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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 3,940 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 more »

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

White Christmas
Written by Irving Berlin
Performed by Bing Crosby
Courtesy of MCA Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Underappreciated Masterpiece
29 November 1999 | by (North Thailand) – See all my reviews

As Alan Rudolph's "Breakfast of Champions" slides into theaters with little fanfare and much derision it makes me think back to 1996 when Keith Gordon's "Mother Night" came out. Now for all the talk of Kurt Vonnegut being "unfilmable" it's surprising that he has gotten two superb cinematic treatments (the other being "Slaughter-house Five"). "Mother Night" is certainly one of the most underappreciated films of the decade and I cannot understand why. It's brilliant! It stays almost entirely faithful to Vonnegut's book (without being stilted or overly literary) and adds to it a poetry that is purely cinematic. How many film adaptations of any author's work can claim that? Vonnegut himself even puts in a cameo appearance towards the end of the film, and can you ask for a better endorsement than that? Not only is it a beautiful film, it is a beautifully acted, written and directed film and it is among my picks for the top five or so American films of the 1990s. It's a mournful, inspired, surreal masterpiece that does not deserve to be neglected. I would sincerely encourage anyone to see "Mother Night" - it doesn't even take a familiarity with Vonnegut's work to fully appreciate it (as "Slaughter-house Five" sometimes does). It is a powerful, affecting piece of cinema.


35 of 38 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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