From now on, you will be able to find reviews of great movies on the Gentleman’s Gazette. Nowadays, it gets harder to find movies with well dressed actors. Hence, my subjective selection of great movies does not focus on the general quality of a movie but much rather on the actors’ costumes and the way they dress. Today, the series starts with a classic movie from Visconti.
La caduta degli dei – The Damned
This movie was shot in 1969 by Luchino Visconti and takes place in Germany between 1933-1934. It is about the von Essenbecks, an aristocratic family of industrialists who attempt to collaborate with the Nazis in order to maintain their status as a steel empire. This whole setup seems to be loosely based upon the German Krupp family. The movie also incorporates certain elements of German history, like the fire at the Reichstag in 1933, the burning of the books and the murder of Ernst Röhm. The original title of the movie—La caduta degli dei—is the Italian translation for Richard Wagner’s The Ring of the Nibelung, The Twilight of the Gods.
Although Helmut Berger became internationally renowned through his role of Martin von Essenbeck, the general reviews for this movie range from outstandingly great to “In parts The Damned is almost jaw-droppingly bad” as well as “At times it reminded me of a very bad TV movie“ (a comment of a reader at the New York Times).
That notwithstanding, the actors in the movie are magnificently dressed, as they usually are in Visconti’s movies. You can find everything from a splendid morning coat over a tennis sweater, to lounge suits to uniforms and tailcoats, while the fit of the clothes is really good and far above average. Thus, The Damned is an absolute must-see for anyone who is interested in classic men’s clothing.
Watch the trailer here:
For a few dollars, you can purchase the DVD online, which offers the movie in several languages and contains the trailer as well as a short documentary of Luchino Visconti which is about 9 minutes in length. Alternatively, you can also add it to your Netflix queue.