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Damned, The (1969, Dirk Bogarde, Helmut Berger)



Decadence is the order of the day in this dark epic about munitions makers during the rise of the Nazis from 1933 to 1934. The perversions of power and internal conflict that destroy the Von Essenbecks reflect the Nazis’ own seeds of self- destruction.

Italian director Luchino Visconti often reveals a florid, excessive style (he’s staged a number of operas), and he has a field day with this material. For some tastes, ‘excessive’ may even seem a euphemism as applied to this film (originally released with an X-rating); but it’s ambitious, bold, and worth watching.

On the opera theme The Monthly Film Bulletin said… ‘One is left lamenting that such a quondam master of realism as Visconti is making his films look like operas from which the score has been inexplicably removed.’

production details
Germany – Italy | Praesidens – Pegaso | 156 minutes | 1969

Writers: Nicola Badalucco, Enrico Medioli, Luchino Visconti
Director: Luchino Visconti
Cinematography: Armando Nannuzzi, Pasquale de Santis
Music: Maurice Jarre

Dirk Bogarde as Frederick Bruckmann
Helmut Berger as Martin Von Essenbeck
Helmut Griem as Aschenbach
Ingrid Thulin as Sophie Von Essenbeck
Charlotte Rampling as Elisabeth Thallman
Reinhard Kolldehoff as Konstantin von Essenbeck
Florinda Bolkan as Olga
Umberto Orsini as Herbert Thallman
Renaud Verley as Günther Von Essenbeck
Albrecht Schoenhals as Baron Joachim Von Essenbeck
Nora Ricci as Governess
Irina Wanka as Lisa Keller
Karin Mittendorf as Thilde Thallman
Wolfgang Hillinger as Janek
Jessica Dublin as Nurse