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Mother Night (1996)

 -  Drama | Romance | War  -  1 November 1996 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 3,988 users  
Reviews: 49 user | 28 critic

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), (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Bernard Behrens ...
Reverend Dr. Lionel Jones
Anna Berger ...
Epstein's Mother
...
Dr. Abraham Epstein
Norman Rodway ...
Werner Noth
...
Robert Sterling Wilson
...
Father Patrick Keeley
...
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 (191) »

Taglines:

The truth is more shocking than the uniform he wears... HE WAS AN AMERICAN SPY. 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:

| |

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:

$363,905 (USA) (6 December 1996)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Kurt Vonnegut Jr.:  Towards the end of the film when Campbell (Nick Nolte) stands frozen in the street one of the people who pass by him in slow motion is the author of the book the film is based on (the man with a mustache in a beige suit and a blue shirt with a tie.) 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.
See more »

Connections

References Twin Peaks: Pilot (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten
Composed by Arvo Pärt
Performed by Bournemouth Sinfonetta, Richard Studt, director
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
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The sadness and humor of Vonnegut translates to film? Amazing.
13 March 1999 | by (Eastern USA) – See all my reviews

I haven't read this book, but all through the movie I was awestruck with only one thought in my head: This is so Vonnegut. I have never seen an author, all of the intelligence and life behind the workings of a novel, translated so well to film. This movie had the same complexities found in Vonnegut's novels: the jokes were often meaningful and symbolic, and the dramatic events and symbols were often also jokes.

Campbell was also a very Vonnegut character, portrayed perfectly by Nick Nolte. He had all of the earmarks of a Vonnegut "hero": lack of concern for political boundaries, ironic dark humor giving way to dumb inactivity in response to stress, and an unwillingness to push his version of reality on those around him.

Overall, I was constantly surprised and impressed as I watched this movie. It was the same feeling I had reading "Cat's Cradle," my first Vonnegut novel, as if the most perfectly oddball thing that could happen, he thought of THAT, and he made it real and important. Yes, he has nothing but army surplus "White Christmas" albums. So it goes!


16 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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