Hirschbiegel
Bruno Ganz as Adolf Hitler
Alexandra Maria Lara as Traudl Junge
Corinna Harfouch as Magda Goebbels
Ulrich Matthes as Joseph Goebbels
Juliane Köhler as Eva Braun
Heino Ferch as Albert Speer
Christian Berkel as Prof. Dr. Ernst-Günter Schenck
Matthias Habich as Prof. Dr. Werner Haase
Thomas Kretschmann as SS-Gruppenführer Hermann Fegelein
Michael Mendl as General der Artillerie Helmuth Weidling
André Hennicke as SS-Brigadeführer Wilhelm Mohnke
Ulrich Noethen as Reichsführer SS Heinrich Himmler
Birgit Minichmayr as Gerda Christian
Rolf Kanies as General der Infanterie Hans Krebs
Storyline: 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.
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'Saving Private Ryan' without the schmaltzy overtones.
You couldn't really expect to make a 'typical' movie out of the story of last days of the archetypal fascist dictator. 'Untergang' seeks to illustrate the situation of 'sane' people under the control of a madman; that and the impending arrival of the Red Army is the only dramatic jeopardy available - no romantic interlude, nothing to achieve, no sentimental buddy rescue shtick. We witness the reactions of people like you and me (and don't be silly enough to imagine I include Goebbels, etc. - I mean people doing their jobs under impending calamity) who happened to be in the wrongest place at the wrongest time. If this dilemma doesn't absorb you, it's a fault of your imagination, not of the utterly brilliant recreation of something very few people survived to bear witness to. 'Untergang' doesn't seek to make a judgment of Hitler because it doesn't need to: all you need to appreciate is his increasing detachment from reality and the way that this divides the people stuck with him. If there's any sort of judgment, it's of the herd mentality of people as a whole. The film becomes a series of stunning docu-vignettes of the various levels of humanity involved, each one posing the question 'What would YOU have done?'. This film is thought-provoking, and that naturally makes many denizens of the internet uncomfortable.
Not since the 1981 release of "Das Boot" has a German film had such an impact on audiences witnessing, from a German point of view, the perception, judgement,interpretation and opinion on its own history. "Downfall" tells the true story of the last days of the third Reich (April 1945), from within Hitlers secret underground bunker situated in the heart of Berlin.

3/4 of the film is set inside the scope of the claustrophobic and confined concrete bunker world of Adolf Hitler during his last weeks alive. The film also show a glimpse of central Berlin in its besieged and confused state during the Soviet onslaught. Inside the bunker we see Hitler's decay, he goes from calmness to rage, from understanding to paranoia, from irrational to total deluded. He gives his generals and field commandos ( there was no grand admirals present in the bunker at this time of the war) orders that are not compatible with reality or fact. He tries to control armies that do not exist anymore or order companies to counter-attack that only featuring on a map. A large majority of his high ranking commanding officers sense, and have done for 8-months, the war is lost on the side of Germany. However, some still believe in final victory in idealistic faculties. This is played out on screen with nervous tension. In addition, the few scenes set outside the bunker bring across a population confused, scarred, exhausted. Some however are continuing to display courage in valiantly defending the city and show continuously hopeless resistance in the face of the advancing red army (1st Belarussian army)bought on by years of Nazi propaganda.

The film magnificently achieves to bring to screen the combination of Traudi Junges ( Hitlers private secretary) memoirs, Nazi officials memoirs, German war archives and the documentary "blind spot" to a conclusion on screen.

Bruno Ganz brings the fuhrer to life in his exceptionally good performance. Alexandria Maria Lara plays the role of Traudi Junge has a young confused,aroused and obsolete to the truth citizen of the third Reich. All the members of the cast gives excellently rehearsed and researched performances to life. Ulrich Noether was a perfect likeness to Himmler.

"Downfall" is a remarkable history lesson on the second world war in Europe. It holds the attention of the audience through out. The film never side tracking away for long enough, in which it sets the sense of calmness, peace and normality, to lose sight of the unbearable reality of the situation.
Persuasive, visceral, shocking, and enlightening. And brilliantly made.
The Downfall (2004)

There is no way to find any movie-making fault here. The filming, the acting, the sets (if you can call such amazing scenes merely "sets"), and editing, and drama, the effects, etc etc are all as good as it gets. There no reason to even list all the great actors, from Bruno Ganz playing Hitler on down. It's so disturbing, convincing, and perfect (as much as movies can be) it'll shake you up, deeply, and properly.

Historically I can only assume it is accurate. It fits all the bits and pieces I've read about the last days of the Third Reich well, and it is a fully German effort, which gives it some kind of credence. Note, for a moment, that there are a lot of these redemptive, unapologetic, probing films by contemporary Germans, such as Sophie Scholl, and there are not similar movies made by the Japanese for their role in World War II. The implications of that I'm not sure, but it's worth pointing out at least to give huge thanks to the Germans involved for wanting to be honest, openly.

There will be a million ways of treating Hitler the person, including not treating him as a person at all. I think director Oliver Hirschbiegel (and his producers) make an astonishingly good effort to get it "accurate." It's not a documentary, and there are short scenes clearly meant to be moving beyond just information (like when Dr. Speer finds the patients in the basement of the hospital, or when the woman and the boy ride their bicycle down a woodsy road through golden sunlight). But why not? I don't think beauty is at fault here. The main narrative personality through the movie (the secretary) has at her core a sense of noticing what is true, and wanting what is right, and in the end she finds beauty by simply surviving.

But there is a way to analyze what happens here, but not quickly. There are moments that are gory, but there is no dwelling on violence (many suicides take place and we don't usually witness them directly). That alone makes the movie quite the opposite of Tarantino's version of Hitler's demise, for example, or even how Spielberg might show the blood, judging from Private Ryan. The Downfall makes the facts of Hitler's madness no caricature, but a real, frightening insanity, subtle enough to inspire followers. The willingness and the sometimes stupid sheeplike attitudes of the many officers around him is a huge part of the message here, assuming we can call the basic intention of the movie a drive for reassessing the facts of the times, and the implications about how power can be so wrong, and so persuasive.

Bottom line? An amazing movie.
Considering the fact how hard it is to make an adequate movie about the Third Rich and especially Hitler himself, "Der Untergang" is a superb portrayal of the last days of Hitler, his minions and the Third Rich. First of all, Bruno Ganz' performance is magnificent, brilliant, perfect. You're beginning to think he IS the Fuehrer, his look, his mannerism, his sick philosophy of life and his downfall are absolutely convincing. After seeing him you can finally understand why so many people back then were attracted by his charisma, but thanks to Ganz' performance you do not forget about the terrible crimes he committed by his followers and about the evil inside the sick soul of this man. His minions weren't that important in this movie, except for Joseph Goebbels and his family. Heinrich Himmler, the ReichsfuehrerSS, was portrayed as the man he was: an idiotic coward, who was in great part responsible for the Holocaust and still believed in a peace agreement with the allied forces, although this idea was completely out of place. Albert Speer as one of the less criminal national socialists was also quite good interpreted. Martin Bormann, Alfred Jodl and Wilhelm Keitel, 3 other important Nazis, got too few screen time, and Hermann Goering didn't even show up, he was just mentioned. I think Goebbels wasn't portrayed that authentic as he could have, due to the fact he was the most intelligent of Hitler's inner circle, but in some scenes he seemed like someone who could just repeat his own slogans. The part about Traudl Junge and the boy from the Volkssturm, Peter, was also quite good, but it was clearly overshadowed by the Hitler/ minion part. There are also some surprisingly well done battle- sequences taking place in Berlin, in which you can also see a part of the pretty high amount of blood and violence, for example when a soldier gets shot through his head, some officers are committing suicide or the killing of the Goebbels children, a scene which gave me the chills. Due to it's high authenticity, great actors and an important message, this movie could become as important as Schindler's List already is, in order to show today's youth the insanity of Hitler and the whole Third Rich and to make them avoid racist and extreme right wing organisations. All in all, this is one of the best German flicks I've ever seen - although there isn't such a huge number of good German movies. 10/10
The best and most gripping film I've ever seen
I hate the term 'war' films. The best 'war' films aren't war films at all, they are anti-war films. By that I mean that the films portray a story that should leave all who watch them with a deeper understanding of the suffering involved, the lives that are destroyed and the pointless waste. There have been several excellent films of this genre. Saving Private Ryan, Schindlers List, Gallipoli, Lion of the Desert are just a few. This film, this masterpiece, sits atop that list. I have never seen a more gripping saga in my life, absolutely stunning.

Every performance from every actor, from the incredible Bruno Ganz, down to the young children playing the Goebbels children, was immaculate.

Even now, several weeks after I first saw it, I have vivid memories of scenes from the film, not just the graphic harrowing scenes which I think will always remain with me, but the conversations, the one between Hitler and Speer springs to mind. Added to these are the scenes of Hitler's rages and the brilliantly intimate camera work which gives the viewer a 'close up', 1st person view of the film.

There are far too many excellent reasons why someone should watch this film to be listed here.

Basically, it will keep you enthralled for the two and a half hours (it flies by), and it will leave you emotionally drained at the end.

Trust me....this is no 'war' film!
Re : Der Untergang
This was an excellent film, one of the best I have seen. I saw it in Berlin a couple of times ( in German ) when it first came out, and now have the DVD. Have also read the book. Just one comment I have to make which no-one else seems to have picked up on so far. In the scene where Hitler is presenting the Iron Crosses to members of the Hitler Youth in the Reichs Chancellery garden, he is introduced by a man in the brown uniform of the Hitler Youth, Artur Axmann, Reichsjugendfuehrer. Axmann salutes and gives the Nazi Gruess with his RIGHT arm. However, according to my information Artur Axmann was wounded on the first day of the attack on the Soviet Union, 22nd July 1941, when he lost an arm. And as far as I can make out from photographs of Axmann I have seen, the arm he lost was the RIGHT one. So he should have saluted with his LEFT hand.

I am not 100% certain of this, but I wonder whether there is any further information on this point.What do the film makers have to say about it ?

Also, I am anxious to obtain the song " Blutrote Rosen " by the Marek Weber Orchestra, which is played in the film when Eva Braun is dancing in the Reichs Chancellery. I know that the recording is available on the CD of the film, but I don't want to purchase the entire film soundtrack. Can anyone tell me where I can obtain the record ( preferably on CD ) of this song without having to buy the film soundtrack ?

Terry Moody.
Absolutely amazing
Superlatives cannot do this film justice. Bruno Ganz in the role of his life as Hitler is extraordinary, but his performance is only so strong because of the outstanding supporting cast. An absolutely essential film for anyone with an interest in history and politics. It is not 'just another WW2 movie' because it takes you into the heart of fanaticism, the people who instigate and lead that fanaticism and the people that consent to be led by them even to the death of themselves and everything they love. Nothing could be more relevant today.

Even watching it on small screen you find yourself wincing at the suicides, the injuries and the explosions, and gasping at the coldness and horror taking place. The fact that it is based to the closest word and detail on two eyewitness accounts just knocks other supposedly 'realistic' pieces like Band of Brothers, Saving Private Ryan, etc. into a cocked hat.

I have only two (slight) criticisms. Yet again in a film Hitler comes across as a gibbering madman - he was far more calculating, chilling and subtle than that, or he could not have seized power, fooled the 'Great Powers' into inaction, and then led a modern, industrialized country to its own utter destruction in the space of a few years. As the film develops though there are glimpses of the former Hitler, and the supporting cast are utterly convincing in their fanaticism - the actors playing Goebbels and his wife are particularly strong. As the film goes on we start to see this is the end of an incredibly powerful process. The supporting cast show just the right combination of fear, desperation and total, self-annihilating belief in Hitler and his leadership. Most of them are literally seeing for the first time the situation they have let themselves in for, and the true nature of their leader. Secondly, you couldn't want it to be any longer - an edited down version for those with only a couple of hours on hand would be good.
One of the great modern epics and one of the most haunting films ever made
Downfall is a film not without it's flaws but I feel it is one of the most important films I've ever seen. It is so accurate and so unbiased in it's portrayal of Hitler and the final days of his Reich that we get to see the man behind the monster and the people who have sold their soul to him. Nazis weren't beacons of pure evil, they were human beings and Downfall takes this to heart. I remember the film received some criticism upon it's release for being "sympathetic" to the Third Reich, sympathy is not the emotion Oliver Hirschbiegel is trying to inset in his audience, I felt he wanted them to develop a sense of understanding.

Bruno Ganz is haunting and mesmerizing as Hitler, but the dictator is not the main focus of the film. It is largely an ensemble piece about the fall of Berlin to the Russian army through various perspectives. We see the efforts of an SS Doctor named Ernst Gunther Schneck as he tries to look out for the interests of his fellow Germans and we see that he is most troubled by the SS' indifference to the suffering. There is a very well done subplot about a group of Hitler youth being called into battle because there simply isn't anyone else left. The group of children have been brainwashed and believe that they must fight to the death, and they do despite the pleas of a boy's broken father. To say this is simply a film about Nazi' would be an understatement, it's a film about Germany and the uncertainty of her future.

We have little time to catch our breath as we are thrust into the Bunker where the Fuhrer will sit through the destruction of his empire and have to endure a hellish demise. And go through Hell he will, the fortunes of the war shift dramatically for the worse. Hitler sits in his war room moving troops across it which don't exist anymore. His Generals and followers don't know what to think anymore. Some want to continue to place complete faith in Hitler and some believe it is time to end the war. Hitler himself clings onto the slimmest chances that he can lead Germany to victory. He continues to plan for the building of a new model Berlin and seldom does he show his true intentions or thoughts. Only when his closest followers abandon him does Hitler realize that he has no chance of winning the war. We are unsure of what Hitler wants to hang onto, he makes it very clear that he doesn't care about the citizens of Berlin. He sees them as weak and as traitors to their own cause even though they continue to fight to the last man for him. In many ways the Bunker is a surreal area void of reality. In it's walls, Hitler is still a powerful leader and not a weak old man drained by war. The occupants know their fate but they never admit it or bring it up. Eva Braun plans a huge party with dancing and drinking but it is interrupted by powerless due to the firing of Russian artillery, when the power returns Eva doesn't ask if anyone is all right she orders that the music be put back on. Hitler makes a big deal about his killing himself, he is clear that this is the last and only option. When he parts with his secretaries and staff we see Hitler's trademark theatricality. He doesn't speak to any of his followers except for Magda Goebbels, whom he gives his official seal to praising her as the bravest mother in the Reich. Magda later comes to the realization that she would rather kill her young children rather than let them live in a world without their Uncle Adolf and Aunt Eva and National Socialism.

In the end the influence of the Third Reich only extended from the mind of a madman to a group of uncertain people buried below the rubble.

If Downfall has a main character it is Traudi Junge, Hitler's secretary, played by the beautiful actress Alexandra Maria Lara. This character is the most compelling in the film. She is young and by her own admission she sought a career with the Nazis because she saw an opportunity for advancement. The best scene is when the two central characters are introduced in the beginning of the film, Traudi is applying to be Hitler's secretary. Hitler's introduction into the picture is filmed relatively simply but Ganz' presence is huge and rather Traudi looks like she is looking into the eyes of God. Hitler brings the girl to his office to test her typing skills and he makes small talk about his beloved German Shepard Blondi. Ganz makes him appear like a father figure to the girl, patient and understanding. It is one of the best scenes of the film. The relationship between Traudi and Hitler is handled with utmost care. Traudi is never sure what to think about Hitler, he both repulses and fascinates her. She convinces herself that she sees something past the hate filled rants, she tries to find Hitler's soul. And the audience is brought along on this search. The thought of Hitler having a soul is a tough conundrum to think about, but past the hate,the racism, and the evil was a man who was gentle and understanding with Traudi and who loved his dear old dog Blondi.

Showing Hitler and his Third Reich as humans is the best way to respect the sheer evil of the Holocaust. If we think of Hitler as nothing put pure evil we lessen the tragedy and the enormity of humanity's darkest hour. A human being is capable of error and Downfall is about flawed people who allowed themselves to be taken in by a crazy man and how they and the nation of Germany had to pay for their sins
What an amazing film. I'm at a loss for words.

First of all, this project which took two years of director Oliver Hirschbiegel's life was an incredibly brave thing to tackle, seeing as there hasn't been a film chronicling Hitlers last days for 30+ years.

The attention to detail is there to see as well and as far as I can tell, is factually as accurate as it possibly can be. There is debate as to some of the possible events such as how exactly Hitler's body was disposed but it also seems in order Chronologically. On top of that it also feels very frank and honest and without compromise. Bruno Ganz is simply awesome as Hitler. His detailed research and analysis of Hitler and his mannerisms pays off spectacularly. It really feels like it could be him, and to pull that off in a much copied and more importantly, parodied figure is truly genius. Some of the scenes such as his various rants at his officers and generals, where Speer tells him of his betrayals had me in awe of this mans performance.

There were some incredibly shocking scenes also like where the German officer kills his family for not being able to leave Berlin.

Akin to 'The Pianist' this is simple, but honest film-making at it's best, which demands the utmost from cast and crew in order to succeed, typified by the final scene with the Goebbels children and the Goebbels themselves. I must say, I thought the casting for Goebbels was tremendous.

Put simply, this is a film that, like 'All quiet on the Western Front', will be remembered in 100 years time
This movie has physically touched me! ....wow.
I don't know what to say about this film. I am almost speechless.

First of all, this is almost PERFECT cinema, beautifully shot, acted, lit, staged and on and on. BUt it is also the only film in recent memory that had an almost physical impact on me. I left feeling disoriented and very disquieted, a feeling that lasted for several hours.

What we have here is an exercise in patience. A film that allows us to watch the disintegration of the largest empire in modern history, from the inside out. Beginning after the start of the siege of Berlin, the bulk of the film takes place in the cramped bunkers below the city, where Hitler and his officers are trapped like rats on a sinking ship, aware of their fate, but not smart enough, not willing enough, or maybe incapable of escaping the fates they created for themselves.

This is a daring, brilliant film with a virtuoso performance by Bruno Ganz as Hitler. He shows us that beneath the genocidal, world changing shell of hatred that the globe knew, Hitler was still that petty, hatefilled, failed art-student that he was before becoming the greatest villain in history.

awesome, awesome, awesome movie.
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