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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Overview

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7.5/10   2,293 votes »
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Writers:
Dashiell Hammett (screen play) and
Lillian Hellman (additional scenes and dialogue) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Watch on the Rhine on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
27 August 1943 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
On her lonesome lips a smile.
Plot:
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 »
Awards:
Won Oscar. Another 4 wins & 3 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Vagabonds For A Cause See more (43 total) »

Cast

  (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)
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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)
Distributors
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Additional Details

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

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Director Herman Shumlin was most unhappy with his initial director of photography Merritt B. Gerstad who was eventually replaced by Hal Mohr.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: At 43:31, Sara's hand on David's arm changes position.See more »
Quotes:
Fanny Farrelly:There is a great deal of gossip about both of you.
David Farrelly:...There is nothing to gossip about.
Fanny Farrelly:That never stopped anybody from gossiping.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Stardust: The Bette Davis Story (2006) (TV)See more »
Soundtrack:
America, My Country 'Tis of TheeSee more »

FAQ

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10 out of 10 people found the following review useful.
Vagabonds For A Cause, 16 January 2009
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York

Watch On The Rhine started as a Broadway play by Lillian Hellman who wrote the film and saw it open on Broadway at a time when the Soviet Union was still bound to Nazi Germany by that infamous non-aggression pact signed in August of 1939. So much for the fact that Hellman was merely echoing the Communist party line, the line didn't change until a couple of months later. Lillian was actually months ahead of her time with this work.

The play Watch On The Rhine ran from April 1941 to February 1942 for 378 performances and five players came over from Broadway to repeat their roles Frank Wilson as the butler, Eric Roberts as the youngest son, Lucile Watson as the family matriarch and most importantly villain George Coulouris and Paul Lukas.

Lukas pulled an award hat trick in 1943 winning an Oscar, a Golden Globe, and the New York Film Critics for Best Actor. Probably if the Tony Awards had been in existence then he would have won that as well. The Oscar is even more remarkable when you consider who he was up against, Humphrey Bogart for Casablanca, Gary Cooper in For Whom The Bell Tolls, Mickey Rooney in The Human Comedy, and Walter Pidgeon for Madame Curie. Every one of his competitors was a bigger box office movie name than he was. Lukas's nomination is usually the kind the Academy gives to round out a field.

Jack Warner knew that which is why Mady Christians did not repeat her Broadway part and the role of Lukas's wife was given to Bette Davis. Davis took the part not because this was an especially showy role for her, but because she believed in the picture and just wanted to be associated with it. It's the same reason she did The Man Who Came To Dinner, a much lighter play than this one.

Davis is the daughter of a late American Supreme Court Justice who married a German national back in the Weimar days. After many years of being vagabonds on the continent of Europe, Davis Lukas, and their three children come to America which has not yet entered the European War. They're made welcome by Lucile Watson who is thrilled naturally at finally meeting her grandchildren.

The fly in this ointment are some other house guests, a friend of Davis's from bygone days Geraldine Fitzgerald and her husband who is also from Europe, a Rumanian diplomat and aristocrat George Coulouris. Coulouris is a wastrel and a spendthrift and he smells an opportunity for double dealing when he suspects Lukas's anti-fascist background.

His suspicions are quite correct, it's the reason that the family has been the vagabonds they've become. Lukas fought in Spain on the Republican side and was wounded there. His health has not been the same since. His family loyally supports him in whatever decision he makes. Those decisions affect all the other members of the cast.

Adding quite a bit more to the Broadway play including some lovely fascist creatures was Dashiell Hammett who was Lillian Hellman's significant other. Coulouris playing cards at the German embassy was a Hammett creation with such loathsome types as Henry Daniell, Kurt Katch, Clyde Fillmore, Erwin Kalser and Rudolph Anders.

Coulouris is truly one of the most despicable characters ever brought to screen as the no account Runmanian count. He was a metaphor for his own country who embraced the Nazis with gusto and then equally repudiated them without losing a step after Stalingrad.

Lucile Watson was up for Best Supporting Actress in 1943, but lost to Katina Paxinou in For Whom The Bell Tolls. Dashiell Hammett was nominated for best adapted screenplay and the film itself lost for Best Picture to that other anti-fascist classic, Casablanca.

Though it's an item firmly planted in those specific times, Watch On The Rhine still packs a stern anti-fascist message that bears repeating infinitely.

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