Poster for Downfall

Downfall

2004, History/Drama, 2h 34m

142 Reviews 50,000+ Ratings

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critics consensus

Downfall is an illuminating, thoughtful and detailed account of Hitler's last days. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

In 1942, young Traudl Junge (Alexandra Maria Lara) lands her dream job -- secretary to Adolf Hitler (Bruno Ganz) at the peak of his power. Three years later, Hitler's empire is now his underground bunker. The real-life Traudl narrates Hitler's final days as he rages against imagined betrayers and barks orders to phantom armies, while his mistress, Eva Braun (Juliane Köhler), clucks over his emotional distance, and other infamous Nazis prepare for the end.

Cast & Crew

Bruno Ganz
Adolf Hitler
Corinna Harfouch
Magda Goebbels
Ulrich Matthes
Joseph Goebbels
Heino Ferch
Albert Speer
Christian Berkel
Prof. Dr. Ernst-Günter Schenck
Matthias Habich
Prof. Dr. Werner Haase
Thomas Kretschmann
SS-Gruppenführer Hermann Fegelein
Ulrich Noethen
Reichsführer SS Heinrich Himmler
Götz Otto
Adjutant, SS-Hauptsturmführer Otto Günsche
Donevan Gunia
Peter Kranz
Michael Mendl
General der Artillerie Helmuth Weidling
André Hennicke
SS-Brigadeführer Wilhelm Mohnke
Birgit Minichmayr
Gerda Christian
Christine Rothe
Executive Producer
Stephan Zacharias
Original Music
Rainer Klausmann
Cinematographer
Hans Funck
Film Editing
Bernd Lepel
Production Design
Bernd Lepel
Set Decoration
Claudia Bobsin
Costume Design
Silvia Tollman
Production Manager
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News & Interviews for Downfall

Critic Reviews for Downfall

Audience Reviews for Downfall

  • Jul 30, 2013
    An incredibly powerful World War II epic, Downfall is a German war drama about the final days of the Third Reich. Partially based on the biography of Traudl Junge (Adolf Hitler's personal secretary), the story follows the events of the Battle of Berlin as the Russian Army lays seize and Hitler and the Nazi high command face inevitable defeat. The performances are also especially good; particularly Bruno Ganz, who gives an exceptionally compelling and humanizing depiction of Hitler. And, the directing of Oliver Hirschbiegel adds an extraordinary level of realism that's quite engrossing. Downfall presents a fascinating historical look into the Nazi regime, and at how they chose to face their defeat at the end of the war.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • May 26, 2013
    Immersive, riveting, brilliantly acted, and tragic, Downfall is an amazing German film, depicting the last ten days of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime. At 2.5 hours long, the film manages to give the viewer an insightful look at the inner workings and utter chaos of those last days. Undoubtedly one of the most remarkable things about Downfall are the performances. Bruno Ganz as Hitler was simply brilliant, showing a man profoundly troubled, tragically devoted, crazed, manic, but yet not without some hint of humanity. Ganz's intensity on screen is riveting, inhibiting his character to such an extent, one may draw a parallel between the performance of Daniel Day-Lewis and his depiction of Lincoln, in its depth and nuance. The supporting cast is impressive as well, with each character feeling well realized and completely authentic. It is through their performances that we see the true complexity of the Nazi regime, filled with the dedicated, the opportunistic, the evil, and those desperately looking for direction. We see their growing anxiety, and the tragic hopelessness of their fate. The film does an amazing job of serving as an effective character study of the players involved, namely Hitler, while at the same time working as an effective drama of the surrounding events. We see the chaos amidst the inevitable military defeat, the growing dissension, and the horrendous extent of murder left in its wake. It never ceases to both engage and inform the viewer, making it a resounding success. A brilliant war film. 4.5/5 Stars
    Jeffrey M Super Reviewer
  • May 20, 2013
    A very interesting look at an oft-over-reviewed subject.
    Super Reviewer
  • Jan 20, 2013
    The intelligence of a German Shepherd, as energetic as a Boxer, as different as a Dachshund, with the bite of a Rottweiler. Downfall shows the last days of Hitler and the Battle of Berlin. Mostly through the eyes of Traudl Junge (Hitler's Secretary). We see the desperation in the Führerbunker and the ever so slightly mad Adolf commanding armies that only exist in his mind. The first thing that hit me with this film was just how real it feels. It's not like watching a movie with make-up, actors, wardrobe, sets, etc. You feel as though you are actually there, as it happens. It is totally believable. Many actors have played Hitler over the years. But not one of the them, including Guinness and Anthony Hopkins come anywhere near to Bruno Ganz in this movie. It is the best screen performance of Adolf Hitler since The Triumph of the Will. His tone, actions and expressions seem spookily accurate. It is an amazing impersonation. After 70 years the characters have been built into "evil legends" for some and forgotten completely by others. For me a major advantage of this film is how "human" the characters are. The movie makes the statement that the major and heinous atrocities of World War II were not committed by monsters, but by Human Beings, real people, flesh and blood. This is a "powerhouse" of a film, that offers different perspectives, realism and poses some serious questions. I consider this movie a masterpiece and one of the best war movies ever. Film Score: 5 / 5 Simon's Review Having seen this movie before, I couldn't wait to watch it again. A truly remarkable and as far as I can tell, accurate account of the last days of the Third Reich. All through the film, the inevitability of the soviets getting through Berlin keeps the tension throughout. It's quite shocking in a lot of ways, all the suicides, the mum poisoning her own kids and taking her own life. Also the kid soldiers, some of whom die. All in all a gripping movie. Well acted.
    Super Reviewer

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