Opening

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La Caduta Degli Dei (The Damned) Reviews

Page 2 of 3
February 3, 2014
Among the countless films about Nazism, there are numerous depicting the brutality visually and mentally. However, few have explored its corruption of human mind into a reckless killing machinery of conformity. Luchino Visconti's attempt here is a spine-shivering one: with his vision as an aristocrat, he records the gradual transformation of the entire Aryan race with characters like Dirk Bogarde, Ingrid Thulin and Helmut Berger. The devilish grin of Helmut Griem and the sadistic face of Helmut Berger at the end symbolize the corrupted mind of the Germans in fear and indoctrination. Meanwhile, the collapse of von Essenbeck family in debauchery also mocks the fall of the Third Reich unawarely, which happens to be Visconti's best theme.
familiar s

Super Reviewer

May 30, 2013
This one doesn't seem to be my cup of tea; left watching it after a bit, but enough to decide whether to continue viewing or not.
March 13, 2013
I will destroy you, Mother!
George M.
February 27, 2013
The chamber style of talking about big subject within one family is perfect.
January 26, 2013
Parallel, interrelated, internal power struggles, in a (big/haute) bourgeois family, capitalist enterprise, and fascist state. Fascism (the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie) is the offspring of capitalism (of the bourgeoisie).
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!
Eric B

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.
0olumio0
November 7, 2011
Came across one screenshot and finally found the film it belonged to, with not even a general idea of what this film is about ... just that still of Charlotte Rampling sitting at the table has got me so intrigued.
Carlos M

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.
Stefanie C

Super Reviewer

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.
Bruno M.
April 8, 2010
Just another ordinary nazi family.
Ann L.
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.
muntersaur
November 22, 2009
Compelling and disturbing portrayal of greed and obsession under the context of National Socialism.
January 4, 2009
A classic drama for exploring decadence. Well done, but not outstanding...
December 26, 2008
Todo un clásico, pero no apta para todo publico.
Visualmente es hermosa, fría, rígida, sofisticada.
El como la ideología nazi afecta a una familia, las intrigas que se generan, los odios que se despiertan pero tal vez este ideología solo es la excusa para sacar lo mas perverso de nosotros mismos.
El casting es maravilloso y la escena donde sale Helmut Berger travestido de Marlene Dietrich es WOW!
Byron B

Super Reviewer

September 22, 2008
nominated for best foreign film by NBR
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