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Downfall (2004)

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Coming Out at 16 September 2004 in theaters

“Der Untergang”

Biography, Drama, History

Downfall is historical war drama film directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel from a screenplay by its producer, Bernd Eichinger. The film stars Bruno Ganz, Alexandra Maria Lara, Corinna Harfouch, Ulrich Matthes, Juliane Köhler, Heino Ferch, Christian Berkel, Matthias Habich, and Thomas Kretschmann. It is set during the Battle of Berlin in World War II, when Nazi Germany is on the verge of defeat, and depicts the final days of Adolf Hitler (portrayed by Ganz).

Principal photography took place from September to November 2003, on location in Berlin, Munich, and in Saint Petersburg, Russia. As the film is set in and around the Führerbunker, Hirschbiegel used eyewitness accounts, survivors’ memoirs, and other historical sources during production to reconstruct the look and atmosphere of 1940s Berlin. The screenplay was based on the books Inside Hitler’s Bunker by historian Joachim Fest and Until the Final Hour by Hitler’s former private secretary Traudl Junge, among other accounts of the period.

In November 1942, at the Wolf’s Lair in East Prussia, Leader of Nazi Germany Adolf Hitler selects Traudl Junge as his personal secretary. Three years later, the Red Army has pushed Germany’s forces back and surrounded Berlin. On Hitler’s 56th birthday, the Red Army begins shelling Berlin’s city centre. Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler tries to persuade Hitler to leave Berlin, but Hitler refuses. Himmler leaves to negotiate terms with the Western Allies in secret. Later, Himmler’s adjutant Hermann Fegelein also attempts to persuade Hitler to flee, but Hitler insists that he will win or die in Berlin. Dr. Ernst-Günther Schenck is ordered to leave Berlin per Operation Clausewitz, though he persuades an SS general to let him stay in Berlin to treat the injured. In the streets, Hitler Youth child soldier Peter Kranz’s father approaches Peter’s unit and tries persuading him to leave. Peter, who destroyed two enemy tanks and will soon be awarded a medal by Hitler, calls his father a coward and runs away.

Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel

Writers: Bernd Eichinger, Joachim Fest (book), Traudl Junge (book), Melissa Müller (book)

Stars: Bruno Ganz, Alexandra Maria Lara, Corinna Harfouch, Ulrich Matthes, Juliane Köhler, Heino Ferch, Christian Berkel

Cast:

Bruno GanzAdolf Hitler
Alexandra Maria LaraTraudl Junge
Corinna HarfouchMagda Goebbels
Ulrich MatthesJoseph Goebbels
Juliane KöhlerEva Braun
Heino FerchAlbert Speer
Christian BerkelProf. Ernst-Günther Schenck
Matthias HabichProf. Werner Haase
Thomas KretschmannHermann Fegelein
Michael MendlGeneral Weidling
André HennickeGeneral Mohnke
Ulrich NoethenHeinrich Himmler
Birgit MinichmayrGerda Christian
Rolf KaniesGeneral Hans Krebs
Justus von DohnányiGeneral Wilhelm Burgdorf
Dieter MannFeldmarschall Wilhelm Keitel
Christian RedlGeneral Alfred Jodl
Götz OttoOtto Günsche
Thomas LimpinselHeinz Linge
Thomas ThiemeMartin Bormann
Alexander HeldWalter Hewel
Donevan GuniaPeter Kranz
Bettina RedlichFrl. Constanze Manziarly
Heinrich SchmiederRochus Misch
Anna ThalbachHanna Reitsch
Dietrich HollinderbäumerRitter Robert von Greim
Ulrike KrumbiegelDorothee Kranz
Karl KranzkowskiWilhelm Kranz
Thorsten KrohnDr. Stumpfegger
Jürgen TonkelErich Kempka
Devid StriesowFeldwebel Tornow
Fabian BuschObersturmbannführer Stehr
Christian HoeningReichsarzt SS Grawitz
Aleksandr SlastinGeneral Tschuikow
Alina SokarDie Goebbels Kinder
Amelie MengesDie Goebbels Kinder
Charlotte StoiberDie Goebbels Kinder
Gregory BorleinDie Goebbels Kinder
Julia BauerDie Goebbels Kinder
Laura BorleinDie Goebbels Kinder
Andrey BlagoslovenskiSoldat im Ruinenkeller
Dirk BorchardtPanzerkommandant
Elizaveta BoyarskayaSchwester Erna
Michael BrandnerH. Fritzsche
I. BubenchikovSchädle
Leopold von ButtlarSohn Grawitz
Martin ButzkeSS-Soldat 1
Dmitriy Bykovskiy-RomashovSoldat 2
Sergey EvseevAdjutant 2 von General Mohnke
Mathias GnädingerHermann Göring
Bohdan GraczykOberst Clausen
Sergey RublevSS-Adjutant
Norbert HecknerStandesbeamter Wagner
Enno HesseOberleutnant
Evgeniy IlovayskiyÄlterer Zivilist 1
Julia JentschHanna Potrowski
Oleg KhoroshilovHenker
Michael KindSA-Mann / Ruinenkeller
Elisabeth von KochMargarete Lorenz
Tara Marie LinkeHedwig Brandt
Michael LippoldJunger Offizier 1
Konstantin LukashovÄlterer Soldat
Stefan MehrenVerwundeter Soldat
Ilya MozgovoySoldat 1
Silke NikowskiFrau Grawitz
Alexei OleinikovSS-Offizier Brauerei
Oleg PiminovAdjutant von General Mohnke
Katerina PoladjanRussische Arzthelferin
Oleg PopovAdjutant von General Weidling
Silke PoppUrsula Puttkamer
Vasiliy ReutovAdjutant von General Krebs
Igor RomanovSS-Offizier Högel
Tanja SchleiffRussische Ärztin
Christian SchmidtSS-Mann Greifkommando
August SchmölzerBaur
Jurij SchraderDolmetscher
Boris SchwarzmannMatwej Blanter
Mariya SemyonovaRothaarige Frau
Igor SergeevRussischer Soldat
Valeri SlavinskiMann
Valeriy SolomakhinÄlterer Zivilist 2
Hans H. SteinbergGeneral Koller
Klaus-Jürgen SteinmannOffizier 1
Oliver StritzelMaschinist Hentschel
Veit StübnerObergruppenführer Tellermann
Mikhail TryasorukovAdjutant Müller
Vsevolod TsuriloRussischer Adjutant
Klaus B. WolfJunger Marinesoldat
Elena DreydenInge Dombrowski
Tatyana ZhuravlyovaAlte Frau
Aleksandr StyopinHJ Führer
Thomas FrankeWachsoldat vor der Wolfsschanze
Traudl Junge(archive footage)
Martin KesslerNazi Officer
Henning PekerWachsoldat vor der Wolfsschanze
Dieter RuppMohnke’s Adjutant im Bunker

Sources: imdb & wikipedia

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