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|Based on|| The Bunker |
by James P. O'Donnell
|Written by||John Gay|
|Directed by||George Schaefer|
|Music by||Brad Fiedel|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Executive producer||Bernard Sofronski|
|Running time||154 minutes|
|Production company||Time-Life Productions|
|Distributor||Warner Bros. Television Distribution|
|Original release||January 27, 1981|
The Bunker is a 1981 American made-for-television historical war film produced by Time-Life Productions based on the 1975 book The Bunker by James P. O'Donnell.
The film, directed by George Schaefer and adapted for the screen by John Gay, is a dramatisation depicting the events surrounding Adolf Hitler's last weeks in and around his underground bunker in Berlin before and during the Battle of Berlin. The film stars Anthony Hopkins as Hitler, plus an all star cast including Richard Jordan, Susan Blakely, and Cliff Gorman.
The film opens in 1945, with O'Donnell (James Naughton) gaining entry to the Führerbunker by bribing a Soviet sentry with a packet of cigarettes. It is followed by the film's moving to flashbacks to the months between January and May 1945 as Hitler and those in the bunker faced their last days and nights.
The actors' interpretations of the events differ in ways from the traditional accounts. For example, during the final meeting between Hitler and Albert Speer, Hopkins adopts a sarcastic tone and gestures (including mock applause) that suggest that Hitler was already aware of Speer's betrayal, even though he uses the exact words recounted by the witnesses.[ citation needed ] This became a fairly controversial scene due to a perception in some circles that the resemblance to Jesus Christ's legendary foreseeing of Judas's betrayal was intentional. These accusations were consistently denied,[ by whom? ] as were reports regarding a rumoured on-set romance between Piper Laurie (Magda Goebbels) and Cliff Gorman (Joseph Goebbels).
Also, the film constantly shifts the point-of-view character. This includes characters who are not known to have left their experiences on record. For example, Dr. Werner Haase is used in this manner, even though he was never interviewed (having died in late 1950). Likewise, two scenes are written from the viewpoint of Hitler's cook, Constanze Manziarly, and in one scene, Manziarly actually has a flashback, remembering happier days. However, Manziarly disappeared while escaping from the bunker, so neither O'Donnell nor any other person was able to interview her or get her viewpoint.
Given O'Donnell's work on the breakout, the film ends just as the groups are leaving the bunker complex of the Reich Chancellery.
In a short scene at the beginning of the film, a younger O'Donnell is played by actor James Naughton. O'Donnell himself provided brief voice-over narrations at the beginning and end of the film.
Anthony Hopkins won an Emmy for his portrayal of Adolf Hitler. Actors on the set claimed his performance was so convincing[ by whom? ] that those playing German soldiers snapped to attention whenever Hopkins came onto the set, even if he wasn't in character.
Actors Michael Sheard (Himmler) and Tony Steedman (Jodl) reprised their characters from the 1973 British television film The Death of Adolf Hitler .
Downfall, 2004 film
Inside the Third Reich is a memoir written by Albert Speer, the Nazi Minister of Armaments from 1942 to 1945, serving as Adolf Hitler's main architect before this period. It is considered to be one of the most detailed descriptions of the inner workings and leadership of Nazi Germany but is controversial because of Speer's lack of discussion of Nazi atrocities and questions regarding his degree of awareness or involvement with them. First published in 1969, it appeared in English translation in 1970.
Rosetta Jacobs, known professionally as Piper Laurie, is an American stage and screen actress known for her roles in the films The Hustler (1961), Carrie (1976), and Children of a Lesser God (1986), all of which brought her Academy Award nominations. She is also known for her performances as Kirsten Arnesen in the original TV production of Days of Wine and Roses, and as Catherine Martell in the cult television series Twin Peaks, for which she won a Golden Globe Award in 1991. As of 2020, her acting career has spanned 70 years.
The Führerbunker was an air raid shelter located near the Reich Chancellery in Berlin, Germany. It was part of a subterranean bunker complex constructed in two phases in 1936 and 1944. It was the last of the Führer Headquarters (Führerhauptquartiere) used by Adolf Hitler during World War II.
Joachim Clemens Fest was a German journalist, critic, and editor best known for his writings and public commentary on Nazi Germany, including a biography of Adolf Hitler and books about Albert Speer and German resistance to Nazism. He was a leading figure in the debate among German historians about the Nazi period.
Johanna Maria Magdalena "Magda" Goebbels was the wife of Nazi Germany's Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels. A prominent member of the Nazi Party, she was a close ally, companion, and political supporter of Adolf Hitler. Some historians refer to her as the unofficial "first lady" of Nazi Germany, while others give that title to Emmy Göring.
Downfall is a 2004 German-language historical war drama film directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel from a screenplay by its producer, Bernd Eichinger. It is set during the Battle of Berlin in World War II, when Nazi Germany is on the verge of defeat, and depicts the final days of Adolf Hitler. The cast also stars Alexandra Maria Lara, Corinna Harfouch, Ulrich Matthes, Juliane Köhler, Heino Ferch, Christian Berkel, Alexander Held, Matthias Habich, and Thomas Kretschmann. The film is a German-Austrian-Italian co-production.
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician who was the leader of the Nazi Party, Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and Führer ('Leader') of Nazi Germany from 1934 to 1945. He committed suicide by gunshot on 30 April 1945 in his Führerbunker in Berlin. Eva Braun, his wife of one day, committed suicide with him by taking cyanide. In accordance with his prior written and verbal instructions, that afternoon their remains were carried up the stairs through the bunker's emergency exit, doused in petrol, and set alight in the Reich Chancellery garden outside the bunker.
Blondi was Adolf Hitler's German Shepherd, a gift as a puppy from Martin Bormann in 1941. Blondi stayed with Hitler even after his move into the Führerbunker located underneath the garden of the Reich Chancellery on 16 January 1945.
Adolf Hitler signed his last will and testament in the Berlin Führerbunker on 29 April 1945, the day before he committed suicide with his wife Eva (née) Braun.
The Bunker, also published as The Berlin Bunker, is a 1975 account, written by American journalist James P. O'Donnell and German journalist Uwe Bahnsen, of the history of the Führerbunker in early 1945, as well as the last days of German dictator Adolf Hitler. The English edition was first published in 1978. Unlike other accounts O'Donnell focused considerable time on other, less-famous, residents of the bunker complex. Additionally, unlike the more academic works by historians, the book takes a journalistic approach. The book was later used as the basis for a 1981 CBS television film with the same name.
Ernst-Günther Schenck was a German doctor and member of the SS in Nazi Germany. Because of a chance encounter with Adolf Hitler during the closing days of World War II, his memoirs proved historically valuable. His accounts of this period are prominent in the works of Joachim Fest and James P. O'Donnell regarding the end of Hitler's life, and were included in the film Downfall (2004).
Constanze Manziarly was born in Innsbruck, Austria. She served as a cook and dietitian to Adolf Hitler until his final days in Berlin in 1945.
Werner Haase was a professor of medicine and SS member during the Nazi era. He was one of Adolf Hitler's personal physicians. After the war ended, Haase was made a Soviet prisoner of war. He died while in captivity in 1950.
Else Krüger was Martin Bormann's secretary from the end of 1942 until 1 May 1945. She was born in Hamburg-Altona.
The Death of Adolf Hitler is a 1973 British television studio drama, an episode of ITV Sunday Night Theatre. It stars Frank Finlay as Adolf Hitler and Caroline Mortimer as Eva Braun. First aired on 7 January 1973, the drama details the last 10 days of Hitler's life as World War II comes to an end and Allied troops close in on the Führerbunker. Michael Sheard and Tony Steedman would play the same roles in the American television film The Bunker in 1981. The play depicts Hitler as a tragic antihero tormented by both the past and present, unable to reconcile his hopes and dreams with the reality of the nightmare of his own making.
The Last Ten Days is a 1955 Austrian-German drama film directed by G. W. Pabst. It was the first film in post-World War II Germany to feature the character of Adolf Hitler. It follows him and others in what were the last days of the Third Reich.
Anthony Francis Steedman was an English character actor, perhaps best known for roles in British TV drama series of the 1970s and 1980s and for his role as Socrates in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure.
Fritz Tornow was a Feldwebel in the German Army who served as Adolf Hitler's personal dog-handler. He was one of the last people to occupy the Führerbunker when the underground complex was captured by Soviet Red Army troops.
Hitler: The Rise of Evil is a Canadian television miniseries in two parts, directed by Christian Duguay and produced by Alliance Atlantis. It stars Robert Carlyle in the lead role and explores Adolf Hitler's rise and his early consolidation of power during the years after the First World War and focuses on how the embittered, politically fragmented and economically buffeted state of German society following the war made that ascent possible. The film also focuses on Ernst Hanfstaengl's influence on Hitler's rise to power. The miniseries, which premiered simultaneously in May 2003 on CBC in Canada and CBS in the United States, received two Emmy Awards, for Art Direction and Sound Editing, while Peter O'Toole was nominated for Best Supporting Actor.
Inside the Third Reich is a 1982 television film based on the book Inside the Third Reich by Albert Speer. It was originally broadcast on network television by the American Broadcasting Company (ABC).