By  on October 14, 2010

Forty-one years ago today, Italian director Luchino Visconti released the controversial film “The Damned,” which told the story of a rich German industrial family, the Von Essenbecks, during the early years of the Third Reich. There’s corruption, orgies, massacres, pedophilia, plummeting dynasties and Helmut Berger infamously in drag as Marlene Dietrich in “The Blue Angel.” On Jan. 21, 1970, a month after the U.S. debut, WWD published an interview with Charlotte Rampling, who played Elisabeth Thallman, a member of the clan and wife to a Nazi opposer. Thallman dies in the Holocaust. “I think many people would rather close their eyes and pretend it never happened,” Rampling said. “But it did, and it was shown very honestly. It’s pure truth, showing the corruption that money and power can bring.”

The costumes in the film “were marvelous,” she added. “They made you a whole outfit right down to the underwear. It took a whole morning to get ready, because Visconti, the director, wouldn’t let anything start until everything was absolutely right. Even the Champagne was real. There was no sham anywhere.” Rampling admitted to being more lax in her own wardrobe. “What I’d like to wear is something like a body stocking I could put on and forget,” she said. “But what I’d really like is to live in the sun in nothing at all.”

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