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Hangmen Also Die! (1943)

7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 2,328 users  
Reviews: 45 user | 23 critic

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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(adaptation), (adaptation), 1 more credit »
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Title: Hangmen Also Die! (1943)

Hangmen Also Die! (1943) on IMDb 7.6/10

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Dr. Franticek Svoboda / Karel Vanek
...
Prof. Stephen Novotny
...
Nasha Novotny
...
Emil Czaka
Dennis O'Keefe ...
Jan Horak
Margaret Wycherly ...
Ludmilla Novotny
Nana Bryant ...
Mrs. Hellie Novotny
William Roy ...
Boda Novotny (as Billy Roy)
Hans Heinrich von Twardowski ...
Alexander Granach ...
Gestapo Insp. Alois Gruber
Tonio Selwart ...
Chief of Gestapo Kurt Haas
Jonathan Hale ...
Dedic
...
Banya
Sarah Padden ...
Mrs. Georgia Dvorak
Edmund MacDonald ...
Dr. Pillar
Edit

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:

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


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

15 April 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Never Surrender  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print) | (DVD)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Czech Patriot: Your mothers were slimy rats! Their milk was sewer water!
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Contempt (1963) See more »

Soundtracks

Vltava
(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

 
Fabulous for the time--right smack in the middle of it all
5 December 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Hangmen Also Die! (1943)

The best part of this movie is knowing it was made right in the middle of the war, not in some recreation of the events. It's a little hyperbolic, for sure, but really well acted (both the Nazis and the Czechs), and it ends up being a battle of wits and tricks between the two sides.

Fritz Lang was a refuge from Nazi Europe and made this in Hollywood, with an expected sensibility for the cruelties and barbarism of the occupying nasties. And they probably were this nasty--worse, in truth, though less comically so, as the movie sometimes pushes it a bit. Still, really enjoyable, in all. Yet, somehow, it was long. The twists from one scene to another started to sound familiar, and the tension was sustained rather than invigorated, if that makes any sense.

Brian Donlevy is the leading good guy here, and he's always a little less than compelling, though he is not in most of the scenes so I suppose that's fine. The double-crosser was played by Gene Lockhart, whose presence grows as the movie gets on, and by the end he's really pretty amazing (far beyond the caricature of, say, the judge he played in "Miracle on 34th Street"). Walter Brennan makes an appearance, recognizable mostly by his voice. Two of the Nazi higher-ups were terrific, both the Pilsner guzzling brute and the slightly comical but scary gestapo head.

Lang is no fool, and he makes this movie not only a pleasure, but an important tool to remind viewers to be involved, to realize that you can fight oppression, even Nazi oppression, with enough wits and sacrifice.


5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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