In an atmosphere of political tension when the French still control Algiers, an Algerian is killed on the beach and a French man who has lived in Algiers all his life is arrested for the ... See full summary »
The power and fortune of the Von Essenbeck family remained intact even when Germany lost World War I, and during the depression that followed. Now it's 1934, and the baron has summoned his family to a dinner that also brings a cousin rising in the Nazi party to the great house accompanied by a rising manager at the baron's company. Two little girls recite poetry in the parlor and then play hide-and-seek with their cousin Martin (Helmut Berger). Suddenly there is a scream. The baron has been shot with their father's gun and the father flees the country.Written by
Dale O'Connor <email@example.com>
In two successive movies, Director Luchino Visconti employs the name "Aschenbach" for main characters. Considering that he had already read Death in Venice by Thomas Mann which was the subject of his next movie, this name represents two versions of the same personality. In this one, the character has no first name, and he is a cousin of the Essenbeck family, he becomes the puppet-master, as he is shown to be an important member of the Nazi party. In Death, Gustav is an old man, a composer (in the novella, a writer) who creates other worlds and is thus also a puppet-master, but an old one near death. See more »
The film opens on the night of the Reichstag Fire (27 February 1933). However, later that night (or early the next morning) the police inspector investigating the murder of Joachim, in dictating a report to a secretary, gives the date as 18 February 1933. See more »
The full 155-minute version contains sex and violence that garnered the film an X-rating in the U.S. Most video versions have been trimmed to 150 minutes and rated R. The R2 DVD published by Istituto Luce in DVD has the shorter, cut version. See more »
This really is Luchino Visconti's magnum opus - The Damned is an utterly engrossing work of art that grabs you from the start and doesn't relinquish its grip until the final frames. The accents from the international cast takes a little getting used to - the soundtrack is in English (some sync sound, some dubbed) and Dirk Bogarde's refined English accent doesn't really suit the part of a German industrialist at first but once you get used to these incongruities the cast seems perfect! The cinematography is beautiful, capturing the decaying elegance perfectly. The score by Maurice Jarre adds to the atmosphere nicely even if it is a little reminiscent of Dr Zhivago. The film's themes are quite challenging and sometimes uncomfortable to watch but it's always compelling and absorbing even at 2 hours 35 minutes.
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