7.5/10
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61 user 38 critic

Hangmen Also Die! (1943)

Passed | | Drama, Film-Noir, Thriller | April 1943 (USA)
After the Nazi administrator of Czechoslovakia is shot, his assassin tries to elude the Gestapo and struggles with his impulse to give himself up as hostages are executed.

Director:

Fritz Lang

Writers:

Bertolt Brecht (adaptation) (as Bert Brecht), Fritz Lang (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Brian Donlevy ... Dr. Franticek Svoboda / Karel Vanek
Walter Brennan ... Prof. Stephen Novotny
Anna Lee ... Masha Novotny
Gene Lockhart ... Emil Czaka
Dennis O'Keefe ... Jan Horak
Margaret Wycherly ... Ludmilla Novotny
Nana Bryant ... Mrs. Hellie Novotny
William Roy William Roy ... Beda Novotny (as Billy Roy)
Hans Heinrich von Twardowski ... Reinhard Heydrich (as H. H v. Twardowski)
Alexander Granach ... Gestapo Insp. Alois Gruber
Tonio Selwart Tonio Selwart ... Chief of Gestapo Kurt Haas
Jonathan Hale ... Dedic
Lionel Stander ... Banya
Sarah Padden ... Mrs. Georgia Dvorak
Edmund MacDonald ... Dr. Pillar
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Storyline

On May 27, 1942 the Nazi Reichsprotector of Bohemia/Moravia, the "Hangman" Reinhard Heydrich, died from the bullets of unidentified resistance fighters. Hangmen Also Die is the story of Heydrich's assassination in fictionalized form. It was Bertolt Brecht's only comparatively successful Hollywood project; the money he received allowed him to write "The Visions of Simone Marchand", "Schwyk in the Second World War" and his adaptation of Webster's "The Duchess of Malfi". Hanns Eisler won an Academy Award for his musical score. Written by J.Arnold Free <arnold@mayahtt.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Shocking! Unbelievable! Hangmen Also Die! See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The assassination of Reinhard Heydrich has been the subject of at least five other films: The Man with the Iron Heart (2017), 2017; Anthropoid (2016), 2016; Opus Pro Smrtihlava (1984), 1984 (a documentary); Operation: Daybreak (1975), 1975; and The Assassination (1965), 1965. Heydrich also is the lead character in Conspiracy (2001), in which he is played by Kenneth Branagh. See more »

Goofs

When Ms. Novotny is being driven in the hansom cab to the Gestapo, there is a shot of the traffic in Prague with people driving on the left. When the Nazis took over in '39, they ordered everyone to drive on the right (as they did in Austria the year before). See more »

Quotes

Dr. Franticek Svoboda: Dedric, what about the taxi driver?
Dedic: Jumped out of a window at the Gestapo. They'll get nothing from him.
Dr. Franticek Svoboda: I never met him. I wish I did.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end of the film reads "NOT The End". See more »

Connections

Referenced in Contempt (1963) See more »

Soundtracks

Vltava
(The Moldau) (uncredited)
From "Má vlast (My Country)"
Music by Bedrich Smetana
Played in the movie theater
Also played on the radio during dinner
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User Reviews

 
Fabulous for the time--right smack in the middle of it all
5 December 2010 | by secondtakeSee all my reviews

Hangmen Also Die! (1943)

The best part of this movie is knowing it was made right in the middle of the war, not in some recreation of the events. It's a little hyperbolic, for sure, but really well acted (both the Nazis and the Czechs), and it ends up being a battle of wits and tricks between the two sides.

Fritz Lang was a refuge from Nazi Europe and made this in Hollywood, with an expected sensibility for the cruelties and barbarism of the occupying nasties. And they probably were this nasty--worse, in truth, though less comically so, as the movie sometimes pushes it a bit. Still, really enjoyable, in all. Yet, somehow, it was long. The twists from one scene to another started to sound familiar, and the tension was sustained rather than invigorated, if that makes any sense.

Brian Donlevy is the leading good guy here, and he's always a little less than compelling, though he is not in most of the scenes so I suppose that's fine. The double-crosser was played by Gene Lockhart, whose presence grows as the movie gets on, and by the end he's really pretty amazing (far beyond the caricature of, say, the judge he played in "Miracle on 34th Street"). Walter Brennan makes an appearance, recognizable mostly by his voice. Two of the Nazi higher-ups were terrific, both the Pilsner guzzling brute and the slightly comical but scary gestapo head.

Lang is no fool, and he makes this movie not only a pleasure, but an important tool to remind viewers to be involved, to realize that you can fight oppression, even Nazi oppression, with enough wits and sacrifice.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

April 1943 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

No Surrender See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Turner library print) | (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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