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Hangmen Also Die! (1943)

Not Rated | | Drama, Film-Noir, Thriller | April 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.

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Writers:

(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

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Ludmilla Novotny
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Mrs. Hellie Novotny
William Roy ...
Beda Novotny (as Billy Roy)
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Reinhard Heydrich (as H. H v. Twardowski)
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Tonio Selwart ...
Chief of Gestapo Kurt Haas
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Banya
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Mrs. Georgia Dvorak
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

The story of Nazi overlords and the innocent girls they "protect"! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

April 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Never Surrender  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print) | (DVD)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The first telecasts of this film occurred Sunday 31 August 1947 in both New York City on WNBT (Channel 4), and in Washington DC on WNBW (Channel 4), in Los Angeles Sunday 14 December 1947 on KTLA (Channel 5), in Philadelphia Saturday 27 March 1948 on WPTZ (Channel 3), in Chicago Monday 26 April 1948 on WGN (Channel 9), in Detroit Sunday 25 April 1948 on WWJ (Channel 4), and in Baltimore Saturday 15 May 1948 on WMAR (Channel 2). See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

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

Crazy Credits

In the opening credits Jonathan Hale's name is spelled correctly the first time it appears. Then in the cast of characters that appears a few seconds later it is misspelled as "Jonathon" Hale. See more »

Connections

Featured in Hooray for Holyrood (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

overplotted
4 September 2011 | by See all my reviews

The names Fritz Lang and Bert Brecht (yes, he's called Bert, not Bertold, in the on screen credits) can go a long way to giving credit in a movie, but I think reviewers here are over-praising this film. First, I'd criticize the script as being overplotted, with too many tangles and endless complications, like a Baroque church with too many ornaments. Some of the dialogue has to be criticized, too. I know it was written during the war and served as a propaganda tool, but here we judge films as entertainment, maybe even art. At several points the movie stalls while a character speechifies, sounding oh-so-noble but at the same time oh-so-unnatural. People may act nobly in real life, but they seldom accompany their actions with little speeches aimed at some distant audience, beautiful cooked-up phrases for the ages. It's jarring, understandable perhaps because of the war, but it adds a false note to the realism of the film. Second, at one moment I was quite shocked at the directing. Fairly early in the story Natasha angrily accuses the assassin of cowardice for hiding while the hostages rounded up by the Nazis are paying the price with their lives. The way she leans forward over his desk, extending her arm to full length from the shoulder and jabbing it at him, not once but twice, looks completely unnatural. That's not the way a real person points an accusatory finger. It's obvious that the actress has had bad direction to move and pose in such a false manner.

Yes, this film is interesting to some extent, perhaps as a period piece. The plot complications, while over-done, at least create the air of something adult and intelligent. The outdoor scenes are all done on a stage set, so it doesn't have the benefit of complete authenticity.

I enjoyed seeing Walter Brennan playing an elderly professor with some brains, having had quite enough of his typecasting as a lovable but cantankerous old codger with that high-pitched, whiny voice of his.


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