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Damned [Blu-ray]

4.1 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Set during the closing days of WWII this gritty, claustrophobic mix of Film Noir and psychological suspense follows the doomed escape of a group of Nazi's as they flee for South America aboard a submarine hoping to evade their fate in Europe. Cannnes winner for Best Adventure Film and Crime Film.

This classic film is being fully restored and re-mastered and will be offered on Blu-ray for the first time.

Includes a bonus documentary and feature length audio commentary/conversation between French and German film scholars.

Product Details

  • Actors: Marcel Dalio, Henri Vidal, Florence Marly, Fosco Giachetti, Paul Bernard
  • Directors: René Clément
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Cohen Media Group
  • DVD Release Date: August 13, 2013
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00D3XMIS8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #90,918 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Damned [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
In 1945 Oslo, just before the fall of Berlin, a group of Nazis and Nazi sympathizers board a submarine headed for South America where they plan to continue to carry on the work of the Third Reich. But the voyage will not be as smooth as anticipated, indeed, to steal the title of another film (from 1976), this is a voyage of the damned. Rene Clement's post-war thriller has been compared to Wolfgang Petersen's DAS BOOT but I don't think it's a fair comparison. They're both films about Nazis in a submarine but that's about it. Clement's film isn't favorably disposed to the Nazis as its 1981 counterpart is ("they're just like you and me"). Clement captures the claustrophobia and the tension of disparate characters, who don't always see eye to eye, crammed into a confined space with no escape. Clement's film allows multi dimensional characters rather than stock stereotypes and some suggestive situations that would never have been allowed in an American film of that time. Technically, it's impressive especially a shot that follows Henri Vidal (as a kidnapped French doctor) the length of the submarine without a cut. it was shot by Henri Alekan (WINGS OF DESIRE) and the effective score is by Yves Baudrier. The cast is very good. In addition to Vidal; there's Marcel Dalio, Jo Dest, Michel Auclair, Fosco Giachetti, Anne Campion, Paul Bernard and Florence Marly.

The DVD from Cohen Media Group looks great and is presented in its proper 1.33 aspect ratio in French with English subtitles. It has an audio commentary and a documentary on Rene Clement as added features.
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Format: Blu-ray
Of all the recent releases on the DVD/Blu-ray market, I was particularly excited to catch the debut of "The Damned" by French filmmaker René Clément. Clément was one of the strongest post-WWII era directors to emerge from France with a resume that included such fantastic classics as "Forbidden Games" and "Purple Noon" (both of which I own). I had never heard of the "The Damned," but I was eager to experience the 1947 wartime thriller. Despite my enthusiasm, however, the movie never really connected with me. It is a serviceable entertainment, to be sure, but I found its shifting narrative perspective a bit awkward. Ostensibly the story is told from the vantage point of a French doctor co-opted onto an enemy sub. At times, he is the film's narrator which can provide a claustrophobic and harrowing effect as he tries to figure out what is going on. Many more times, though, the screenplay simply abandons this viewpoint whenever convenient for the story. More problematic (for me) is the lack of character development. I simply never felt close enough to the protagonist to really get caught up in his plight. It's a shame too, because the story itself is intriguing. It all just felt a little undercooked.

The movie kicks off in promising fashion. Near the end of the war, an assortment of characters associated in some way with the Reich (either specifically or as sympathizers) are boarding a submarine bound for South America. Sometimes they allude to a mission, most of the time it appears to be an evacuation. Whichever, it remains relatively vague throughout.
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Format: Blu-ray
This film grows on you...or possibly more accurately, closes in on you. It is the intense claustrophobia in the quarters of a submarine - brilliantly filmed in black and white, that is unforgettable. So the more I think about it, the more I like the movie.

The movie is clearly influenced by the short masterpiece of Jean Paul Sartre's "No Exit" (French translation - Huis Clos) in which a group of people who can't stand each other are forced to live in close quarters with no exit. They are in Hell. This unsavory collection of Nazis and Nazi sympathizers boards the U-Boat in Olso to escape from the Allies as the war is just about to be lost. Some of the characters are a sadistic SS officer, his young homosexual lover and petty criminal, an Italian industrialist, a Swedish nuclear scientist (and his unwilling 17 year old daughter), a Nazi general, his mistress, and a French businessman. However, each individual has his or her own selfish agenda. When the submarine boat faces difficulties, these agendas manifest themselves and the individuals kill off each other or themselves, one by one. On the journey, the sailors and the crew learn that Hitler has died and the Germans have surrendered. The different reactions by various characters is fascinating. Some sailors are overjoyed that they can now go home...but others still want to pursue a neo-nazi future.

One of the themes of the director Rene Clement is to provide a microcosm of the evil personalities that conquered France during the War or were ready, willing, and able to assist the Nazis. In the midst of all, an innocent doctor is kidnapped and brought to the submarine to provide involuntary medical assistance to the General's mistress; he plays the role of a captive desperately searching for an opportunity to escape.

I give the director five stars because - no one before or since - has created a mood of claustrophobic panic better than he has within the dimensions of a submarine.
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Damned [Blu-ray]
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