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Underground (1941) More at IMDbPro »


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7.1/10   199 votes »
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Release Date:
28 June 1941 (USA) See more »
TODAY! THE BIG LOWDOWN ON THE "UNDERGROUND" (original print media ad - all caps) See more »
A World War II Hollywood propaganda film detailing the dark underside of Nazism and the Third Reich set between two brothers... See more » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
The story of the Good American and the Bad German See more (13 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
Jeffrey Lynn ... Kurt Franken
Philip Dorn ... Eric Franken
Kaaren Verne ... Sylvia Helmuth
Mona Maris ... Fräulein Gessner - Heller's secretary
Peter Whitney ... Alex Schumann, Underground Member

Martin Kosleck ... Col. Heller
Erwin Kalser ... Dr. Albert Franken
Ilka Grüning ... Frau Franken (as Ilka Gruning)

Frank Reicher ... Prof. Hugo Baumer
Egon Brecher ... Herr Director of the Chemical Institute
Ludwig Stössel ... Herr Gustav Müller, a Neighbor (as Ludwig Stossel)
Hans Schumm ... Heller's Aide
Wolfgang Zilzer ... Walter Hoffman

Roland Varno ... Ernst Demmler, Underground Member

Henry Brandon ... Josef Rolf, Underground Member Shot by Gestapo
Lotte Palfi Andor ... Greta Rolf, undergrounder (as Lotte Palfi)
Lisa Golm ... Ella aka Elsa, Franken's Housekeeper
Louis V. Arco ... Otto (as Louis Arco)
Roland Drew ... Gestapo Officer with Pencil Mustache
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Louis Adlon ... Karl, Baggage Attendant (uncredited)
Lester Allen ... Herr Krantz (uncredited)
Rudolph Anders ... Official (uncredited)
Edit Angold ... Maxel's Cashier (uncredited)
Walter Bonn ... Lieutenant (uncredited)
Glen Cavender ... Man Giving Sylvia Baggage Claim Ticket (uncredited)

Hans Conried ... Herman, Underground Member (uncredited)
Gretl Dupont ... Sylvia's Landlady (uncredited)
Arno Frey ... Guard (uncredited)
Frederick Giermann ... Radioman (uncredited)
Eddie Graham ... Man in Phone Booth (uncredited)
Ludwig Hardt ... Tobacco Clerk (uncredited)
Ernst Hausman ... Rudi (uncredited)
David Hoffman ... Willi, Underground Member (uncredited)
Willy Kaufman ... Tobacco Customer (uncredited)
Rolf Lindau ... Radioman (uncredited)
Carl Ottmar ... Official (uncredited)
Paul Panzer ... Janitor (uncredited)
John Piffle ... Herr Maxel, Cafe Proprietor (uncredited)
Otto Reichow ... Gestapo Agent (uncredited)
Henry Rowland ... Paul, Underground Member on Motorcycle (uncredited)
Lionel Royce ... Concentration Camp Captain (uncredited)
Norbert Schiller ... Blind News Vendor (uncredited)
Robert R. Stephenson ... Gestapo Agent (uncredited)
Arthur Tovey ... Man at Railroad Station (uncredited)
Ernö Verebes ... Maxel's Headwaiter (uncredited)

Henry Victor ... Gestapo Agent (uncredited)
Frederick Vogeding ... Announcer Reporting Demise of Illegal Broadcasts (uncredited)
Wilhelm von Brincken ... Capt. Bornsdorff (uncredited)
Hans von Morhart ... Gestapo Agent (uncredited)
Crane Whitley ... Gestapo Agent (uncredited)
Hans Wollenberger ... News Vendor (uncredited)

Directed by
Vincent Sherman 
Writing credits
Edwin Justus Mayer (story) and
Oliver H.P. Garrett (story)

Charles Grayson (screenplay)

Produced by
William Jacobs .... associate producer
Bryan Foy .... producer (uncredited)
Hal B. Wallis .... executive producer (uncredited)
Jack L. Warner .... executive producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Adolph Deutsch 
Cinematography by
Sidney Hickox  (as Sid Hickox)
Film Editing by
Thomas Pratt 
Art Direction by
Charles Novi 
Costume Design by
Damon Giffard (gowns)
Makeup Department
Perc Westmore .... makeup artist
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
William Kissell .... assistant director (uncredited)
Sound Department
Charles Lang .... sound
Music Department
Leo F. Forbstein .... musical director
Heinz Roemheld .... composer: additional music (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
95 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)

Did You Know?

First film of Peter Whitney.See more »
Kurt Franken:I'm not going to let you go on working with those traitors.
Sylvia Helmuth:Take me back and I'll do anything you want me to do. You'll only take me back.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Rosen aus dem Süden, Op. 388 (Roses from the South)See more »


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0 out of 5 people found the following review useful.
The story of the Good American and the Bad German, 20 August 2009
Author: hasosch from United States

Should declared as well as intended B-movies be taken for serious or not? Of course, only the affirmation of this question legitimates any possible criticism.

Vincent Sherman was one of the classical B-movie directors. If the reason why he directed "Underground" (1941) was of political nature or simply because he needed money - or irresponsibility toward the subject of the movie -, we don't know. However, everybody can find out very easily that the "good guys" in the film - most of all the characters of Kurt and Eric (correctly: Erich) Franken are played by non-Germans (an American and a Dutchman), and that the main "bad guy"-character Colonel Heller was played by the German Martin Kosleck. Besides the only exception of Fräulein Gessner, who was played by the American Mona Maris, one realizes soon that, although all characters are German, the real actors who play the good guys are almost exclusively Americans and the real actors who play the bad guys are almost exclusively Germans.

By chance? Let me tell you that no European director would come to the insane idea to let the role of an American character be played by a Non-American. However, especially German characters in American movies are regularly played by American actors imitating American accents as Marlon Brando did in "Morituri". How convincing is a movie in which a French actors plays an American character, revealing after two words his actual origin? However, in "Underground", the things are dramatically different: Issued in 1941 and although a B-movie, this movie was obviously intended to call for Americans to enter World War II and to legitimate beforehand an American meddling in Germany (which still continues by the American presence in nowadays Germany, as every child knows). So, the good characters in this movie are recognizable by the audience via correct American speech of the American actors, while the bad characters are also easily recognizable by the German accents of the German actors.

Concluding, let me admit that for once, I have been inconsistent: I enjoyed seeing actors like Kosleck, Ilka Grüning or Ludwig Stössel and I therefore rated this movie with 6 points. However, had I been honest, I would have given a 1, because this movie is nothing else than intellectual filth, a war-chaser and propaganda movie on the lowest possible level.

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