Bruno Ganz is Dead and Hitler is P… Angry

 

Bruno Ganz, the Swiss actor who helped give the world it’s first serious German-language portrayal of the last days of Adolf Hitler on film and an enduring internet meme, has died at age 77.

Thanks to the “Hitler finds out about X…”parodies that populate YouTube, Ganz’s turn in Der Untergang (The Downfall, 2004) has probably made him the most known “unknown” in the English-speaking world. He had a 50-year career in cinema but he made very few films for Hollywood.

His most famous work was probably Der Himmel über Berlin (The Heaven Over Berlin, 1987) released in the US as Wings of Desire. Ganz plays one of two angels whose job it is to watch over the divided city, when he falls in love with a human woman and longs to become mortal himself. (Peter Falk plays himself in the movie, that is, if Peter Falk was really an angel who made the transition to mortality himself.)

As an angel or the Devil himself, Ganz had a helluva run.

Published in Entertainment
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There are 10 comments.

  1. Stad Thatcher

    EJHill: Thanks to the “Hitler finds out about X…”parodies that populate YouTube, Ganz’s turn in Der Untergang (The Downfall, 2004) has probably made him the most known “unknown” in the English-speaking world.

    Downfall is simply the best end-of-hitler movie ever made.

    One anecdote about the movie is the owners of the rights to the movie originally tried to have all the parodies removed for (I guess) copyright infringement. However, the parodies led to so many new sales of the original movie, they dropped their complaint.

    Rest in peace, Bruno . . .

    • #1
    • February 17, 2019, at 1:32 PM PDT
    • 16 likes
  2. Percival Thatcher

    He played Johann von Staupitz in the movie Luther. Staupitz was Vicar General of the German Augustinians and Luther’s confessor. He had one of the best lines in the movie.

    You know, in two years I’ve never heard you confess anything remotely interesting.

    • #2
    • February 17, 2019, at 1:46 PM PDT
    • 15 likes
  3. Addiction Is A Choice Member

    Steven Hayword at Powerline has a fun tribute with what he promises is the last ever “Hitler Learns About _____” 

    https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2019/02/hitler-learns-bruno-ganz-has-died.php

    • #3
    • February 17, 2019, at 2:20 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  4. Bruce Caward Thatcher

    Loved Wings of Desire.

    • #4
    • February 17, 2019, at 4:43 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  5. Matt Bartle Member

    I saw Wings of Desire when it came out, and then Downfall years later, and it always gave me a chuckle to think of the same guy being an angel and Hitler. 

    • #5
    • February 17, 2019, at 5:14 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  6. Danny Alexander Member

    Ganz was probably living on borrowed time after surviving a co-starring stint with *both* Klaus Kinski and Isabelle Adjani, in the “Nosferatu” remake. 

    I don’t say that out of any disrespect whatsoever for Ganz, and as films go “Nosferatu” was decent enough. 

    But working with even just one of those two (Kinski or Adjani) would have been guaranteed to take valuable years off of anyone’s life.

    • #6
    • February 17, 2019, at 5:20 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  7. Amy Schley Moderator

    Addiction Is A Choice (View Comment):

    Steven Hayword at Powerline has a fun tribute with what he promises is the last ever “Hitler Learns About _____”

    https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2019/02/hitler-learns-bruno-ganz-has-died.php

    For those who don’t want to click through:

    I would add that Ganz also has a nice role as the law professor in “The Reader.” That movie is proof that Kate Winslet was absolutely right in this scene from the show “Extras.”

    • #7
    • February 17, 2019, at 6:00 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  8. Mountie Member

    I watched Downfall on Amazon Prime with subtitles. He was fantastic. Between him and Martina Gedeck (The Lives of Others, The Badeer Mienhauf Complex) I’ve developed a perchant for German films. Godspeed Bruno.

    • #8
    • February 17, 2019, at 7:22 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  9. dnewlander Member

    Wow. I’ve seen the parodies, yet had no idea he was in Wings of Desire, which is one of my favorite movies. I can still basically inderstand it without the subtitles. “Als das Kind, Kind war…”

    • #9
    • February 18, 2019, at 1:33 AM PDT
    • Like
  10. Stad Thatcher

    Amy Schley (View Comment):

    I saw the “Hitler learns about Pete Carroll’s play call” video instead – so funny! The “Hitler learns about” videos never get old . . .

    • #10
    • February 18, 2019, at 5:48 AM PDT
    • 4 likes