Hangmen Also Die! (1943)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Film-Noir, Thriller  |  15 April 1943 (USA)
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Reviews: 48 user | 32 critic

After the Nazi administrator of Czechoslovakia is shot, his assassin tries to elude the Gestapo and struggles with his impulse to give himself up as hostages are executed.



(adaptation) (as Bert Brecht) , (adaptation), 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Prof. Stephen Novotny
Masha Novotny
Emil Czaka
Jan Horak
Margaret Wycherly ...
Ludmilla Novotny
Nana Bryant ...
Mrs. Hellie Novotny
William Roy ...
Boda Novotny (as Billy Roy)
Hans Heinrich von Twardowski ...
Alexander Granach ...
Tonio Selwart ...
Chief of Gestapo Kurt Haas
Jonathan Hale ...
Sarah Padden ...
Mrs. Georgia Dvorak
Edmund MacDonald ...


On May 27, 1942 the Nazi Reichsprotector of Bohemia/Moravia, the "Hangman" Reinhard Heydrich, died from the bullets of unidentified resistance fighters. Hangmen Also Die is the story of Heydrich's assassination in fictionalized form. It was Bertolt Brecht's only comparatively successful Hollywood project; the money he received allowed him to write "The Visions of Simone Marchand", "Schwyk in the Second World War" and his adaptation of Webster's "The Duchess of Malfi". Hanns Eisler won an Academy Award for his musical score. Written by J.Arnold Free <arnold@mayahtt.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The shot heard 'round the world! See more »


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Release Date:

15 April 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Never Surrender  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(Turner library print) | (DVD)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


During the Joseph McCarthy-inspired "Red Scare" era in the 1950s, this was one of the films labeled "subversive" by the HUAC (House Un-American Activities Committee) because it was alleged to have contained dialog that might be construed as pro-communist. Writer John Wexley was even "blacklisted". It wasn't seen again in the United States until the mid-'70s. See more »


As the boy (Boda) picks the lock to open the door where Jan is tied up, he dumps the contents of his pockets on to the floor outside the room. Once he gets the door open he immediately goes inside and releases Jan. Once Jan is released, he and the boy rush out of the room but the things are no longer on the floor. See more »


Gestapo Insp. Alois Gruber: You better put that down.
Dr. Pillar: I'm going to put it where it belongs
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end of the film reads "NOT The End". See more »


Referenced in Contempt (1963) See more »


No Surrender
Music by Hanns Eisler
Lyrics by Sam Coslow
See more »

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User Reviews

Very good WWII war and crime movie
23 March 2004 | by (Sweden) – See all my reviews

The Nazi "protector" of Czechoslovakia is murdered and Gestapo is let loose to hunt down the assassin. Will the underground resistance survive? Will the assassin be betrayed by the Czech people as Gestapo murders innocent people to bring the assassin forward?

This is a very good movie, the plot brings lets the suspense gradually grow throughout the movie. This means that the beginning did seem a little slow, but given time, the patience will be rewarded. The ending is very good and you're not really sure exactly what will happen. The actors are good and the cinematic work very good.

There is a portion of propaganda in there as well, however, the evident propaganda is cut to a few scenes and do not interfere with the plot or the movie in itself. Instead, it is rather well integrated in the movie, and actually only bring the movie to another level.

Clearly set in the WWII, but this movie will never get old.


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