After a Nazi German working class couple loses their son in World War II, they decide to retaliate by secretly leafletting handwritten cards in Berlin denouncing their government.


Vincent Perez


Achim von Borries (screenplay), Vincent Perez (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
3 nominations. See more awards »





Credited cast:
Daniel Brühl ... Escherich
Brendan Gleeson ... Otto Quangel
Emma Thompson ... Anna Quangel
Mikael Persbrandt ... SS Officer Prall
Louis Hofmann ... Hans Quangel
Katharina Schüttler ... Claire Gehrich
Jacob Matschenz ... Dietrich Necker
Godehard Giese ... Colonel Krüger
Rafael Gareisen ... Herbert Wegner
Uwe Preuss ... Persicke
Monique Chaumette ... Frau Rosenthal
Lars Rudolph ... Enno Kluge
Holger Handtke ... Dollfuss
Daniel Sträßer Daniel Sträßer ... Zott (as Daniel Strässer)
Katharina Abt ... Flower Shop lady I. Schneider


In 1940, German soldier Hans Quangel (Louis Hofmann) is killed in action during the French campaign. His parents, Otto (Brendan Gleeson) and Anna (Dame Emma Thompson), are devastated by the loss and their bereavement is unmollified by the joyful hysteria at Germany's victory. Deciding that Führer Adolf Hitler and his Nazi regime are responsible for this tragedy and much more, Otto cannot stand by any longer. As such, Otto begins to create handwritten cards denouncing the regime's abuses and lies, which he secretly deposits throughout Berlin while a disillusioned Anna insists on helping him. As the subversive cards pile up over the years, Police Detective Escherich (Daniel Brühl) is tasked to track down the leafleteer while being pressured by his increasingly impatient S.S. superior for an arrest for this "treason", regardless of actual guilt. As the stakes rise even as Nazi Germany's day of reckoning approaches, Otto and Anna are determined to spread the truth regardless of the odds, ... Written by Kenneth Chisholm (

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Based on the novel, inspired by a true story. See more »


Drama | History | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for brief violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Based on the novel "Jeder stirbt für sich allein" (Every Man Dies Alone) by Hans Fallada. The novel was allegedly based on Gestapo files to which Fallada was given access. See more »


Otto Quangel: Sometimes I feel the danger - as if it was so physical. I actually feel it.
Anna Quangel: Please, don't frighten me.
See more »


Version of Everyone Dies Alone (1976) See more »

User Reviews

Moving but not depressing. A masterclass in acting from a stellar ensemble cast.
2 March 2017 | by TushpiSee all my reviews

Having come close to losing a son in Afghanistan I could entirely relate to the despair and cold anger at the lies and injustice, the central characters felt. I was overwhelmed with emotion and the movie stayed with me for days.

Both Emma Thompson and Brendan Gleeson turn in outstanding performances, as do a number of the supporting cast members. The film allows a window into the fear, shame, and hopelessness the German people must have felt, as the war progressed and the true reality of the impacts of allowing rampant thuggery, cruelty and bigotry into power, was revealed. Parallels perhaps to certain events going on in the world today?

Brendan Gleeson is an outstanding actor who depicts ' everyman' with authenticity. This movie being a case in point. Without any histrionics this movie delivers. The ending was unanticipated and well crafted. The fact that it is a true story only adds to its power. Highly recommended.

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UK | France | Germany



Release Date:

13 January 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Alone in Berlin See more »

Filming Locations:

Görlitz, Saxony, Germany See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,869, 15 January 2017

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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