Downfall (film)

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German: Der Untergang
Oliver Hirschbiegel
Bernd Eichinger and a few thousand others
Bruno Ganz as Adolf Hitler
Bernd Eichinger
Release Date:
Theatrical cut:
155 minutes
Internet cut:
over four thousand minutes
histrionic, often profane
€13 500 000
IMDb page

Downfall (German: Der Untergang) is a 2004 German war film directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel, depicting the intense temper tantrums of Adolf Hitler in the final days of World War II in Europe and beyond.


Theatrical cut[edit]

For whatever reason, a group of Nazis evacuate into this giant underground complex, and some sort of war is going on. In addition, some kids are fighting a lot of Soviet tanks. This portion of the film is largely unimportant and is widely accepted as filler exposition.

The only portion of the film that matters arrives as Hitler and his generals discuss Berlin's defences. Hitler does not doubt that Steiner will be able to gather his forces to drive the Soviet army out of the city. However, the generals are forced to inform him that Steiner's attack never will happen due to lack of forces. At this point, Bruno Ganz gives an exquisite performance as Hitler, realising that he has met his downfall after all of his vitriolic intent for world domination. He shakes; he puts his glasses down, meaning that things just became extremely serious; he is ready to unleash his fury and anger.

He rants on and on, accusing the generals of treason, betrayal, siding with Fegelein, and other things clearly far worse than depriving the world of freedom and justice. But then as we least expect it he runs out of vitriol, and pauses, realising the bitter, but true, truth:

After this, some other minor things happen, such as some child soldiers dying in the streets, the Soviet forces beginning to take Berlin, and the Nazi leadership committing suicide.

Internet cut[edit]

The Internet cut is rather like a fugue: it starts with a theme and does not in the slightest bit know when to stop repeating it over and over again. It begins with Hitler and his generals discussing the war as expected. Then, however, Hitler is revealed to have been banned from Xbox Live. The sheer flagrance of the anachronistic mention would seem to be a fleeting jab at the ridiculousness of the Nazis' warmongering and hatred, were it not mentioned over and over again for the next four minutes. Ganz's performance fails to falter or disappoint, however, and his dialogue remains vitriolic:

Hitler learns about Godwin's Law.

Hitler then calms down, but not for long, as we cut to another briefing, where Hitler suddenly gets rickrolled, and proceeds to unleash more anger:

Ganz's marathon performance is really most remarkable, but the dedication of the rest of the actors is no less astounding. Three hundred and forty-two minutes in, Hitler's secretary is still able to withstand the vitriol coming out of his mouth, and continues to attempt to cheer up a less hardened colleague:

Hitler learns about neo-Nazis.

And long after he should have swallowed his cyanide pill, long after the Soviets have taken Berlin, long after West and East Germany reunify, long after the fall of the USSR, long after the invention of the warp drive, Hitler rages on—about the SNP, about Call of Duty, about E3, about Wikipedia—about everything but Steiner's aborted attack and the state of the war.


The film's release sparked an intense debate in the media, with tabloids running headlines like "Are we allowed to show the monster as a gamer?". As if the debate actually even needed to happen, various critics weighed in with their opinions:


Hitler learns about Uncyclopedia.

Various parties have consistently criticised Downfall for its sympathetic, blasphemous, taboo-breaking portrayal of Hitler in his last days. One person has been particularly discontent with the Internet cut:


This article may or may not have been vandalised by fegelein. Watch out, he is a master of antics. And is trNOOOOOOOOOO!

See also[edit]