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Night and Fog (1956)

Nuit et brouillard (original title)
The history of Nazi Germany's death camps of the Final Solution and the hellish world of dehumanization and death contained inside.


Alain Resnais


Jean Cayrol (commentary)
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Uncredited cast:
Michel Bouquet ... Narrator (voice) (uncredited)
Reinhard Heydrich ... Self (archive footage) (uncredited)
Heinrich Himmler ... Self (archive footage) (uncredited)
Adolf Hitler ... Self (archive footage) (uncredited)
Julius Streicher Julius Streicher ... Self (archive footage) (uncredited)


One of the most vivid depictions of the horrors of Nazi Concentration Camps. Filmed in 1955 at several concentration camps in Poland, the film combines new color and black and white footage with black and white newsreels, footage shot by the victorious allies, and stills, to tell the story not only of the camps, but to portray the horror of man's brutal inhumanity. Written by Bill Randolph <wlrlogos@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Alain Resnais was reluctant to take on the Holocaust documentary until Holocaust survivor Jean Cayrol joined in the project. See more »


In the film a popular myth about the Third Reich is presented as fact: The claim that the body fat of prisoners in extermination camps was used to produce soap. Though evidence does exist of small-scale soap production, possibly experimental, in the camp at Stutthof concentration camp near Danzig/Gdansk, mainstream scholars of the Holocaust consider the idea that the Nazis manufactured soap on an industrial scale to be part of World War II folklore. See more »


[first lines]
Narrator: Even a peaceful landscape... even a meadow in harvest with flights of crows and grass fires... even a road for cars and peasants and couples... even a resort village with marketplace and steeple... can lead to a concentration camp.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Before its original release, there was a still of a French gendarme (policeman) watching a roundup at Pithiviers. He is easily recognizable by the characteristic French "kepi." Wanting to deny complicity, French censors insisted this shot not be allowed, so for its original release, the image was altered so that a wooden beam covered the gendarme and his kepi. In 1997 or 98, the original version of the film was re-released in France, finally revealing the gendarme. The original American release of the film did not translate all the dialogue for the subtitles, in particular leaving out one of the two references to Jews: "Annette, from Bordeaux." Subsequent releases restored the original text: "Annette, a Jew from Bordeaux." See more »


Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Holocaust Films (2014) See more »

User Reviews

"Night and Fog" - A Prophetic Statement
27 February 2004 | by dollins22See all my reviews

I stared at the wall for what seemed an hour. Time meant little to me. After watching Alain Resnais' 1955 Holocaust film, "Night and Fog," I struggled to remove my mind from Auschwitz. Images of death echoed in my head. Bits of poetic narration played over and over. "Who is responsible?"

I came about this film by accident. I am an English teacher, and currently my students are reading Elie Wiesel's Nobel Prize winning memoir, "Night." Looking for a visual connection to the piece, I came across "Night and Fog." At 31 minutes, it appeared the perfect video complement to that devastating book. After watching the film in my dark, empty classroom, I realized the film offered so much more.

In a culture where violence and images of death are glamorized, "Night and Fog" serves a unique purpose. It cuts through the desensitized soul and puts us face-to-face with true, unadulterated evil. While many might suggest this is overkill, occasionally we need to do this if only to remind ourselves of man's potential to perpetrate the abominations this film so cruelly unveils. We need to force ourselves to confront such forces, if only to ensure the film's prophetic final lines do not become a reality. "Who is on the lookout...to warn us of the coming of new executioners? Are their faces really different from our own?"

This is the question which consumed me as I stared seemingly forever at the wall after the film ended. This is the question I want my students to ask. After much deliberation, I decided to show it, not as a history lesson, but as a moral lesson in the nature of evil. Great films get a strong reaction. Resnais' film is one of the greats.

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Release Date:

January 1956 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Night and Fog See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Argos Films See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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