As the title indicates, Hitler: The Last Ten Days is a film about the final days of Hitler in the bunker. If anything, the film shows that his last ten days were filled with boredom in the face of impending invasion by the Russians. The film doesn’t exactly provide any existing details – it is monotonous to watch, and you have wonder how accurate it is. People in the bunker must have actually been in a state of shock and fear, because of course they knew they were not going to get out of this one, and it was all their own fault.
It’s very funny to see Obi Wan Kenobi (Alex Guinness) as Adolf Hitler. Guinness is the only actor of note in the film, and he’s a bit too old for the role and of course looks nothing like him. He was a strange choice for the role, and it’s a strange performance, and it looks like he really wasn’t too bothered about getting into the part. He’s just plopped into the middle of an oddly bland film, surrounded by actors who seem equally blasé even though they are playing people who were ideologues, which offers no real insight into the man or the events. All of the actors speak with English accents as well. The only one you might recognise is Andrew Sachs (“Manuel” from Fawlty Towers) who has a minor role.
The director, Ennio De Concini, uses archival footage to try to give the film an aura of truth, but it seems quite unnecessary—it seems to be trying hard to prove that it’s “accurate” more than actually reflecting reality. The ending also doesn’t say much. The director manages to convey some of the claustrophobia, but Downfall it’s not.
That said, the story has a happy ending so it’s not all bad.