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La Caduta Degli Dei (The Damned)

La Caduta Degli Dei (The Damned) (1969)


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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 1
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 0



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Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 557

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Movie Info

The rise of Nazism as reflected within a decadent German industrialist family.

Feb 17, 2004

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All Critics (13) | Top Critics (2) | Fresh (10) | Rotten (1) | DVD (12)

A spectacle of such greedy passion, such uncompromising sensation, and such obscene shock that it makes you realize how small and safe and ordinary most movies are.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Even if somewhat remarkable in scope as a Nazi decadence pic, it's all so ponderous and repulsive."

April 16, 2013 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Imperfect and excessive -- and also essential.

October 22, 2008 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

By boldly confronting the psycho-sexual depravity of the Nazi mindset, all the way through to is inevitable incestuous nature, Visconti creates a specific cinematic vernacular for viewing and discussing Hitler's manic ideology.

September 26, 2005 Full Review Source:

Visual remarkable, endlessly inventive critque of Hitler's Germany.

August 13, 2005 Full Review Source: Classic Film and Television
Classic Film and Television

Lavishly mounted, Visconti's melodramatic spectacle draws parallels between the demise of a German rich and powerful clan and the rise of Hitler to power. One of the 1960s most popular and controversial international productions.

June 19, 2005 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

The Damned is a lot of things - bilious and perverse are the two first adjectives that spring to mind - but one thing it is not is a film of half-measures.

July 21, 2004 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

Occassionally overflows with self-indulgence and didacticism, weakening an otherwise and often potent critique

June 27, 2004 Full Review Source: Cinemania

By the end of the opening sequence, the film has already indulged in pan-sexuality, corporate backstabbing, anti-reactionary suppression, pedophilia, and murder plots.

February 17, 2004 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

the script feels like it's written by a graduate student doing a research paper on Mein Kampf

February 9, 2004 Full Review Source: | Comment (1)

Audience Reviews for La Caduta Degli Dei (The Damned)

The first half is fascinating, showing the depravity of the rising Nazism reflected on the decay of the Essenbeck family. After that, however, it seems that Visconti does not want to conclude his story, and he goes on indefinitely in an endless soap-opera of backstabbing and murder plots.
October 22, 2010

Super Reviewer

Based on a family's foray into unadulterated corruption during the third Reich. Initially, the relationships of the various characters were difficult to follow, but their manipulations and depravity slowly and memorably reveal their personalities. Debauchery and decadence are intrinsic within the Nazi regime. Helmut Berger's performance is amazing as he transforms from a dandy to a completely evil and ruthless man. The ending is incredible.
May 24, 2010

Super Reviewer

In 1930s Germany, the aristocratic Von Essenbeck clan struggles amidst the Nazi regime to retain control over an industrial empire, while the family members react with varying degrees of compliance.

This lengthy, ponderous drama lacks the slam-bam action that one might expect from a Nazi-themed film -- in fact, there is really only one violent scene. Nor is hatred toward Jews a strong motif. No, this tale is more about corruption and betrayal within the ruling Germans themselves, both between the Von Essenbecks and the Nazis and between the rival SS and SA factions of the national army. Along the way, the script's treats include occasional pedophilia, incest, suicide, transvestitism, homosexuality and a mild orgy (hence the film's initial X rating), as well as one of cinema's most unromantic wedding scenes ever. However, be prepared to weather plenty of dour, sluggish dialogue.

The filmmaking is masterful beyond a somewhat florid score which seems unsubtle at times, but there is one important problem: The cast includes three or four male actors with similar feminine, blue-eyed, high-cheekboned features, and it requires extra work to avoid being confused by these characters' interwoven plots. Watch closely.

Note to xenophobics: You might be surprised to learn "The Damned" is almost entirely in English.
May 2, 2012
Eric Broome

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • The Damned (La caduta degli dei) (DE)
  • The Damned (La caduta degli dei) (UK)
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