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 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 »
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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