Les Maudits (The Damned) (1947)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

In 1969, The Damned (La caduta degli dei) was director Luchino Visconti's most controversial film to date. Set in the 1930s, the film zeroes in on a Krupp-like family of German munition manufacturers. The Essenbeck clan is headed by the Baron (Rene Kolldehoff), but daughter Sophie (Ingrid Thulin) wants her Nazi boyfriend to take over the business. Soon the Baron is dead and Bruckman (Dirk Bogarde) becomes company president. Son Martin (Helmut Berger) is the dope-addicted teenager who sleeps with his mother and drags her into her own dependence on drugs. Ever in pursuit of more millions to add to their already bulging coffers, the family plays along with the Nazis, descending into corruption, betrayal and murder all along the way. The film was originally released in the U.S. with an X rating.
Art House & International , Classics , Drama
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Written By:
In Theaters:
Warner Home Video

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Dirk Bogarde
as Frederick Bruckmann
Ingrid Thulin
as Sophie Von Essenbeck
Helmut Griem
as Aschenbach
Helmut Berger
as Martin Von Essenbeck
Renaud Verley
as Gunther von Essenbeck
Umberto Orsini
as Herbert
Reinhard Kolldehoff
as Baron Konstantin Von Essenbeck
Albrecht Schoenhals
as Baron Joachim von Essenbeck
Charlotte Rampling
as Elisabeth Thallman
Nora Ricci
as Governess
Bill Vanders
as Commissar
Irina Vanka
as Lisa Keller
Karin Mittendorf
as Thilde Thallman
Werner Hassleman
as Gestapo Officer
Peter Dane
as Steelmill Cerk
Karl Otto Alberty
as 1st Officer Wehrmacht
John Frederick
as 2nd Officer Wehrmacht
Richard Beach
as 3rd Officer Wehrmacht
Michel Auclair
as Willy Morus
Florence Marly
as Hilde Garosi
Henri Vidal
as The Physician
Paul Bernard
as Couturier
Jo Dest
as Forster
Klaus Hohne
as 1st SA Officer
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Critic Reviews for Les Maudits (The Damned)

All Critics (4) | Top Critics (1)

Clément conjures up some good suspense sequences as the doctor hatches a plan to escape in an inflatable dinghy, though what really powers the story is the director's icy contempt for his ship of fools.

Full Review… | May 5, 2016
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Exciting WW II thriller.

Full Review… | October 15, 2013
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

This poignancy may not translate to modern audiences whose ideas of postwar France revolves around a completely different war and a completely new France.

Full Review… | September 18, 2013

What makes the film is the atmosphere of claustrophobia and dread that Clément creates.

Full Review… | August 21, 2013
The Dissolve

Audience Reviews for Les Maudits (The Damned)

Les Maudits (1947) This post-war french movie is very interesting, especially seeing German characters speaking french (no doubt with a German accent). I never saw René Clément's movie, "Is Paris Burning?" (1966) but this movie makes me want to see it. This one is about a bunch of Nazis and Nazi sympathizers, towards the end of the war, getting on board a U-Boat bound for South America. One of the passengers gets hurt during a depth charge attack, so they sneak into France and kidnap a doctor. The doctor knows that he's dead meat as soon as they reach their destination and tries to do anything he can to survive including making friends with who he can. We also get a glimpse of some people who were staunch supporters of the wrong side for whatever reasons crammed inside the claustrophobic confines of this submarine.

Rick Rudge
Rick Rudge

Yes, and to think that the people this movie was based on are still one of the ruling class families in Germany!

Susan Daly
Susan Daly

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.

Stefanie C
Stefanie C

Super Reviewer

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