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Hangmen Also Die! (1943)

Approved | | Drama, Film-Noir, Thriller | 26 March 1943 (USA)
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
Ludmilla Novotny
Mrs. Hellie Novotny
William Roy ...
Boda Novotny (as Billy Roy)
Hans Heinrich von Twardowski ...
Tonio Selwart ...
Chief of Gestapo Kurt Haas
Mrs. Georgia Dvorak


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


Fritz Lang's masterpiece of intrigue and deception. See more »


Approved | See all certifications »





Release Date:

26 March 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?


The idea for the film was inspired by the assassination of Gestapo official Reinhard Heydrich by Czech guerrillas and the subsequent reprisals taken by Nazi occupation forces. See more »


In reality, Heydrich was assassinated by a team of Czech exiles sent back to the country by the British government. See more »


Dr. Franticek Svoboda: Dedric, what about the taxi driver?
Dedic: Jumped out of a window at the Gestapo. They'll get nothing from him.
Dr. Franticek Svoboda: I never met him. I wish I did.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Referenced in Rozprávky z Hollywoodu (1992) See more »


(The Moldau) (uncredited)
From "Má vlast (My Country)"
Music by Bedrich Smetana
Played in the movie theater
Also played on the radio during dinner
See more »

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User Reviews

Bitter WW II movie
10 March 2003 | by (Santa Maria, CA) – See all my reviews

I saw this today for the first time on TCM TV. This is an apocryphal version of the assassination of the Nazi leader and Czech "protector" Reinhard Heydrich by resistance fighter in World War II. The assassin evades the widening Nazi dragnet in Czechoslovakia even to the point of self-sacrifice. The Nazis plan to provide an "assassin" who is actually a Czech traitor, played admirably by Gene Lockhart. Brian Donlevy plays Dr. Svoboda aka Karel Vansky and Anna Lee is Nasha Novotna with Dennis O'Keefe her fiance as Jan Horak. Many old movie oldtimers are in this film, and the intensity builds up to immense pitch. Some say this is all propoaganda by Hollywood, but lest we forget, it could happen here. I notice lately TCM and AMC TV are playing a great deal of the old WW II movies.

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