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

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Overview

User Rating:
7.6/10   2,274 votes »
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Down 2% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Bertolt Brecht (adaptation) (original story) and
Fritz Lang (adaptation) (original story) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Hangmen Also Die! on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
15 April 1943 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Fritz Lang's masterpiece of intrigue and deception. See more »
Plot:
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:
Awards:
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 2 wins See more »
User Reviews:
Good anti-nazi propaganda, but not good history. See more (45 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

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

Walter Brennan ... Prof. Stephen Novotny

Anna Lee ... Nasha 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)
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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
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Additional Details

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

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The original titles for the project were "No Surrender" and "Never Surrender" They had to choose a new title because a book was published with a similar title during production. Producers held a contest among the cast and crew to choose a new title. A production secretary submitted the winning title and won $100.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: As the boy (Boda) picks the lock to open the door where Jan is tied up, he dumps the contents of his pockets on to the floor outside the room. Once he gets the door open he immediately goes inside and releases Jan. Once Jan is released, he and the boy rush out of the room but the things are no longer on the floor.See more »
Quotes:
Gestapo Insp. Alois Gruber:You better put that down.
Dr. Pillar:I'm going to put it where it belongs
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Contempt (1963)See more »
Soundtrack:
No SurrenderSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
38 out of 48 people found the following review useful.
Good anti-nazi propaganda, but not good history., 17 March 2000
Author: FISHER L. FORREST (fisherforrest@sprintmail.com) from Jacksonville, Oregon, USA

One suspects this film registered better with viewers in 1943 than it does today. Despite being suggested by the actual assassination of Reichs Protector of Bohemia and Moravia Reinhard Heydrich, better known to the Czechs as "The Hangman" because of his excessive brutality in dealing with residents of the conquered regions, it is almost total fiction. Even so it is not bad as a rather involved drama and was very likely good anti-nazi propaganda.

Perhaps it is well to start with what actually did happen to Heydrich on May 29, 1942. Two young Czechs, Jan Kubis and Josef Ganchik, parachuted in from an RAF plane and managed to ambush "the Hangman" riding in his open Mercedes. Armed with both machine pistols and a bomb, the apparently did little harm by shooting, but did explode the bomb under the car. Heydrich's spleen was penetrated by bomb fragments and debris causing death several days later, possibly more by infection than anything else. The two Czechs evaded capture briefly, but witnesses under torture revealed their hiding place in a church and the SS killed them. In a massive retaliation, Hitler picked the village of Lidice, more or less at random, from among places known to harbor anti-German sentiment, and ordered its total annihilation. The people of Lidice had nothing whatever to do with the assassination, of course.

In HANGMEN ALSO DIE we have the story of a lone assassin, using an English made pistol, whose getaway taxi was forced to move by German soldiers, causing him to take refuge during the curfew at the home of a Czech professor. The professor's daughter, Mascha, had impulsively directed the German pursuit away from him. The German police suspect the girl, but release her in the hope she will lead them to the wanted man. They also round up many Czechs, including the girl's father, and begin shooting them as hostages. The girl at first intends to give information, hoping to save her father, but in the end is persuaded otherwise by the Czech resistance. A plan is concocted to bamboozle the SS and save the assassin and the girl, but what it is you will have to see for yourself. Be assured it is incredible.

As you see, this story has little to do with the historic assassination and its aftermath, beyond illustrating the SS brutality, but it does make a mildly entertaining wartime adventure with good propaganda value, largely because of the rather low key, intensely personal nature of the plot elements. Some of the characters are very real and believable, e.g. the Gestapo Inspector Gruber, the girl Mascha, and her father, all ably portrayed by Alexander Granach, Anna Lee, and Walter Brennan respectively. On the other hand, some characters are more like cardboard cut-outs and get wooden performances to suit. Brian Donlevy as Dr.Svoboda, the assassin, fits this category alas, as do a number of others. What realism there is seems likely to have been the contribution of Bertolt Brecht rather than John Wexley, who got the credit for the screenplay. One likes to think that Fritz Lang did the best he could with a mixed bag of acting talent, but this can hardly be said to be his best effort.

Just why Hollywood producers seem to prefer fiction to the facts when dealing with historical material is a major mystery to me. In 1943 the general facts of the assassination were known, if not all the details, and could have made just as dramatic a story as this fictional one. It is worth a watch, though, especially if you like Anna Lee.

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