Story about three German refugees during World War II who are always hiding, always in fear of deportation.Story about three German refugees during World War II who are always hiding, always in fear of deportation.Story about three German refugees during World War II who are always hiding, always in fear of deportation.
A Brave, "Prematurely Anti-Fascist", Film
The mind-numbing horror of Fascism in Germany was bad enough, even before the ultimate horror of the Holocaust was eventually made known, and "So Ends Our Night" was an extremely brave attempt in 1941 to bring home to the people of the USA, (before they entered WW2), the extent of repression and State-sanctioned bigotry that Nazi Germany had imposed on its people from the 30s onwards. Set within the context of a conventional Hollywood drama, it nevertheless pulled few punches and showed how tyrannical governments subject their people by gradually increasing degrees, and how freedom is eroded rather than outlawed overnight. Seeing it with post-Holocaust eyes makes its warning that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance, even more powerful and cogent, and it is a film that also manages to show that it is not governments that "bestow" freedom, but the determination and will of people themselves to maintain it. Well directed by John Cromwell, and with excellent performances from Frederic March and Margaret Sullivan, (who particularly seems to infuse her performance with genuine conviction), with welcome appearances from Anna Sten (a much better actress than has ever been fully recognised), and Erich von Stroheim, as well as a very young Glenn Ford. Although seldom remembered nowadays, this is a film that is well worth seeking out, and I don't think you will be disappointed if you do so. Highly recommended, and long overdue for critical rehabilitation.
- Dave Godin
- Sep 30, 1999
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