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Hangmen Also Die!
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Hangmen Also Die! (1943) More at IMDbPro »

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Bertolt Brecht (adaptation) (original story) and
Fritz Lang (adaptation) (original story) ...
View company contact information for Hangmen Also Die! on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
15 April 1943 (USA) See more »
Fritz Lang's masterpiece of intrigue and deception. See more »
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 2 wins See more »
User Reviews:
Fritz Lang and Bertolt Brecht's resistance juggernaut from WW2 Czechsovakia See more (48 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Brian Donlevy ... Dr. Franticek Svoboda / Karel Vanek

Walter Brennan ... Prof. Stephen Novotny

Anna Lee ... Masha Novotny

Gene Lockhart ... 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 ... Reinhard Heydrich
Alexander Granach ... Gestapo Insp. Alois Gruber
Tonio Selwart ... Chief of Gestapo Kurt Haas
Jonathan Hale ... Dedic

Lionel Stander ... Banya
Sarah Padden ... Mrs. Georgia Dvorak
Edmund MacDonald ... Dr. Pillar
Byron Foulger ... Bartos
Virginia Farmer ... Mrs. Nimitz
Ludwig Donath ... Schirmer (as Louis Donath)

George Irving ... Neeval
James Bush ... Peacock
Arno Frey ... Camp Lieutenant Itnut
Lester Sharpe ... Rudy
Arthur Loft ... Gen. Votruba
Reinhold Schünzel ... Gestapo Insp. Ritter
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

John Abbott ... Hostage (scenes deleted)
Louis Adlon ... Adjutant (uncredited)
Erville Alderson ... Liberal Official (uncredited)
Richard Alexander ... Slugger in Theater (uncredited)
Jack Alfred ... Busboy (uncredited)
Louis V. Arco ... Nazi Official (uncredited)
Florence Auer ... Czech Patriot (uncredited)
Felix Basch ... (uncredited)
Hank Bell ... Cabbie (uncredited)
William 'Billy' Benedict ... Kylar (uncredited)
Edna Bennett ... Pregnant Woman (uncredited)
Margaret Bert ... Market Woman (uncredited)
Lane Bradford ... Gestapo Officer (uncredited)
Harry C. Bradley ... Townsman (uncredited)
Frederic Brunn ... SS Officer (uncredited)
Willy Castello ... SS Guard (uncredited)
Richard Clarke ... Priest (uncredited)
Steve Clemente ... Knife Thrower (uncredited)

Chester Conklin ... Cook (uncredited)
Edith Conrad ... Woman in Audience (uncredited)
Max Davidson ... Bearded Man (uncredited)
Bryn Davis ... Girl (uncredited)
Earle S. Dewey ... Wine Waiter (uncredited)
James Dime ... Gestapo Detective (uncredited)
Lester Dorr ... Aldrich Krapke (uncredited)
Ralph Dunn ... Policeman (uncredited)
Gretl Dupont ... Angry Woman (uncredited)

Poldi Dur ... Slugger's Girlfriend in Theater (uncredited)
David Durand ... Bicycle Boy (uncredited)
James Eagles ... Svatak (uncredited)
Edward Earle ... Professor (uncredited)
Fern Emmett ... Peasant Woman (uncredited)
Fred Essler ... Dr. Kesselbach (uncredited)

William Farnum ... Viktorin (uncredited)
Betty Farrington ... Heavyset Woman (uncredited)

Dwight Frye ... Hostage (uncredited)
Hans Fuerberg ... Personal Adjutant (uncredited)
Jack George ... Polcar (uncredited)
Inna Gest ... Hatcheck Girl (uncredited)
George Guhl ... Workman (uncredited)
William Haade ... Mildrad (uncredited)
Sam Harris ... Man at Briefing (uncredited)
Bud Jamison ... Fat Man (uncredited)
Eddie Kane ... Novak (uncredited)
Victor Kendall ... SS Leader (uncredited)
Manart Kippen ... Dovolga (uncredited)

Fred Kohler Jr. ... Czech Patriot (uncredited)
Kurt Kreuger ... Gestapo Officer (uncredited)
Rita La Roy ... Girl (uncredited)
Hope Landin ... Czech Patriot (uncredited)
Rolf Lindau ... De Lauge (uncredited)
Emmett Lynn ... Gerta (uncredited)
Robert Malcolm ... Czech Patriot (uncredited)

Claire McDowell ... Counterwoman (uncredited)
Paul McVey ... Jan Pestuca (uncredited)
John Meredith ... Czech Man (uncredited)
Philip Merivale ... Policeman (uncredited)
Louis Merrill ... Industrialist (uncredited)
Peter Michael ... SS Captain (uncredited)

Charles Middleton ... Patriot at Meeting with Svoboda (uncredited)
Robert Milasch ... Jewish Prisoner (uncredited)
Edwin Mills ... Eduard (uncredited)
Harold Minjir ... Butler (uncredited)
Frances Morris ... Dr. Svoboda's Nurse (uncredited)
George N. Neise ... Mueller (uncredited)
Carl Neubert ... Economist (uncredited)
Kurt Neumann ... SS Man (uncredited)
Manuel París ... Townsman on Street (uncredited)
John Piffle ... Industrialist (uncredited)
Russ Powell ... Tobacconist (uncredited)
Lucien Prival ... Policeman (uncredited)

Frank Reicher ... Interpreter (uncredited)
Otto Reichow ... Gestapo Agent Schultz (uncredited)
Albin Robeling ... Clerk (uncredited)
Ernest Roberts ... (uncredited)
Henry Roquemore ... Patriot at Meeting (uncredited)
Hans Schumm ... Sergeant (uncredited)
Janet Shaw ... Katerina Honiga (uncredited)
George Sherwood ... SS Lieutenant (uncredited)
Pietro Sosso ... Waiter (uncredited)
Robert R. Stephenson ... Nazi Guard in Visitors' Pen (uncredited)
Carl Stockdale ... Cigarette Smoker (uncredited)
Henry Sylvester ... Tall Czech (uncredited)

Forrest Taylor ... Pipe Smoker (uncredited)
Walter Thiele ... Police Official (uncredited)
Sigfrid Tor ... Gescky (uncredited)
Fred Trowbridge ... Man in Audience (uncredited)
Lisl Valetti ... Secretary (uncredited)
Philip Van Zandt ... Officer (uncredited)
Lucio Villegas ... Townsman at Briefing (uncredited)
Emmett Vogan ... Hostage Wearing Glasses (uncredited)
Hans von Morhart ... Policeman (uncredited)
Sam Waagenaar ... SS Man (uncredited)
Fay Wall ... Secretary (uncredited)

Eddy Waller ... Hansom Cab Driver (uncredited)
Crane Whitley ... SS Headquarters Man (uncredited)
Guy Wilkerson ... Santrock (uncredited)
Harry Wilson ... Ugly German Bodyguard (uncredited)

Directed by
Fritz Lang 
Writing credits
Bertolt Brecht (adaptation) (original story) (as Bert Brecht) and
Fritz Lang (adaptation) (original story)

John Wexley (screenplay)

Produced by
Theo. W. Baumfeld .... assistant producer (as T.W. Baumfeld)
Fritz Lang .... producer
Arnold Pressburger .... producer
Original Music by
Hanns Eisler 
Cinematography by
James Wong Howe 
Film Editing by
Gene Fowler Jr. 
Art Direction by
William S. Darling 
Makeup Department
Robert Stephanoff .... makeup artist (as Blagoe Stephanoff)
Production Management
Carley Harriman .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Walter Mayo .... assistant director
Fred Pressburger .... assistant director
Art Department
Julia Heron .... set dresser
Sound Department
Fred Lau .... sound
Jack Whitney .... sound
Camera and Electrical Department
Ned Scott .... still photographer (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Eleanor Behm .... dresses: Miss Lee
Music Department
Artur Guttmann .... conductor
Other crew
Max Pretzfelder .... technical advisor

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
USA:134 min (Turner library print) | France:117 min (DVD)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Argentina:13 | Australia:M | Finland:K-16 | Spain:13 | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:PG (re-rating) (2005) | USA:Approved

Did You Know?

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 »
Factual errors: 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:[Slamming his fist on the table] Miss Novotny, this time you're going to talk!See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Rozprávky z Hollywoodu (1992) (TV)See more »
No SurrenderSee more »


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6 out of 9 people found the following review useful.
Fritz Lang and Bertolt Brecht's resistance juggernaut from WW2 Czechsovakia, 27 July 2007
Author: MisterWhiplash from United States

Under the name 'Bert', Brecht teamed up with director Fritz Lang to craft this cunning and ultimately suspenseful tale that borders more than consciously on propaganda, but for all the right reasons considering the period. It wasn't a period piece but something urgent of the time and place- not to mention a stark battle cry from Lang, who fled Germany in 1934 following a calling from Goebbels to become the propaganda filmmaker of the 30s- and it stands still as one of those under-seen pieces where loyalties and betrayals and double-crosses and vendettas are all abound, and the truth is something tricky and twisty on either side.

The main plot concerns the dramatized story of Reinhard Heydrich, the "hangman", who is then put on by the Nazis as a figure of the past to haunt the Czech people: the assassin MUST be found. The assassin is Dr. Franticek Svoboda, aka Karel Vanek, who may also have another alias, and is well played by Donelvy, who hides with a Czech professor (Brennan) via a chance meeting weeks before with Nasha (Anna). Once he escapes following a curfew that night, many people are rounded up- hundreds- to be executed by the Nazis if the assassin isn't taken in. Anna's family is questioned, her father on the list of those to soon be killed, but what of Svoboda (and the resistance, or the cruel Nazis at the gestapo for that matter)? I

t's a typical Langian procedural in the very tense and exacting sense, and it's a lot of tense fun and there's always a sense of danger with how the characters cross one another in one scene to the next (I loved when Vanek comes back to Anna after the first night, she's mad at him, but this is right after she's been questioned by cruel Gruber, performed by Granach as half caricature and half power-hungry monster, and there is a wire to her apartment, only to have him feed her lines through index cards).

It's just as intense as a more modern espionage thriller, only Lang has the upper-hand at crafting it with an equal hand of social indictment (like M or Fury, the people in the Czech city have a role to play in what happens, and there's great scenes of small mobs going crazy like in the movie theater) and of a more general grilling of the sadistic Nazis. There's not much room to make them very three-dimensional, however Hangmen Also Die! features the Nazis performed not in very simplistic ways. Maybe my favorite is the traitor- a Nazi collaborator played by the large Gene Lockhart who can go from being happy-go-lucky to frantic and pushy on a dime, and is the total puppet of the sneaky inspector Gruber, who is funniest when trying to get back to sleep following a night of frivolity with some girls.

The storyline isn't completely free of a few heavy lines of dialog, and the whole sub-plot involving the 'is she seeing someone else' thinking for Jan Horak (O'Keefe, best at looking stone-faced in semi-shock) who is the fiancé of Nasha is the least effective of the lot. But what is here is a striking example of balancing real thrills (it's hard not to be on the edge of your seat in the last fifteen to twenty minutes, mostly as characters talk if not in tense cat-and-mouse theatrics) and a great message at hand. Lang makes this a story meant to pull people into action- the film ends with "NOT" and then super-imposed "THE END"- and like with M, there's many a moment when the common-folk, like a maid or a taxi driver or butler, become the real heroes in saying who was where or what one did at a given time.

And of course Lang is also totally on top of his game at crafting this with many images of sadistic shadows (watch as Nasha is prisoner and a guard comes into a second shot in silhouette) and enclosing angles.

Was the above review useful to you?
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