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

User Rating:
7.5/10   2,275 votes »
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Up 7% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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:
Lillian Hellman's World War II View 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:
Pre-production on the film had to be halted whilst writer Dashiell Hammett recovered from a bad back. By the time he was able to resume work some months later, the production of Now, Voyager (1942) had concluded and Bette Davis was now available.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: During the breakfast scene between Beulah Bondi and Lucile Watson, Watson's hair keeps changing between medium and close shots (from behind): It is much flatter in the scenes shot close.See more »
Quotes:
Fanny Farrelly:Because it's Anise's birthday, I shall go and buy presents for everybody. We always do that here. It started because I don't like not getting presents on other people's birthday.See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
America, My Country 'Tis of TheeSee more »

FAQ

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20 out of 26 people found the following review useful.
Lillian Hellman's World War II View, 30 April 2005
Author: theowinthrop from United States

Many of the criticisms on this thread seem to pick a comparison of this film with "The Mortal Storm" or "Casablanca". Everyone is entitled to compare films they choose, but the similarities of "The Mortal Storm" and "Watch On The Rhine" are clearly the problems of refugees threatened by the Nazi juggernaut, while the main comparative point brought out with "Casablanca" is the seeming unjust treatment of Humphrey Bogart in 1943 by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science, because they chose Paul Lukas instead for the Best Actor Oscar. It does not strike me as totally wrong. Lukas had a good career in film (both here and in England - he is the villain in "The Lady Vanishes"), and this performance was his best one. Bogart had more great performances in him than Rick Blaine (for instance, he was ignored for Sam Spade in "The Maltese Falcon" and Roy Earle in "High Sierra" two years earlier, both of which were first rate performances, and he would not get an Oscar for his greatest performances as Fred C. Dobbs in "The Treasure Of Sierra Madres", the writer/murder suspect in "In A Lonely Place", and Captain Philip Francis Queeg in "The Caine Mutiny" afterward - he got it for Charley in "The African Queen"). I think that Bogie should have got it for the role of Dobbs, but it did not happen. But Lukas was lucky - he got it on the defining performance of his lesser career. Few can claim that.

To me the film to look at with "Watch On The Rhine" is based on another play/script by Hellman, "The Searching Wind". They both look at America's spirit of isolationism in the 1920s and 1930s. "The Searching Wind" is really looking at the whole inter-war period, while "Watch On The Rhine", set in the years just proceeding our entry into World War II, deals with a few weeks of time. Therefore it is better constructed as a play, and more meaningful for it's impact.

The film has many good performances, led by Lukas as the exhausted but determined anti-Nazi fighter/courier, Davis as his loyal wife (wisely keeping her character as low keyed as possible due to Lukas being the center of the play's activities), Coulouris as the selfish, conniving, but ultimately foolish and ineffective Teck, Lucille Watson as the mother of Davis and Geraldine Fitzgerald (as Coulouris' wiser and sadder and fed up wife), and Kurt Katch, who delivers a devastating critique (as the local embassy's Gestapo chief) about Coulouris and others who would deal with the Nazis. It has dialog with bite in it. And what it says is quite true. It also has moments of near poetry. Witness the scene, towards the end, when Coulouris is left alone with Lukas and Davis, and says, "The New World has left the scene to the Old World". Hellman could write very well at times.

Given the strength of the film script and performances I would rate this film highly among World War II films.

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