British hunter Thorndike vacationing in Bavaria has Hitler in his gun sight. He is captured, beaten, left for dead, and escapes back to London where he is hounded by German agents and aided by a young woman.
Mae Doyle comes back to her hometown a cynical woman. Her brother Joe fears that his love, fish cannery worker Peggy, may wind up like Mae. Mae marries Jerry and has a baby; she is happy but restless, drawn to Jerry's friend Earl.
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 <email@example.com>
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 »
In reality, Heydrich was assassinated by a team of Czech exiles sent back to the country by the British government. See more »
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 »
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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