7.2/10
4,304
51 user 28 critic

Mother Night (1996)

An American spy behind the lines during WWII serves as a Nazi propagandist, a role he cannot escape in his future life as he can never reveal his real role in the war.

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(novel) (as Kurt Vonnegut), (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Reverend Dr. Lionel Jones
Anna Berger ...
Epstein's Mother
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Dr. Abraham Epstein
Norman Rodway ...
Werner Noth
...
Robert Sterling Wilson
...
Father Patrick Keeley
Vlasta Vrana ...
August Krapptauer
...
...
Anthony J. Robinow ...
Prison Warden
Michael McGill ...
Prison Official
Shimon Aviel ...
Guard Bernard Liebman
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Storyline

Howard W. Campbell, Jr., an American expatriate playwright, Nazi radio propagandist, and Allied spy, writes his memoirs during his pre-trial confinement in 1961 Haifa and learns that people are what they pretend to be. Written by Erik Gregersen <erik@astro.as.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

american | spy | germany | nazi | neo nazi | See All (189) »

Taglines:

Howard W. Campbell, Jr., is the most patriotic American in the Third Reich. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for a scene of sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

1 November 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Confessione finale  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$48,661 (USA) (1 November 1996)

Gross:

$392,362 (USA)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The character Howard W. Campbell Jr. is used by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. in the novel Slaughterhouse Five, and makes an appearance in the movie of the same name, although in reference to a part of Campbell's life not included in the film version of Mother Night. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Prison Warden: Do you prefer German or English?
Howard W. Campbell Jr.: English.
Prison Warden: You are to write down your memoirs for the Haifa Institute For The Documentation of War Criminals. You have three weeks to complete your memoirs before your trial begins. Do you have any questions?
Howard W. Campbell Jr.: No, this is great. Thanks for everything.
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Connections

Follows Slaughterhouse-Five (1972) See more »

Soundtracks

Spiegel Im Spiegel
Composed by Arvo Pärt
Performed by Tasmin Little and Martin Roscoe
Courtesy of EMI Classics
Under license from EMI-Capitol Music Special Markets
Used by arrangement with European America Music Dist. Corp., Agent for Universal Edition Vienna,
publisher and copyright holder
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User Reviews

 
Sometimes oversentimental, but overall very good
25 May 2003 | by (Birmingham, England) – See all my reviews

I haven't yet read the Kurt Vonnegut book this was adapted from, but I am familiar with some of his other work and was interested to see how it would be translated to the screen. Overall, I think this is a very successful adaptation of one of Vonnegut's novels. It concerns the story of an American living in Germany who is recruited as a spy for the US. His job is to ingratiate himself with high ranked Nazi's and send secret messages to the American's via his weekly radio show. But when the war ends he is denounced as a war criminal but escapes to New York, where various odd plot twists await.

If Mother Night has a problem it's that it tends to get a little too sentimental at times. But for most of the film the schmaltz is kept to a minimum and the very strange plot is carried through with skill and aplomb. And there are some fabulous moments of black comedy involving three right wing Christian fundamentalists and a very highly ranked Nazi in a prison cell. Very much recommended.


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