Downfall Plot Summary:
One of the best films showing the irony of Adolf Hitler's last hours of glory and the tragedy of World War II is probably Downfall, an epic war movie based on the memoirs of people who were close to the Fuehrer to reveal the truth.
The events described in the movie take place at the final stage of World War II. With the Soviet troops closing in, Hitler summons his brothers-in-arms in his bunker under the German Chancellery – the Fuehrer's headquarters. Traudle Junge, Hitler's secretary, is awakened by the Russian artillery.
Hitler and Eva Braun launch a birthday party – a feast in the time of plague. Hitler realizes the total collapse of his life. He has lost control over the situation, and he continues to give meaningless orders. None of his plans is realized. As he and his spouse have a good time underground, Berlin is plunged into total chaos and destruction. He hopes that General Felix Steiner will soon mobilize forces to drive the Russians away, but he is notified that the army is low on ammo and supplies and Steiner has failed to recruit enough men. Infuriated, he accuses the entire general corps of betrayal and calls them 'the scum of the German people'. He even says that he must have executed the entire corps, like Joseph Stalin had done during the Great Purge. At this point, Hitler has no option but to recognize that the war is lost completely. So do many German soldiers, who seek consolation in alcohol. Only a small group of troopers, backed by a group of children and Peter, a child soldier, seems to be fully determined to fight to the last, but they are too few to break the Russian Army's horde. The Fuehrer says that he will either win the war or face his downfall. On April 29, 1945, the Red Army pervades the city center. The soldiers in the bunker get drunk and discuss the best ways of committing suicide. Hitler marries Eva Brown. Hitler bids farewell to their comrades and colleagues, awards Magda Goebbels, thanks his cook. Then he and his wife go to their quarters and the shot rings out.
Actually, Downfall presents a sincere and masterful picture of what was happening during the final days of the Third Reich. Based upon the books Inside Hitler's Bunker, by historian Joachim Fest and the memoirs of Traudl Junge – Hitler's secretary and other Fuhrer's associates, this is the most precise reconstruction of the events, which accompanied the end of the war, and a true portrayal of the emotional collapse of the totalitarian system.
|Genres:||War | Drama | Biopic | Art/Foreign | Adaptation|
|Starring:||Bruno Ganz, Alexandra Maria Lara, Corinna Harfouch, Ulrich Matthes, Juliane Kohler|
|Directed by:||Oliver Hirschbiegel|
|Produced by:||Christine Rothe|
8.4 out of 10 (108,640 votes)
|Running Time:||2 hrs. 28 min.|
St. Petersburg, Germany