The Damned [Import]
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This brooding, operatic movie about Nazism makes Cabaret look like wholesome family fare. The family in The Damned is a symbol of German society circa 1934. The Krupp-like steel magnate Baron von Essenbeck represents the spineless establishment. The Nazis kill the baron, then frame one heir apparent, a socialist (married to the stunning Charlotte Rampling). A bearish, boorish Essenbeck representing the SA, the Nazis' early goon squad, takes the reins. But Hitler murdered the SA in the 1934 "Night of the Long Knives," providing The Damned with its bravura action scene, a Nazi massacre at a gay SA orgy. The winning Essenbeck is the murderous, pedophilic, transvestite, mother-rapist Martin (sharp-featured Helmut Berger), who represents Nazism. Though he's better in director Luchino Visconti's 1971 Death in Venice, Dirk Bogarde is classy as Martin's stepdad. The Damned got an Oscar screenplay nomination, and Vincent Canby called Berger's Martin "the performance of the year." --Tim Appelo --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The heir to the dynasty is the elegant, amoral Martin (Helmut Berger), the only child of Joachim's son who has died in World War I and the beautiful, unscrupulous Baroness Sophie Von Essenbeck (Ingrid Thulin). Sophie is enamored of the ambitious Friedrich Bruckmann (Dirk Bogarde), and plans to use her son as a pawn to promote Friedrich's rise to power as head of the family business. Yet Sophie, in spite of her passionate love for Friedrich, is pathologically attached to Martin, who in turn has a psychopathic attraction to little girls. To guarantee the Nazis' control of the steel works, Friedrich conspires with the diabolical SS officer Aschenbach (Helmut Griem) in the killing of old Joachim, and later in the assassination of Martin's uncle Konstantin (Rene Koldehoff) during a homosexual orgy of SA followers on the Night of the Long Knives.Read more ›
*"the Look" of the damned is nothing short of beautiful: the clothes and fashions of early 1930s Europe, the oppulance of the Von Essenbeck's home, the use of the color red against sombre tones. Mesmerizing!
First off, this is indeed the UNCUT VERSION, don't let the R rating fool you. It runs 157 minutes (as compared to my old 147 minute VHS tape), and according to the MPAA ratings database, this uncut version was resubmitted this year and received an R rating (it was originally X-rated in 1969). Way to go WB DVD giving us this classic in all it's uncut, shocking glory!
Also, the quality of the DVD is probably as good as it's going to get! No need to complain when we've got a widescreen uncut print on our hands, right? The movie is old so it's not going to look clean and crisp and new like a DVD of "Daddy Day Care" or "Gigli." I'm just glad it's out on DVD now and I hope that in this format the movie will now be discovered by people who haven't yet seen it.
Maybe I'm hyping it up too much, and I'm sure a lot of people will disagree with me and find the movie too boring, but it takes its time and after watching it, you look back and everything you've been exposed to in the film seems like an unsettling dream. That's entertainment!
Finally, regarding whether or not The Damned has in fact been edited to an R rating. I saw this movie in a theater when it was first released, and while I will concede that my memory may be flagging, I honestly do not recall any scene that has been trimmed. I believe that the X rating in 1969 is a reflection of the moral standards of the period. This movie includes issues of rape, pedophilia, and incest which were taboo in movies during this period. Think of the landmark X rated movies such as "Last Tango in Paris", and "I am Curious Yellow". In both cases, seen by today's rating standards, these two movies only warrant an R rating. I believe "The Damned" falls into the same category.
Most recent customer reviews
Wallowing around in all of the sensationalism is an interesting story--about how the German upper classes tried to use Hitler and wound up being used by him--and how a lucky few,... Read morePublished on March 17 2004 by Matthew Patton
Oh, how disappointing! This is such a great movie and it deserves better treatment. As somebody already pointed out, the sound is aweful, but the compression as well is so low... Read morePublished on March 15 2004 by Alfred Viola
This is the "R" rated version of " The Damned".And all "R" rated versions are slightly cut and censoured.When will we see the uncut version ?Published on Feb. 19 2004
I'm jumping for joy that Warner Bros. has decided to finally release this movie onto DVD! I watched it in high school and wrote a report about it and I've always thought it was an... Read morePublished on Jan. 2 2004 by Nick
'The Damned' is Visconti's masterpiece centered in Nazi Germany and focuses on the downward spiral of a wealthy family. Read morePublished on Feb. 17 2003 by W. Pender
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