Friday Night Movie Number 35 – The Downfall


I love a film with a happy ending, and as this one ends with the suicide of one Adolf Hitler, I think that this counts as a happy ending.

This film made in 2004 and starring Bruno Ganz as Hitler is mostly set in the confines of Hitler’s bunker in Berlin in 1945 during the closing days of World War II. It is in many ways a claustrophobic film as it should be bearing in mind it is filmed in a set designed to closely mimic the Fuhrerbunker itself.

Throughout the film you can see Hitler completely lose his grip on reality and fall into a form of fantasy leadership where he believed he had military forces to defend Berlin that really didn’t exist. The fear of capture by the Soviet Union and the realisation that the great project of the Third Reich had failed leads many of the leading Nazis and their followers to despair.

Some of the scenes such as the one where some of the Nazis put on lavish, drunken orgiastic parties in order to while away the hours before certain death or capture overtakes them are breathtakingly well done. Other scenes such as those showing the fanatical Nazi Magda Goebbels, wife of the Nazi propaganda minister, killing her own children because she believes that a world without National Socialism is a world not worth living in, are absolutely harrowing.

This is an excellent film and one that I never tire of re-watching. I hope you enjoy it too.

1 Comment on "Friday Night Movie Number 35 – The Downfall"

  1. Put it down to a resilient nature, F. Mesmerizing acting throughout excruciating scenes, make it unbearable for some to watch in its entirety.

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