7.5/10
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9 user 10 critic

The Devil Strikes at Night (1957)

Nachts, wenn der Teufel kam (original title)
A serial killer strikes again during WWII in Germany. The wrong man is arrested and a detective hunts down the real killer. But justice in Nazi Germany is not so easily administered.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 12 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Claus Holm ...
Kriminalkommissar Axel Kersten
Annemarie Düringer ...
Helga Hornung
Mario Adorf ...
Bruno Luedke
Hannes Messemer ...
SS-Gruppenfuehrer Rossdorf
Carl Lange ...
Major Thomas Wollenberg
Werner Peters ...
Willi Keun
Walter Janssen ...
Kriminalrat Boehm
Peter Carsten ...
Mollwitz
Wilmut Borell ...
SS-Sturmfuehrer Heinrich, Rossdorf's aide
Monika John ...
Lucy Hansen, Kellnerin
Rose Schäfer ...
Anna Hohmann
Lukas Ammann ...
Pflichtverteidiger von Keun
Karl-Heinz Peters ...
Hauswart
Heinz Beck ...
Revierwachtmeister
Christa Nielsen ...
Schlampilein
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Storyline

A serial killer strikes again during WWII in Germany. The wrong man is arrested and a detective hunts down the real killer. But justice in Nazi Germany is not so easily administered.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

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Release Date:

19 September 1957 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

The Devil Strikes at Night  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Klangfilm Eurocord)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Serial Killer - Nazis - Same Thing!
14 March 2016 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Nachts, wenn der Teufel kam is directed by Robert Siodmak and written by Will Berthold (article) and Werner Jörg Lüddecke. It stars Claus Holm, Annemarie Düringer, Mario Adorf, Hannes Messemer, Carl Lange and Werner Peters. Music is by Siegfried Franz and cinematography by Georg Krause.

A serial killer is terrorising Hamburg, Germany, during World War II. When the local police struggle to catch him, the Gestapo are brought in to crack the case.

The basis for the story is that of real life serial killer Bruno Lüdke, here played by Adorf. Yet this is only a side-bar to the actuality of Siodmak's film, for it's a clinical deconstruction of Nazi Germany at the time, a look at the final throes of that regime. It shows how the corrupt powers would do anything to not make their government look bad, with orders even coming from Adolf himself! It's all very fascinating and potent, and well performed. There's some nice visual touches via the night sequences, though you reasonably expect to have more from Siodmak, a fine purveyor of expressionism and noir chiaroscuro. There's some contrivances and a couple of badly staged action sequences, but this remains a tough political drama with mystery shadings. 8/10


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