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The Damned [DVD] [1969]

Dirk Bogarde , Ingrid Thulin , Luchino Visconti    Suitable for 18 years and over   DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
Price: 27.80
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Frequently Bought Together

The Damned [DVD] [1969] + The Night Porter [DVD] [1974] + Death In Venice [1971] [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Dirk Bogarde, Ingrid Thulin, Helmut Griem, Helmut Berger, Renaud Verley
  • Directors: Luchino Visconti
  • Writers: Luchino Visconti, Enrico Medioli, Nicola Badalucco
  • Producers: Alfred Levy, Attilio D'Onofrio, Ever Haggiag, Pietro Notarianni
  • Format: PAL, Mono, Colour, Anamorphic
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: French
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: 24 May 2004
  • Run Time: 150 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001CVB78
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 11,221 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

This film shows how a powerful bourgeois industrialist family in World War II Germany falls apart with the growth of Nazism. It is the first of Italian director Luciano Visconti's 'German Decadence' trilogy (the others being `Death in Venice' and `Ludwig') and stars Dirk Bogarde, Charlotte Rampling and Ingrid Thulin.

Product Description

Highhly acclaimed drama from the great Luchino Visconti (The Leopard; Death in Venice; Conversation Piece), about the collapse of a wealthy, industrialist/Junker family during the reign of the Third Reich. Dirk Bogarde (Doctor at Sea; Victim; Death in Venice; A Bridge Too Far) heads an all-star cast including, Ingrid Thulin (Cries and Whispers; Salon Kitty), Helmut Griem (The McKenzie Break; Cabaret), Helmut Berger (Ludwig; Conversation Piece), Florinda Bolkan (The Last Valley; Flavia the Heretic) & Charlotte Rampling (The Night Porter; Swimming Pool).

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A modern Greek tragedy 5 Oct 2007
I love this film, but anyone looking for a straightforward story of the rise of the Nazi's in Germany should stop reading now.

The story revolves around the Essenbecks, an all powerful family of German industrialists who murder (often each other) their way to the top of the new order. This is a fable, a cross between a Shakespearean play such as Macbeth or a Greek tragedy upon which this was undoubtedly based and there is enough murder, incest, sexual deviance and matricide to please any fans of those two styles. It is a wonderful macabre film, an often distasteful tormented fantasy that seeks to confront taboo subjects in a surreal and provoking way. Ok, there is a bit of hysteria but then there always is with Visconti and you just have to accept this in order to enjoy a wonderful, high camp masterly colourful ride. True to form it is also extremely anti-capitalist something nearly always at the heart of Visconti's work.

Helmut Berger in his first major role does well as the degenerate son, later performances would be better but given the fact that Visconti humiliated him time and time again in front of the entire cast and often reduced him to tears he gives a good account of a disturbed young man - he also looks fabulous and the camera loves him.

Ingrid Thulin that Bergman discovery is a lovely actress - radiant on screen she handles the role well giving it just the right whiff of depravity. All the other actors are good, Dirk Bogarde has a few scenes of hysteria towards the end which might make a few toes curl but after all, he's just following the wishes of his all powerful director. Costumes and settings are as always with Visconti scrupulously reproduced.

Having said all the above perhaps it's best to forget all the background and politics and messages and just sit back and let this brightly coloured dream wash over you.
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45 of 51 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars They Don't Make Them Like This Anymore 12 Aug 2005
By Colin C
The Damned is a long, overblown, spectacular, strange and decadent film. Despite all that, it's very watchable, mainly because of the sheer, majestic beauty of the way it has been filmed. It's hard not to admire the painterly, perfectly composed images, despite the bizarre content of the plot, which centres around the downfall of a family of German industrialists under the Nazis. One scene in particular, when we watch soldiers crossing a scenic lake to bring death and destruction to a party on the shore, combines beauty and impending doom in a very memorable way.
The Damned is a far better film than the more famous Death in Venice because it does in fact have a plot, a sense of drama, and one or two performances which are not completely overdone and hysterical (Helmut Berger excepted).
The DVD print is excellent and this film is a recommended curio for anyone into oddities and good old-fashioned decadence.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Near Miss 2 July 2009
I don't think this film entirely comes off - though, given the talent involved, both in front of, and behind, the camera, there's no way it can be without interest.

Fellow reviewer Trevor Wilsmer has largely spoken my own thoughts on what's right and what's wrong here: I'll just add that this is not one of Dirk Bogarde's better performances, largely due to miscasting. Bogarde has too much senstivity to convince as the parvenu executive who rises, by plotting, to control the steel corporation (closely based on the real German steel firm Krupp's). That said, he's never less than watchable......More happily cast are Bergman favourite Ingrid Thulin as Bogarde's lover/wife and Helmut Berger, making his debut, as her decadent son.

One irritating factor about the film is the dubbing of most of the cast: I think only Bogarde and Berger escape, everyone else is clumsily lip-synched in a very obvious way. It's only a minor distraction, though.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Evil triumphant 8 Nov 2007
By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAME TOP 100 REVIEWER
"You must realize that today in Germany anything can happen, even the improbable, and it's just the beginning, Frederick. Personal morals are dead. We are an elite society where everything is permissible. These are Hitler's words. My dear Frederick, even you should give them some thought."

Visconti's tale of evil triumphant, The Damned is much better than it's given credit for. Beginning with a birthday party on the night of the burning of the Reichstag, the first of the Nazis many excuses for a little internal and external housekeeping, and using the fall of an aristocratic family of German industrialists who think they can control the Nazi Party for their own advantage to mirror the vicious power struggle between the SS and the SA as the Party corrupts and then destroys those who help it to power, it's certainly sensational - incest, child abuse, rape, murder, transvestism, homosexuality and, in the brutal recreation of the Night of Long Knives, mass murder are all on the menu. Nor are there any really sympathetic characters in this nest of vipers: even Umberto Orsini's sole voice of protest is raised too late to do any good in a family where no-one opposes and no-one stands together as one by one they meet their doom at each others' hands. Even those who actively plot to steal power - Ingrid Thulin's Lady MacBeth figure and Dirk Bogarde's executive desperate to marry into the family and become the heir apparent only to gradually realise that he has accepted a ruthless logic he can never get away from - become victims of their own internecine machinations. Their wedding becomes a macabre union between two of the walking dead, the reception a soulless affair filled with hookers and hangers on that stands as the complete antithesis of the lavish ballroom scene in The Leopard.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars The Night Porter
The first hour was entertaining enough. Well paced, a story unfolding, rich colours, expensive sets, good acting. Then it became lacklustre, dull. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Graham
5.0 out of 5 stars Twilight of the Gods - Visions of Decay in German Society
Luchino Visconti's 1969 The Damned (titled in Europe Götterdämmerung, and more correctly translated into English as, `Twilight of the Gods') is the first part of an... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Film Buff
5.0 out of 5 stars Visconti - films
Finally I have the opportunity to see films directed by Visconti, which you cannot buy in Germany.
It's good to see the young Maria Schell, Jean Marais and Marcello... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Bernd Hennig
2.0 out of 5 stars Over rated to say the least.
Well playmates I sat through it once and never again although it had some fine (too short) moments.
150 minute film which should have been 110 minutes at the most. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Mr Viewer
5.0 out of 5 stars Power Struggle
This is a show that would lead you to believe it was based on the Krupp family. They supplied the heavy armor (tanks & guns) for Germany for many years. Read more
Published on 2 Sep 2011 by C McGhee
5.0 out of 5 stars The Damned
not to be confused with the silly punk group. This is a stunningly complex and shocking film, which will appeal on lots of different levels. I'm going to watch it again....
Published on 9 Nov 2010 by Mr. Paul L. Brown
3.0 out of 5 stars Damned Good or Damnable ?
It's now some thirty years since I first saw this and after some five viewings I'm as ambivalent about it now as I was then. Read more
Published on 10 April 2009 by Yeoman
3.0 out of 5 stars Historical value only, in more ways than one.
I saw this on release in 1969 (yes I am that old) and remembered it as a controversial film about a real event during the rise of the Nazis. Read more
Published on 2 Feb 2009 by Mr. P. Johnson
2.0 out of 5 stars Film students, but no-one else, should watch this
A grotesque and fascinating melodrama, The Damned hovers somewhere between a bad soap-opera peopled by lizards and a Wagnerian disaster movie. What is Bogarde doing here? Read more
Published on 24 Sep 2007 by Simon Harvey
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