The Damned follows a German family's decline as the Nazi party rises. Dirk Bogarde stars as a schemer who makes a Macbeth-like move to take over a steelworks and munitions empire on the eve of Hitler's campaign to eliminate all opposition. Ingrid Thulin, Helmut Griem and Charlotte Rampling play others ensnared in family and political turmoil. And Helmut Berger makes his startling debut as the family heir, a handsome dandy who evolves into a sinister embodiment of unrepentant evil.
A German Requiem
- Luchino Visconti's the Damned review by MW
Visconti's films are all about the ethical condition of man and The Damned is no exception. But it's a difficult, flawed movie. The relationship between the principal players is somewhat confusing. Like others by Visconti the film is a little ponderous and overlong and the acting mannered. Yet as a metaphor for all that was vile, corrupt and murderous in the Nazi regime this bleak and tragic story of the moral decline and fall of a wealthy industrialist family in 1930s Germany is brilliant in its way. Just be prepared for a picture of utter despair from this most intellectual of directors.
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- Luchino Visconti's the Damned review by JO
Bleak melodrama about the fall of a family of industrialists during the rise to power of the Nazis, in Germany from 1933-34. The storyline is confusing: it's hard to work out the relationships between the characters. But as a parable about the power of the immoral Nazi regime its quite illuminating. The cinematography captures a world of corrupted opulence and Bogarde delivers a strong as one of the few morally conflicted characters, Frederick. Overlong and unrealistic but The Damned is still worth watching for its unremittingly downbeat vision of the evil of the Nazis.