"The Damned" is pretty much what I expected from a Luchino Visconti epic from the 1960s...it's very long, very slow and very mannered. However, unlike some of his other tediously long films ("The Leopard" and "Death in Venice", it is more watchable...possibly because it's so perverse. The film is about a rich industrialist family in Nazi Germany during the early years (1933 or so onward towards WWII). At the beginning, they seem relatively normal though over the course of the film, these conniving and avaricious folks sell their souls to the Nazi regime in order to maintain power and financial success. In the process, some get wrapped up in the SA (and are eventually destroyed), rape, incest (multiple times), cross-dressing and more...until by the end of the film most of them are dead and the remaining family member is a soul-less ghoul of a man. The story is a decent overview of the German industrialists in general. They were an evil lot who profited tremendously from the build up to the war. Plus, unlike most WWII films, you really see nothing of the country except life for this family. So, the persecution of Jews, Hitler's seizing power and much more are only mentioned in the film as opposed to being directly dealt with in the story. This was NOT a bad thing and makes the film very unique. What also is unique is how incredibly perverse everyone is. There is a lot of nudity...some of which is quite incestuous and kinky. So, it's clearly NOT a film to show the kids or your mother or Reverend Jenkins! Another important thing I must mention is the slowness of the film. It is NOT a movie the average person would enjoy and that is a trademark of many of Visconti's later films. This isn't so much a criticism but an observation. I much prefer his earlier work (such as "Rocco and His Brothers") but many seem to like his slow epics. To each his own....but like his other films, "The Damned" might have been better with a bit of editing and tightening up of the story.
Drama / War
Drama / War
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The dramatic collapse of a wealthy, industrialist/Junker family during the reign of the Third Reich.
November 8, 2021