7.2/10
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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.

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Writers:

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

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
...
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:

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:

$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

Lieutenant Bernard O'Hare, when he captures Campbell, is not wearing the regulation M1 helmet of WW2 vintage, nor are the two U.S. soldiers who drive Campbell away from the concentration camp. Rather, they appear to be wearing the British paratrooper type-3 helmet, which, interestingly, was adopted by the Israeli Defense Forces in the late 1940's and '50's. 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 Staatsorchester Stuttgart,
Dennis Russell Davies conductor
ECM New Series 1275
Courtesy of ECM Records
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 only perfect book to film adaptation
28 November 1999 | by See all my reviews

Mother Night is one of my favorite novels and going to see this I was expecting a huge disappointment. Instead I got a film that perfectly portrays the irony, humor, elequence, and above all else the crushing sadness of Vonnegut's novel.

This is certainly Nolte's best preformance to date. He captures the defeat and selfloathing of Howard Cambell Jr. consistently from the subtle intonations of his speech to the held back tears behind his eyes.

Alan Arkin is absolutly hilarious as George Kraft. Sherryl Lee is haunting in her detachment from reality as Cambell's young lover. John Goodman is understated and more than effective as Cambell's "Blue Fairy Godmother."

This Pinnocioesque story of Cambell trying to be his own ideal hero and unwittingly becoming his ideal tragic villian is a mature and vivid look into what we are as people. And aside from that, it is one of the most deeply romantic films I have ever come across. Cambell is the incarnation of both foolish and wise love. And at the films sastifyingly painful conclusion, he finally learns what it means to be a real boy as his Blue Fairy Godmother grants him his wish. And he realizes that...well, watch the movie and you'll see.

Mother Night is without a doubt in my mind one of the best films ever made. It is a beautiful poetic story that digs deep within our emotions and is completely faithful to its original author.


5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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