In 1969, The Damned (La caduta degli dei) was director Luchino Visconti's most controversial film to date. Set in the 1930s, the film zeroes in on a Krupp-like family of German munition manufacturers. The Essenbeck clan is headed by the Baron (Rene Kolldehoff), but daughter Sophie (Ingrid Thulin) wants her Nazi boyfriend to take over the business. Soon the Baron is dead and Bruckman (Dirk Bogarde) becomes company president. Son Martin (Helmut Berger) is the dope-addicted teenager who sleeps with his mother and drags her into her own dependence on drugs. Ever in pursuit of more millions to add to their already bulging coffers, the family plays along with the Nazis, descending into corruption, betrayal and murder all along the way. The film was originally released in the U.S. with an X rating. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Found the plot and acting poor. Poorly made overall. Also, some characters are European accent with forced sounding English overdubs. The music and sound effects are loud while the dialog is quiet and garbled. The sound quality maximizes the inability to decipher much of the dialog. This further complicates the complexity of trying to understand the convoluted storyline. There are some sick attempts at perversion in a lame attempt to be 'shocking'. The emotions of watching this film are: BOREDOM, confusion, frustration, disgust.
The only mildly interesting part (to me) is the conflict based on some facts concerning the battling between brown shirts and black shirts in pre Nazi Germany.
Overall, this movie ranks among the bottom of all movies I have seen.
Although there were plenty of controversial issues throughout the film, much of it was to be inferred and was not at all clear; nor was the story line. It took me much of the film just to figure out who was who, and how they were related to each other. Which was pretty important information if you want to know just what is going on. If you'd like to view a controversial and sometimes disturbing Nazi film with a young Charlotte Rampling, then I would highly recommend "The Night Porter"(1974)instead.
Macabre is the only word that fits this film. Except for Helmut Griem,the acting is superficial or maybe
I should say overacting..the characters are like puppets going through their lines..they shout, rant and
rave and none of it appears believable. The wonton display of immorality was overdone. I remember
seeing this film when it first came out and it left me quite depressed. I wanted to see it again out
of curiosity to see if my mood then affected my evaluation of the film. 2 stars.