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Thomas Mann's sprawling German novel Buddenbrooks could hardly be confined to a "conventional" film length, thus it's no surprise that this 1959 movie version was released in two lengthy parts. Put simply, Buddenbrooks is the story of the decline and fall of a once prestigious European family. Anxious to preserve their rapidly diminishing wealth, the Buddenbrook clan undergoes several marriages of convenience -- which serve only to weaken the strain until, as the 20th century dawns, only two members of...more