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Mother Night (1996)

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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.



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



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Reverend Dr. Lionel Jones
Anna Berger ...
Epstein's Mother
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


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) »


Be careful what you pretend to be. See more »


Drama | Romance | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



| |

Release Date:

1 November 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Confessione finale  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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


$392,362 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film is based on a story by Kurt Vonnegut. Director Keith Gordon previously starred in Back to School, in which the actual Vonnegut had a brief appearance. See more »


[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 »


Featured in The Makings of You (2014) See more »


Andante Con Variazioni
from "Violin Sonata No. 9 in A, Op. 47"
Written by Ludwig van Beethoven (as Ludwig Von Beethoven)
Courtesy of Chandos Records Ltd. and Koch International L.P.
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User Reviews

22 April 1999 | by (San Francisco) – See all my reviews

After viewing this film I tried to put my finger on what I truly appreciated about it and found its RESTRAINT to be what captivated me the most. Nolte, not noted for restraint, was amazing in his role as Campbell. His bewilderment, resignation and acceptance of his situation came through with well-crafted acting. The love scenes were remarkably tender. Nolte's responses to the surprises and twists fit the character perfectly. Watch for Vonnegut's cameo!

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

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The Ending? An explanation... tortexturtle
Black Nazi??? RogerN04
Fans of Vonnegut literature greggveka
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Why go back to his old name? aarond23
Fact-based movie? authorkeqm
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