38 user 76 critic

Alone in Berlin (2016)

R | | Drama | 13 January 2017 (USA)
2:15 | Trailer

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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:
Mikael Persbrandt ... SS Officer Prall
Emma Thompson ... Anna Quangel
Daniel Brühl ... Escherich
Brendan Gleeson ... Otto Quangel
Louis Hofmann ... Hans Quangel
Katharina Schüttler ... Claire Gehrich
Godehard Giese ... Colonel Krüger
Joshua Grothe ... August Persicke
Jacob Matschenz Jacob Matschenz ... Dietrich Necker
Uwe Preuss ... Persicke
Rafael Gareisen ... Herbert Wegner
Luisa Wolf ... Secretary
Lars Rudolph Lars Rudolph ... Enno Kluge
Rainer Reiners ... Salesman Franz Kanz
Sanne Schnapp Sanne Schnapp ... Female Worker Helene Scholz


In 1940, German soldier Hans Quangel is killed in action during the French campaign. His parents, Otto and Anna, are devastated by the loss and their bereavement is unmollified by the joyful hysteria at Germany's victory. Deciding that Fuhrer 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 is tasked to track down the leafleteer while being pressured by his increasingly impatient SS 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 even as their opposition awaits the fatal mistake that could doom them. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Mission is the Message See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for brief violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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UK | France | Germany



Release Date:

13 January 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ensam i Berlin See more »

Filming Locations:

Görlitz, Saxony, Germany See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


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


Anna Quangel: Otto, what are we doing? We've lost our son. Other people have lost, but, they - they don't...
Otto Quangel: With this system - this regime, now, I feel that - we're free. I mean, freed - from all of it. This is how I feel.
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Version of Jeder stirbt für sich allein (1962) See more »

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User Reviews

Superb Acting
22 January 2017 | by GManfredSee all my reviews

Do you appreciate good acting? If so, you shouldn't miss "Alone In Berlin", an indie now playing at a few theaters in NYC. It features Emma Thompson and Brendan Gleeson as the Quangels, whose only son was killed in action fighting for the Nazis in WWII. They are heartbroken, but this is quickly replaced by anger and a sense of revenge for their loss. Otto (Gleeson) decides to print a series of anti-Nazi postcards and leave them at strategic public places around Berlin, but not in mailboxes or stuck in doors - that could mean death to the finder. Naturally, the Gestapo and SS are hot on his trail.

If Brendan Gleeson is the heart of the picture, Emma Thompson is its soul. She is fearful at first but then embraces Otto's dangerous idea and in the process finds renewed love for her husband. She is fiercely loyal and discovers courage she thought she didn't have. She is heartbreaking in her anguish over the loss of her son, and she and Gleeson elevate a pedestrian story to a must-see.

I wonder if at some point in production someone, in the old Hollywood tradition, should have yelled "Get me rewrite!", as the screenplay could have used a little 'punching up'. The story lacks some tension and suspense and relies on the two principals for success. And do they deliver. "Alone in Berlin" will be lost in the shuffle next year at Oscar time, which is a loss and a shame as both are deserving of an AA nom.

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