He was soon to become the second most powerful man in Nazi Germany.
It begins on the night of the Reichstag Fire in February 1933. It ends shortly after the infamous "Night of the Long Knives" in June 1934. In between it's one of the most spellbinding studies of corruption ever: Luchino Visconti's The Damned, a film of moods and overwhelming visual splendor.
The Damned follows a German family's decline as the Nazi party rises. Dirk Bogarde stars as a schemer who makes a Macbeth-like move to take over a steelworks and munitions empire on the eve of Hitler's campaign to eliminate all opposition. Ingrid Thulin, Helmut Griem and Charlotte Rampling play others ensnared in family and political turmoil. And Helmut Berger makes his startling debut as the family heir, a handsome dandy who evolves into a sinister embodiment of unrepentant evil.