The Damned (La caduta degli dei) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Damned (La caduta degli dei) Reviews

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Super Reviewer
July 15, 2016
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 like Visconti doesn't want to conclude his story, and so he goes on indefinitely in an endless soap-opera of backstabbing and murder plots.
July 12, 2016
Not only the generalized victims suffered during pre-WW2, everyone suffered. Even the bourgeois class suffered. The Damned gives us a perspective not very unlike movies like "The Night Porter, Mr.Klein and Mepisto", kind of the same essence are being absorbed. The cold innerself, lost in the shell of a sharp dressed appearance, until the mind gets lost into the absurd seriousness of the fall of a nation, an empire and nearly the whole world. Hollow, empty and meaningless alongside the strive for class, lust and pleasure. Intoxicated gay nazi's are being slaughtered, not sadisticly but relentless. Visconti beating Pasolini with 6 years of settling onto the sadistic nazi/fascistic empire.
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.
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.
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.
½ March 13, 2013
I will destroy you, Mother!
½ 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!
Super Reviewer
May 2, 2012
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.
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.
½ October 12, 2011
i was initially going to give this 3 1/2 stars becuase the technique and the content never hit the mark altogether, but the ending was so thrilling, and dirk bogarde's performance stunning that i decided that all in all its pretty damn close to perfect even if it does sag at moments
March 3, 2011
By boldly confronting the psycho-sexual depravity of the Nazi mindset, all the way down to its inevitable incestuous nature, Visconti creates a specific cinematic vernacular for viewing and discussing Hitler's manic ideology.
½ December 3, 2010
Visconti at his peak.Bogarde outstanding but some dull moments....dubbing distracting!
½ October 21, 2010
As the Nazis rise to power in Germany, an aristocratic-yet-decadent family takes the ultimate plunge. This train wreck of a movie is what you get when you cross "A Clockwork Orange" with "Macbeth". Stylistically, it's heavy on symbolism, lavish sets and costumes. The story itself is absolutely lurid, but brought wonderfully to life by the actors. It's pretty hard to understand the relationships, and it does drag on a bit longer than it has to - which makes for an inconsistent tone at times. Nevertheless, for an "X" rated film from the late '60s, it still managed to be potent enough to evoke moments of disgust without repelling me from the overall story.
August 2, 2010
Simply put this is the most masterful film of its kind I've ever seen. And not surprising considering that it marries the casts of two of the best entries in the genre (The Night Porter and Salon Kitty) in Bogarde/Thulin/Berger/Rampling. It's so multi-faceted that it reveals subtle nuances as it goes, a little Macbeth here, a little A Lion In Winter there.

And the stand-out star in the proceedings is easily Berger who shines as the lascivious, effeminate, smarmy Martin Effenbeck, heir to the family business. If it were better known film I'm certain his performance would be regarded as one of the most villainous characterizations in cinematic history.

If it were guilty of any sin it would be that it's about 25 minutes too long. But that's a paltry gripe to say the least.
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.
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