7.2/10
4,198
51 user 29 critic

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.

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

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
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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
...
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:

Be careful what you pretend to be. 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)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The scene where Nick Nolte points a Luger pistol towards his mouth thinking about suicide, the toggle on top of the pistol was up and not flat. The pistol would not have fired this way. The toggle would have to be down or flat. 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

Features Triumph of the Will (1935) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
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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