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The Man I Married (1940)

Anti-Nazi tract laced with 1938 newsreel footage finds American girl (Bennett) married to a German (Lederer) gradually learning he is a Nazi, trying to get their son to America.



(short story), (screen play)
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Complete credited cast:
Eric Hoffman
Kenneth Delane
Heinrich Hoffman
Frau Gerhardt
Dr. Gerhardt
Lionel Royce ...
Herr Deckhart
Frederick Vogeding ...
Egon Brecher ...
Willy Kaufman ...
Train Conductor (as William Kaufman)


Anti-Nazi tract laced with 1938 newsreel footage finds American girl (Bennett) married to a German (Lederer) gradually learning he is a Nazi, trying to get their son to America. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis








Release Date:

9 August 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

I Married a Nazi  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

A Sharp and Sophisticated Early Anti-Nazi Film
28 September 2015 | by (Orlando, United States) – See all my reviews

"Blockade" (1938), "Beasts of Berlin" (1939) and "Confessions of a Nazi Spy" (1939) were the earliest Hollywood films to openly attack the Nazis. Another anti-Nazi film, "The Mortal Storm" opened in June, 1940. This film opened on August 9th 1940. That appears to make it the fifth openly anti-Nazi film released in America. This one was perhaps that sharpest and most effective of the anti-Nazi films. "Blockade" was about the Spanish Civil War, "Beasts of Berlin" was censored and hardly seen, "Confessions of a Nazi Spy" was about Nazis in America, and "the Mortal Storm" was set in Germany in 1933 when the Nazis first came to power. "The Man I Married" is set in 1938 and talks about contemporary events taking place in Germany at the time the film was released.

It is about a rather likable upper middle-class young couple, Carol and Eric Hoffman (Joan Bennett and Francis Lederer) and their young son visiting Germany. While Eric dismisses the bad things he has heard about the Nazis as propaganda, Carol is open-minded, taking a wait and see attitude. The movie becomes a fascinating dialectical discussion on the pros and con of the regime, with Eric finding the new Germany quite to his liking and Carol becoming more and more horrified. The audience identifies strongly with Carol's position. That is what makes it so effective.

The movie sees the Nazis as a psychotic cult. It shows the horror of a family member being taken over by a cult. It is really the blueprint for many contemporary anti-cult movies.

In his generally perceptive review of the movie, New York Times critic Bosley Crowther praised the movie for its intelligence, restraint and entertainment value. He praised Lederer's acting and others like Lloyd Nolan, but surprisingly attacked Joan Bennett's acting, saying that she just "model dresses and expresses incredulity." This is entirely unfair. Bennett carries the movie on her shoulders and really expresses her horror and disgust at the Nazi's actions with subtlety and intelligence. She is quite believable in every scene.

For an intelligent and enjoyable anti-Nazi film, I highly recommend it.

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