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When Hell Broke Loose (1958)

Approved | | War, Drama | 1 November 1958 (USA)
In 1945, a GI falls in-love with a German woman while elite German troops, in U.S.uniforms, carry out sabotage and assassinations behind American lines.



(written for the screen by), (based upon factual articles by)
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Cast overview:
Steve Boland
Violet Rensing ...
Eddie Foy III ...
Arvid Nelson ...
Anne Wakefield ...
Joley Marino ...
Dennis McCarthy ...
Capt. Melton
Capt. Grayson (as Robert J. Stevenson)
Kathy Carlyle ...


Near the end of the war in Germany, GI Steve Boland, a self-described "sharp-operator", meets a German girl, Ilsa, and they fall in love. Ilsa's brother Karl, whom she has not seen in three years, and his fellow-Nazi Ludwig visit Ilsa. Karl proudly informs her that he and Ludwig are "Werewolves", a group of Nazi assassins parachuted behind Allied lines for the purpose of killing Allied High Command officers. She and Steve go to Army Intelligence with their information, where Steve is immediately arrested for being A.W.O.L. Captain Melton of Army G-2 intervenes on Steve's behalf, as G-2 has had a suspicion about the existence of the "Werewolves" but no concrete info before now. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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THE MOST FANTASTIC PLOT OF WORLD WAR TWO! Women were their pawns...fanatics in GI uniforms their weapons--- See more »


War | Drama


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

1 November 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cuando hierve el infierno  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Sound Mix:


(archive footage)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Charles Bronson is given an "Introducing" credit at the beginning of the film, even though this picture was made in 1958 and Bronson had been making films since 1951. See more »


The Wehrmacht soldiers of the German Army were shown wearing WWI helmets instead of the proper M1942 steel helmets. See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: Except as to General Dwight D. Eisenhower, his staff, and the factual background taken from Periodic Report #262 of the Twelfth Corps, all characters and events depicted in this photoplay are fictional, Any similarity to other actual persons living or dead is purely coincidental. See more »

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User Reviews

For Bronson Fans Mainly
13 July 2012 | by See all my reviews

When Hell Breaks Loose (1958)

** (out of 4)

Routine, low-budget WWII drama start off the day Pearl Harbor is bombed and we see con man Steve Boland (Charles Bronson) pretty much turn the other way not caring about his country. He eventually gets busted for a crime and is forced to join the service where he finds himself getting into more trouble for not caring about what he's doing. All of that changes when he falls for a woman (Violet Rensing) whose brother is working for the Germans in an attempt to kill General Eisenhower. WHEN HELL BREAKS LOOSE is about as standard a "B" movie can be when it comes to WWII. Instead of any real action scenes we're basically given a few small items where soldiers shoot guns while the "big" stuff is replaced by a bunch of stock footage from earlier movies and/or newsreels. This here obviously gives the film an extremely fake look and it's nearly impossible to ever feel like you're really in the middle of a war. Another problem is that the story itself is just so silly and predictable where you never can connect with any of the characters. The lead guy is made to be such a jerk that you really can't help but laugh in disbelief and especially during the opening where he pretty much doesn't blink an eye to Pearl Harbor getting attacked. Another problem is that there's really no sort of character development so when Bronson's character goes from a jerk to a hero overnight, it's simply not believable. Don't even get me started on the so-called love story. With all of that said, the film remains slightly entertaining if you're a fan of "B" movies and especially if you're a fan of Bronson. The star actually gives a pretty good performance considering what he had to work with. I didn't totally buy him as the con man but when it came time for him to fight and push people around, it's easy to see why studio people put him in movies. Bronson's appeal is going to be the main reason to check this film out. Getting to see him in such an early role will keep people entertained.

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