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A Voice in the Night (1941)
"Freedom Radio" (original title)

 -  Drama | War  -  4 February 1941 (USA)
6.1
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 125 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 1 critic

Hitler's doctor is gradually realising that the Nazi regime isn't as good as it pretends to be when his friends start to "disappear" into the camps. His wife is courted by the party and ... See full summary »

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Title: A Voice in the Night (1941)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Diana Wynyard ...
Irena Roder
Raymond Huntley ...
Rabenau
Derek Farr ...
Hans Glaser
Joyce Howard ...
Elly Schmidt
Howard Marion-Crawford ...
Kummer (as H. Marion-Crawford)
John Penrose ...
Otto
Morland Graham ...
Father Landbach
Ronald Squire ...
Rudolf Spiedler
Reginald Beckwith ...
Emil Fenner
Clifford Evans ...
Dressler
...
Capt. Muller
Gibb McLaughlin ...
Dr. Weiner
Muriel George ...
Hanna
Martita Hunt ...
Frau Lehmann the Concierge
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Storyline

Hitler's doctor is gradually realising that the Nazi regime isn't as good as it pretends to be when his friends start to "disappear" into the camps. His wife is courted by the party and accepts a political post in Berlin. Meanwhile Dr Karl decides to try to do something to counteract the Nazi propaganda and with the help of an engineer and a few friends he sets up the Freedom Radio to counteract the Nazi propaganda. Written by Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

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Details

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Release Date:

4 February 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Voice in the Night  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

William Hartnell:  The first "Doctor Who" in a long-running British TV series of that name, has an uncredited role as a radio location aerial operator. See more »

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User Reviews

Interesting for what it was doing on its release but otherwise the narrative is pretty dull and lacking in excitement
29 October 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Dr Karl Roder is a German doctor who enjoys his practice and comfortable life in Germany in the late 1930's. However as the months pass he notices the Gestapo rising to power in the country, with many of his professional friends being 'disappeared' for the slightest of reasons. Eventually his student meeting of doctors is broken up as part of the new rules on gatherings. His first experience of the new regime firsthand is when he sees a minister decrying the ruling power only to be removed from the pulpit and later be reported dead in a twisted and deceitful report. Frustrated by what he sees happening, Roder turns to a radio building friend for help and soon he has made the first broadcast of Freedom Radio – but the Gestapo are soon trying to find him and shut him down.

When screened on television this film still bares the certificate from the BBFC that rates it as suitable for 'adult' audiences meaning that this is actually part of the film. At the time I'm not sure why they felt this was appropriate for that rating but they did, certainly watching it didn't really give me any idea as to what was so bad about the content here. The film is set within Germany and shows some elements of the community (albeit Germans with good clean English accents as opposed to the Gestapo who have a forced accent!) that were willing to stand up and decry the actions of the Government. Maybe this is why it was rated A for adults, because it is easier to see a whole country as the enemy during a war rather than accept that the people are essentially just people. Anyway, aside from this bombshell (!) there is nothing really to the film that justifies seeing it and explains why it is so rarely seen these days.

The plot goes down the roads of a standard type of thriller but it lacks any real thrills and the story is told without much in the way of excitement. The use of footage of Hitler himself makes the film slightly more interesting but the main narrative is lacking a real bite to keep me interesting. Looking abck now we all know the atrocities that were carried out in the name of Germany so the vague hinting about disappearing scientists etc is hardly shocking or informative, but maybe at the time it had audiences on the edge of their seat with revelations about concentration camps, but my god the realities of the places is much worse that what this film can depict. The cast are pretty solid but none of them really make any impression. Brook doesn't prove himself as leading man material in a performance that is fairly stilted and stiff. The support cast are pretty good with some emotional performances but I can't remember any of their names.

Overall an interesting film in terms of the 'different' (at the time) things it does in regards mentioning camps, showing a German resistance and showing Hitler but in terms of narrative it is pretty dull, lacking a real tension. The shock effect is also gone as we are much more aware of the true horror than we were in 1941, this leaves very little for the modern viewer – hence it being pretty unknown nowadays.


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