- The Bunker (1981 film)
name =The Bunker
David Susskind Diana Kerew
writer = James O'Donnell (author)
Anthony Hopkins Richard Jordan Cliff Gorman Susan Blakely
director = George Schaefer
runtime = 87 min.
Emmy, "Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or a Special", Anthony Hopkins
"The Bunker" is a
1981 CBS television filmbased on the book of the same name. The movie makes significant deviations from James O'Donnell's book, mainly due to an effort to clarify the events, and allowing the actors license to interpret some of the dialogue he recorded.
The most noteworthy legacy of the film was
Anthony Hopkins' portrayal of Adolf Hitler, for which he won an Emmy. Actors on the set claimed his performance was so good that those playing German soldiers snapped to attention whenever Hopkins came onto the set, even if he wasn't in character.
The interpretations of the events by the actors differ in many ways with the traditional accounts. For example, during the final meeting between Hitler and
Albert Speer, Hopkins adopts a sarcastic tone and gestures (including mock applause) that suggest that Hitler was already aware of Speer's betrayal, even though he uses the exact words recounted by the witnesses.
Also, the movie constantly shifts the point-of-view character, but sometimes in an impossible manner. For example, Dr.
Werner Haaseis used in this manner, even though he was never interviewed (having died later in 1950). Likewise, two scenes are written from the viewpoint of Hitler's cook, Constanze Manziarly, and in one scene, Manziarly actually has a flashback. However, Manziarly disappeared while escaping the bunker, so neither O'Donnell nor any other person was able to interview her or get her viewpoint.
Ironically, given O'Donnell's work on the breakout story, the movie ends just as the groups are leaving the bunker.
In a short scene at the beginning of the movie, a younger O'Donnell is played by actor
James Naughton. O'Donnell himself provided brief voice-over narrations at both the beginning and end of the film.
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