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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?


Originally, Bertolt Brecht was denied story credit by the Screen Writer's Guild, even though he worked closely with writer John Wexley on the project. See more »


The character of Reinhard Heydrich wears the collar tabs of an SS-Gruppenfuehrer (group leader, roughly lieutenant general), three oak leaves. As Reichsprotektor of Bohemia and Moravia his rank was higher, SS-Obergruppenfuehrer (higher group leader, roughly full general). The proper insignia for this rank in 1942 was three oak leaves with a single pip underneath. 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 Apartment Zero (1988) 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

Why great directors make great films
5 February 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The actors in this film made any number of cheesy B movies during the war, but with Berthold Brecht and Fritz Lang behind them they made a movie touching on greatness. Check out the characterizations of Heydrich, the policeman Gruber, and the other Gestapo agents. Walter Brennan as the patriotic father was an odd choice, but maybe I'm being blinded by his later Western sidekick roles. The sets are outstanding. Although obviously on a Hollywood back lot they made a very believable Prague, using in part pre-war travelogue footage of the city. Indoor scenes are excellent. The actors look like they live in a real place, not a cuckooland paradise that most hack directors would give you.

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