The Damned (La caduta degli Dei) 09/28/21

The Criterion Collection

Sex and swastikas! — that combo shows up in both trash cinema and high art. Luchino Visconti’s searing look at Nazi corruption sees an industrialist family torn apart by murderous greed and ambition worthy of the Borgias. The fiendish Countess Ingrid Thulin has raised a twisted son (Helmut Berger) to serve her deadly schemes; her path to power involves framing one heir for a killing while another rival is sacrificed in an SS massacre for the good of the Reich. The chilling treachery plays out at family dinner tables, in the offices of a steel mill, and in various bedrooms; Nazi fervor is equated with sex perversion. The uncut original version, remastered, also stars Dirk Bogarde, Helmut Griem, Renaud Verley, Umberto Orsini, RenĂ© Koldehoff, Charlotte Rampling and Florinda Bolkan. On Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection.