Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Luchino Visconti - La Caduta degli dei AKA The Damned (1969)
Plot Synopsis by Hal Erickson
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.