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Behind the scenes of Downfall

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The Behind the Scenes of Downfall is the bonus footage available in the DVD or BluRay versions of Der Untergang (Downfall). Special DVD versions, like the the Premium Edition also have footage not seen in other released format. Most of the behind the scenes footage remained unknown to the Untergangers (and other people), until Streptokokkeninfekti shared them.

Downfall - Behind the Scenes

Downfall - Behind the Scenes (German: Der Untergang - Hinter den Kulissen) shows several key scenes from the film (such as the scenes with Schenck in the makeshift hospital, the scene with Traudl Junge and Gerda Christian preparing to leave, the breakthrough scenes, the meeting of Hans Krebs with Vasily Chuikov, Hitler in the Chancellery shaking hands and talking about his Berlin model, the party scene, the Hitler Youth awarding scene, the cremation scene, the planning scene, the Goebbels children singing scene, etc.) from a behind the scenes point of view.

Most of the footage consists of takes. Oliver Hirschbiegel is seen giving indications to the actors and the film crew and Bernd Eichinger is seen talking to Juliane Köhler.

Filming in St Petersburg

As the name suggests, the footage "Filming in St Petersburg" (German: Dreharbeiten St Petersburg) shows the filming of Downfall in St Petersburg, voiced over by Christine Rothe, the executive producer of the film and Bernd Lepel, the production designer. The footage shows the battle scenes, as well as scenes with the Hitler Youth, more scenes between Inge Dombrowski and other Youth soldiers as well as many armored vehicles. Much of the video is about the way the various sets in St. Petersburg was build. Oliver Hirschbiegel and Rainer Klausmann also appear.

Hitler's Final Days

Hitler's Final Days (German: Hitlers Letze Tage) is actually a documentary about the last days of Hitler, as told by Joachim Fest, Bernd Eichinger as well as Oliver Hirschbiegel and several actors. Several mini scenes not seen in either version of the film, such as a short footage of Hermann Göring arriving, Joseph Goebbels bringing Hitler some document, Hermann Fegelein's trial, Wilhelm Burgdorf ranting at Martin Bormann and Traudl hearing the rant, and the missing scene in the Hitler planning scene. Other people interviewed are the historian Lew Jakovlevitsh Lurje, production designer Bernd Lepel and Rainer Klausmann. The first part is about the filming in St Petersburg and the Bunker set. The second part shows Bruno and the producers talking about Hitler and his famous rant scene. The third part begins with Alexandra Maria Lara talking about her role as Traudl Junge, showing the interview scene, then the will scene. Ulrich Matthes talks about his role, the footage also shows a blooper where Bruno Ganz mocks Goebbels's speech and a scene with Goebbels giving Hitler a document. Heino Ferch also talks about his role, showing the scene where he talks to Hitler. Justus von Dohnanyi is next, a footage of him ranting at Bormann is seen. The other actors interviewed are André Hennicke, Christian Berkel, Ulrich Noethen, Götz Otto, Michael Mendl, Thomas Thieme, Rolf Kanies, Thomas Kretschmann and Juliane Köhler. Joachim Fest and Bernd Eichinger then talk about the Youth Soldiers and their role in the film. Corinna Harfouch ends the interviews, talking about the Goebbels children. Joachim Fest and Bernd Eichinger end the film.

Interviews

There are 16 people interviewed in Hitler's Final Days, consisting of 15 actors and the director.

  • Justus von Dohnányi: describes his character as very temperamental, gets angry very easy, drinks too much. Includes a cut scene in one of the Chancellery's hall where people gather to celebrate Hitler's birthday, and Burgdorf is having a big rant with Bormann and Krebs listening.
  • Rolf Kanies: describes the Nazis as fanatics. Calls Krebs the perfect servant for Hitler's program, as Keitel and Jodl were apolitical. He talks about how Krebs negotiated with the Russians, as he was an attache in Moscow for 5 years so he spoke Russian.
  • Thomas Kretschmann: describes Fegelein as a bastard, a man who only looked for himself, a ladies man, a "Golden Boy" (his actual nickname). He then says that while this film will not change the world, it is necessary to be told by the Germans.
  • Bruno Ganz: Talks about the challenges of his role.
  • Ulrich Matthes: Explains his role as Goebbels. Includes a blooper of the Planning Scene in which Ganz (Hitler) mocks him while he's speaking.
  • Mathias Gnädinger: Talks about his role as Göring.
  • Gerald Alexander Held: Speaks about Hewel.
  • Donevan Gunia: Talks about his role as Peter, considers it to be fun, even though it was not easy to play it.
  • Thomas Limpinsel: Speaks about Linge.
  • André Hennicke: Talks about his role in the film.
  • Ulrich Noethen: Speaks about Himmler's role in Downfall.
  • Götz Otto: About his role as Günsche.
  • Christian Berkel: Explains his role as Schenck.
  • Heino Ferch: Speaks about his role.
  • Michael Mendl: Talks about his role as Weidling.
  • Oliver Hirschbiegel: He tells that the monstrous thing about the Third Reich is that they are humans and not demons from Hell with claws and pitchforks. He considers that it is correct to show them as human beings. He also praises Bruno's portrayal as Hitler.

In parodies

The Behind the Scenes footage has almost never been used in parodies until recently, mainly because it was unknown to the majority of the Untergangers and until recently it was inaccessible.

Streptokokkeninfekti is the first Unterganger to use these footage — mainly in segments from Hitler's Final Days — extensively in his parodies. The interviews have been used by Hitler Rants Parodies in the "Hitler interviews" series. Other minor parodies such as Poor Little Peter Finale use interview footage.

Many Untergangers have used the footage of the Mathias Gnädinger/Hermann Göring interview for parodies where Göring speaks because he has no lines in the movie, making this clip the only one related to Downfall that features him speaking. Rotoscoped footage of Gnädinger/Göring is used in Hitler goes to Silent Hill: Episode 4. TheSilverUniverse released his own green-screen video of the footage around late February 2013 so that other Untergangers can use chroma key effects to make him appear to be in a location of their choice in their parodies.

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