The Last Ten Days (Der Letzte Akt)

“G.W. Pabst, who directed this account of the last ten days in Hitler's headquarters, employs a restrained style that makes the collapse of discipline and the final disintegration seem like an enveloping nightmare. Erich Maria Remarque's script, based on Judge Michael Musmanno's chronicle ‘Ten Days To Die,' perhaps errs in systematically constructing little episodes to illuminate chaos; the atmosphere is so compelling that these vignettes seem trite and unnecessary. Albin Skoda's Hitler is an intelligent approach to a terribly difficult role; Oskar Werner's heroic role as a liaison officer from one of the Army corps is a flamboyant invention, and he gives it a fine flourish. Surrounding Hitler are Lotte Tobisch as Eva Braun, Willi Krause as Goebbels, and, of course, the generals of all kinds and attitudes: General Krebs, for example, who asks if God exists, and General Burgdorf, who replies, ‘If he did, we wouldn't.' Whatever your judgment of the picture's value as historical interpretation, it is an experience to spend two hours in this claustrophobic bunker with Pabst and his actors.”

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