La Caduta Degli Dei (The Damned) Reviews

Page 1 of 3
Super Reviewer
October 11, 2010
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.
Super Reviewer
½ May 24, 2010
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.
Super Reviewer
October 23, 2009
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.
½ January 21, 2015
Very interesting premise, and solid throughout the first half, but falls apart in a sort of pretentious second half. There's something The Damned reminds me of a lot, but I can't think of exactly what it is. The acting is all over the place, but Dick Bogarde gives a very interesting performance.
½ February 27, 2013
The chamber style of talking about big subject within one family is perfect.
January 21, 2013
This is a masterpiece and a must see film.
November 6, 2012
The decadence of a wealthy industrial family as an allegory for the decay of the pre-Hitler generation into Nazism and the corruption of industry in the foundation of the "New Germany". Darkness, decadence, eroticism and sense of ineluctable decline and fall.
October 13, 2012
Best film-making ever!
Super Reviewer
October 23, 2009
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.
½ April 8, 2010
Just another ordinary nazi family.
March 5, 2010
THE DAMNED

Pretty good. Originally entitled "The Fall of the Gods." A period piece set in Germany 1933-1934 during the first year or so of Hitler's Fascist Third Reich following a hostile takeover of the government by the Nazis. The Macbeth-style plot centers on a family of wealthy German steel, munitions manufacturers, whose senior members are vying for control of the business. As things heat up politically all around them, things get very personal within the family, rivalries deepen, and quickly become cut-throat. It is ultimately a winner-take-all situation with no room for compromise. The film captures the dark and dangerous tone of this ruthless struggle pretty well. As the business takes off up towards the pinnacle of its material success with the rise of the Nazis in their bid for global domination, the family is torn apart and falls to its lowest level morally and ethically. Some have suggested a veiled reference to the Krupp family in this story.

Features a studied look at the lofty upper echelon of early 20th century German society, its wealth and privileged lifestyle fostering a greedy and aberrant sense of entitlement. Period costumes and lavish set details. Plenty of deviant behavior to go around as family members indulge themselves and their corrupt vices. This is a highly dysfunctional group of people. Innocent individuals drawn into the fray are nothing but collateral damage. Violence within the context of the story is not unreasonable given what is known about the Nazis and their hard-line attitudes. Helmut Berger gives an interesting impersonation of Marlene Dietrich.
May 17, 2005
:fresh:

Tan solo 24 años después de la II Guerra Mundial, un director italiano, Luchino Visconti, da un varapalo terrible a lo que fue el auge del nazismo en Alemania, allá por 1933.
Igualico, igualico que en un país oriental que yo se. A ver cuando alguien por aquí se anima a hacer una película retratando las intrigas y luchas de poder que hubo en estos años (quizás exista ya, pero no le dan demasiada publicidad que digamos).
Tranquilos, nipones, que alguno de vosotros sea malo no es malo, que hay algunos otros países que os ganan. Sin verguenzas, hombre!

"La Caduta degli Dei", pues, retrata la decadencia absoluta en la que se ve metida una familia que posee poder y dinero a través de la indistria del acero.

Dejando de lado las disputas familiares, que como bien dice uno de los personajes, al final son lo de menos, es increible la facilidad con la que en la película se sugiere los grandes cambios que hubo en aquella época en Alemania, en donde de la noche a la mañana, uno de repente solo conoce un régimen, una forma de pensar, y debe hacer la vista gorda de todo lo hasta en ese momento conocido, en el caso de que no entre en el nuevo esquema de vida y pensamiento.

Visconti claramente ataca la hipocresía del regimen, pero no en su base política, que ni se menciona, ni se discute, sino en su base moral y ética, de principios que deben ser aplicados para todos menos para uno mismo. Las imágenes de la quema de libros, de la orgía de cerveza, de travestismo, de abuso del débil, son muestras de lo que aquel régimen quiso implantar, y ya por principio, estaba condenado a fracasar desde un punto de vista moral (aunque triunfó, y a saber cuánto hubiera durado, o estaríá durando en caso de haber ganado los nazis la guerra).

Consideraciones de este tipo aparte, aunque el guión está muy al servicio de crear una historia que atrapa al espectador con giros poco realistas, siempre al servicio de la estética, es precisamente esta, la que se erige como gran triunfadora de la película. No creo que hoy en día, por muchas y nuevas técnicas que haya, ningún director se moleste en crear los decorados, puestas en escena y la atención al actor y a la actriz que se dan en esta película.

A Dick Bogarde, cuando suelta un increible "WHAT DO YOU WANT?" hacia el final de la película, le doy un par de tomates.

Gracias a Visconti, volví por un par de horas y media a aquella Europa tan bien conocida. Al día siguiente la volví a ver, ale!! :)
½ May 20, 2004
(DVD) (First Viewing, 1st Visconti film)

Ummm... yeah. Set in 1930's Germany and revolving around a large aristocratic family, [b]The Damned[/b] is certainly not a good historical account of the Nazi's rise to power . But it is a disorienting, oddly fascinating blend of high art and camp. There's a little of everything thrown into this one- incest, pedophilia, cross dressing, and a huge homosexual orgy of young Nazi officers that serves as the centerpiece for the film. Helmut Berger ([b]Cabaret[/b]), introduced doing a Marlene Dietrich impersonation, is an effete young man who by the end of the film has come to realize his power. Ingrid Thulin, in one of her rare English-speaking roles, plays his dragon mother, and is very remiscent of Angela Lansbury in [b]The Manchurian Candidate[/b]. Dirk Bogarde, Charlotte Rampling, Helmut Griem and others all plays supporting roles thatdodge in and out of the film, but it is the fact that such subversive content is so beautifully displayed that makes [b]The Damned[/b] so compelling in a twisted way.

I'm done now because I'm not sure what to say- I'm still quite mystified by what I've just watched over the last few hours. And here I thought that when people called it flawed, they were implying that it was a boring historical drama! :eek: Guess I'm not as up with my Visconti as I should be.

(And I just noticed that this is the second film in a row with the word "damn" in the title. Anybody want to recommend another "damn" film for tomorrow's viewing? :) )
Page 1 of 3