6.9/10
394
12 user 6 critic

Address Unknown (1944)

Approved | | Drama | 1 June 1944 (USA)
US art dealer returns to his native Germany for a visit and is attracted by Nazi propaganda.

Writers:

Herbert Dalmas (screenplay), Kressmann Taylor (from the story by)
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Lukas ... Martin Schulz
Carl Esmond ... Baron von Friesche
Peter van Eyck ... Heinrich Schulz (as Peter Van Eyck)
Mady Christians ... Elsa Schulz
Morris Carnovsky ... Max Eisenstein
K.T. Stevens ... Griselle Eisenstein aka Griselle Stone
Emory Parnell ... Postman
Mary Young ... Mrs. Delaney
Frank Faylen ... Jimmie Blake
Charles Halton ... Censorial Pipsqueak
Erwin Kalser Erwin Kalser ... Stage Director
Frank Reicher ... Professor Schmidt
Dale Cornell Dale Cornell ... Carl Schulz
Peter Newmeyer Peter Newmeyer ... Wilhelm Schulz
Larry Olsen ... Youngest Schulz Boy (as Larry Joe Olsen)
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Storyline

Martin Schulz (Paul Lukas), a German/American art dealer, returns to Germany at the outbreak of World War Two, adopts the Nazi propaganda philosophy, refuses to protect the Jewish fiancee, Griselle Eisenstein (K.T. Stevens), of his son Heinrich Schulz (Peter Van Eyck), who has stayed in America to run the family business - and ultimately falls victim to the Gestapo himself. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

To the millions who were shocked when they read it! This picture if the fulfillment of your every expectation! (original prints ads) See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 June 1944 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Domicilio desconocido See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Opening credits: The characters and incidents portrayed and the names used herein are fictitious and any similarity to the name, character or history of any person is entirely accidental and unintentional. See more »

Goofs

In the opening scene Paul Lukas's character Martin Schulz is toasting to San Francisco as he is leaving soon; one can see they are standing in front of a picture that cuts off, and does not go all the way to the top of the screen. See more »

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User Reviews

 
One for the address book
1 May 2014 | by tomsviewSee all my reviews

This is a fascinating movie on a number of levels.

For anyone who loves the look of films such as "Citizen Kane' or film noir, there is plenty to offer here. The director, William Cameron Menzies, was also a brilliant art director and he went to town on this picture. Just look at the camera work; he and his crew must have shot half the film from a pit in the floor judging from the dramatic angles.

The film is set a few years before WW2. Martin Schulz (Paul Lucas) and Max Eisenstein (Morris Carnovsky) run a successful art gallery in San Francisco, Both are German immigrants and are close friends. Martin's son, Heinrich, (Peter Van Eyck) who also works in the gallery, plans to marry Giselle Eisenstein, Max's daughter (K.T. Stevens). Max is due to return to Germany with his wife, Elsa (Mady Christians), to expedite the buying for the gallery. At the last minute, Giselle breaks off her engagement to Heinrich, and also decides to go to Germany to further her acting career.

In Germany, Martin communicates with Max and Heinrich back at the gallery by mail; through his letters they sense that Martin is falling under the spell of the Nazis. Eventually this hurts Martin's relationship with Max, who is a Jew.

Martin's seduction by the Nazis, and the advantages they offer has similarities to John Halder, Viggo Mortensen's character in the more recent "Good". Both are weak men who are easily led, and both turn their backs on a Jewish friend.

Much of the plot of "Address Unknown" hangs on the letters that go backward and forward between San Francisco and Germany. As the film goes on, we learn how powerful these communications are, especially with the Nazi censors involved.

Giselle's Jewish background puts her in jeopardy when she appears in a play. Interestingly, the lines she speaks, which offend the Nazi censors, are actually the words of Jesus from the "Book of Matthew".

"Address Unknown" has a couple of scenes that really hit home, with one that would have done Val Lewton proud, and has an ending with a twist worthy of an episode of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents".

Although heavily stylised, the film highlights the persecution of the Jews in Nazi Germany, but "Address Unknown" was made in 1944, and the war didn't end until 1945. Films made during WW2, give an insight into what was influencing audiences at the time. Although the full extent of what had been going on in Germany didn't come to light until after the war, "Address Unknown" shows that the plight of the Jews before and during the war was far from a complete mystery.

The film is more restrained than some of the more strident films made during WW2, and it's somewhat abstract quality has prevented it dating all that much.


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