The Bunker (1981 film)

The Bunker (1981 film)

name =The Bunker
imdb_id =0082114

producer =David Susskind
Diana Kerew
writer = James O'Donnell (author)
Uwe Bahnsen(screenwriter)
John Gay(screenwriter)
starring = Anthony Hopkins
Richard Jordan
Cliff Gorman
Susan Blakely

director = George Schaefer
distributor = CBS
Time-Life Productions
released = 1981
runtime = 87 min.
language =English
awards = Emmy, "Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or a Special", Anthony Hopkins
budget =

"The Bunker" is a 1981 CBS television film based 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 Haase is 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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