IMDb > Watch on the Rhine (1943)
Watch on the Rhine
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Watch on the Rhine (1943) More at IMDbPro »

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7.4/10   2,559 votes »
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Down 14% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Dashiell Hammett (screen play) and
Lillian Hellman (additional scenes and dialogue) ...
View company contact information for Watch on the Rhine on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
27 August 1943 (USA) See more »
On her lonesome lips a smile.
Sara and Kurt Muller and their three children are returning to her mother's home in Washington DC after 18 years in Europe... See more » | Full synopsis »
Won Oscar. Another 4 wins & 3 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Machts gut, Papa See more (45 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Bette Davis ... Sara Muller

Paul Lukas ... Kurt Muller

Geraldine Fitzgerald ... Marthe de Brancovis
Lucile Watson ... Fanny Farrelly

Beulah Bondi ... Anise
George Coulouris ... Teck de Brancovis

Donald Woods ... David Farrelly

Henry Daniell ... Phili Von Ramme

Eric Roberts ... Bodo
Donald Buka ... Joshua

Anthony Caruso ... Italian Man
Helmut Dantine ... Young Man
Clyde Fillmore ... Sam Chandler
Erwin Kalser ... Dr. Klauber
Kurt Katch ... Herr Blecher

Clarence Muse ... Horace
Frank L. Wilson ... Joseph (as Frank Wilson)
Janis Wilson ... Babette
Mary Young ... Mrs. Mellie Sewell
Rudolph Anders ... Oberdorff (as Robert O. Davis)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Leah Baird ... Miss Drake (uncredited)
Joseph E. Bernard ... Trainman (uncredited)
Glen Cavender ... German Embassy Servant (uncredited)
Herma Cordova ... Woman (uncredited)
Elvira Curci ... Italian Woman (uncredited)
Jean De Briac ... Mr. Chabeuf (uncredited)
Joseph DeVillard ... Spanish General (uncredited)
Gretl Dupont ... Woman (uncredited)
Michele Fehr ... Baby (uncredited)
Robert Fischer ... German Ambassador (uncredited)
Bess Flowers ... Embassy Party Guest (uncredited)

Alan Hale Jr. ... Boy (uncredited)
Creighton Hale ... Chauffeur (uncredited)
Howard C. Hickman ... Cyrus Penfield (uncredited)
Violett McDowell ... Belle (uncredited)
Edmund Mortimer ... German Embassy Ball Guest (uncredited)
Jack Mower ... Trainman (uncredited)
Wedgwood Nowell ... American Diplomat (uncredited)
Garry Owen ... Taxi Driver (uncredited)

Frank Reicher ... Admiral (uncredited)
Walter O. Stahl ... German Embassy Butler (uncredited)
Hans Tanzler ... German Diplomat (uncredited)
Hans von Morhart ... German (uncredited)
William Washington ... Doc (uncredited)

Directed by
Herman Shumlin 
Hal Mohr (uncredited)
Writing credits
Dashiell Hammett (screen play)

Lillian Hellman (additional scenes and dialogue)

Lillian Hellman (from the stage play by)

Produced by
Jack L. Warner .... executive producer
Hal B. Wallis .... producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Max Steiner 
Cinematography by
Merritt B. Gerstad (director of photography) (as Merritt Gerstad)
Hal Mohr (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Rudi Fehr (film editor)
Art Direction by
Carl Jules Weyl 
Set Decoration by
Julia Heron (set decorations)
Costume Design by
Orry-Kelly (gowns)
Makeup Department
Perc Westmore .... makeup artist
Norbert A. Myles .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Bill Phillips .... makeup (uncredited)
Tillie Starriett .... hair (uncredited)
Production Management
Chuck Hansen .... unit manager (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Ridgeway Callow .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Richard Maybery .... assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Morris Goldman .... props (uncredited)
Sound Department
Dolph Thomas .... sound
Special Effects by
Edwin B. DuPar .... special effects
John Holden .... special effects director (as Jack Holden)
Camera and Electrical Department
Ellsworth Fredericks .... second camera (uncredited)
Claude Hutchinson .... gaffer (uncredited)
Roy Noble .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Bert Six .... stills (uncredited)
George Stout .... best boy (uncredited)
S.K. Taylor .... grip (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
Mary Riley .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Ted Schultz .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Music Department
Leo F. Forbstein .... musical director
Hugo Friedhofer .... orchestral arrangements
Other crew
Edward A. Blatt .... dialogue director (as Edward Blatt)
Florence O'Neill .... script clerk (uncredited)
Peter Pohlenz .... technical advisor (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production Companies
  • Warner Bros. (presents) (as Warner Bros. Pictures Inc.) (A Hal B. Wallis Production) (A Warner Bros.-First National Picture)

Additional Details

Also Known As:
114 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)

Did You Know?

A staunch anti-Nazi campaigner, Bette Davis immediately signed on when she read the script.See more »
Continuity: At 1:43:02, Kurt's hands on Babbie's arm changes position.See more »
Kurt Muller:[in response to an Italian man on the train asking what he does] I fight against fascism. That is my trade.See more »
Movie Connections:
Akademische Festouvertüre (Academic Festival Overture) Op. 80See more »


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16 out of 22 people found the following review useful.
Machts gut, Papa, 19 June 2006
Author: blanche-2 from United States

An American woman, her European husband and children return to her mother's home in "Watch on the Rhine," a 1943 film based on the play by Lillian Hellman, and starring Paul Lukas (whom I believe is repeating his stage role here), Bette Davis, Lucile Watson, George Coulouris, Geraldine Fitzgerald, and Donald Woods. An anti-Fascist, a worker in the underground movement, many times injured, and wanted by the Nazis, Kurt Muller (Lukas) is in need of a long vacation on the estate of his wealthy mother-in-law. But he finds out that there is truly no escape as one of the houseguests (Coulouris) is suspicious as to his true identity and more than willing to sell him out.

Great performances abound in this film, written very much to put forth Lillian Hellman's liberal point of view. It was certainly a powerful propaganda vehicle at the time it was released, as the evils of war and what was happening to people in other countries reach into safe American homes. The movie's big controversy today is that Paul Lukas won an Oscar over Humphrey Bogart in "Casablanca." Humphrey Bogart was a wonderful screen presence and a fabulous Rick, but Lukas is transcendent as Kurt. The monologue he has about the need to kill is gut-wrenching, just to mention one scene.

Though this isn't what one thinks of as a Bette Davis movie, she gives a masterful performance here as Kurt's loyal and loving wife, Sara. Her acting tugs at the heart, and the love scenes between Kurt and Sara are beautiful and tender.

The last half hour of the film had me in tears with the honesty of the emotions. Lillian Hellman is not everyone's cup of tea, but unlike "The Little Foxes," she has written some truly sympathetic, wonderful characters and a fine story given A casting and production values by Warner Brothers. Highly recommended.

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