The Damned (Italian title: La caduta degli dei, lit. "The Fall of the Gods") is a 1969 Italian-German historical drama film written and directed by Luchino Visconti. The plot centers on the Essenbecks, a wealthy industrialist family who have begun doing business with the Nazi Party, a thinly veiled reference to the Essen-based Krupp family of steel industrialists.
The film centers on the Essenbecks, a wealthy industrialist family who have begun doing business with the Nazi Party. On the night of the Reichstag fire, the family's conservative patriarch, Baron Joachim von Essenbeck, who represents the old aristocratic Germany and detests Adolf Hitler, is murdered. Herbert Thalmann, the family firm's vice president, who openly opposes the Nazis, is framed for the crime. He escapes the grasp of the Gestapo, but his wife Elizabeth and their children do not.