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Hangmen Also Die! (1943)

Not Rated | | 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 »
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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:

Nazi "Justice"! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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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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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original titles for the project were "No Surrender" and "Never Surrender" They had to choose a new title because a book was published with a similar title during production. Producers held a contest among the cast and crew to choose a new title. A production secretary submitted the winning title and won $100. See more »

Goofs

In reality, Heydrich was assassinated by a team of Czech exiles sent back to the country by the British government. See more »

Quotes

Gestapo Insp. Alois Gruber: [Slamming his fist on the table] Miss Novotny, this time you're going to talk!
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Anthropoid Press Conference (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

No Surrender
(uncredited)
Music by Hanns Eisler
Lyrics by Sam Coslow
See more »

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User Reviews

 
No wonder McCarthy hated this film!
18 July 2007 | by LCShackleySee all my reviews

Supposedly, this film was suppressed in the USA because it came out in favor of the Communists. I just watched it today, and I can only remember one faint mention of the Russians (and don't forget, they were our allies at the time!). What must have really irked McCarthy was this film's scathing portrayal of those who snitch on their friends and co-workers, and those who coerce them into doing so.

Gene Lockhart, whom I always think of as likable Bob Cratchit from the Reginald Owen "Christmas Carol," deserves high honors for his intense portrayal of a Czech traitor who works behind his neighbors' backs to betray them to the Nazi occupiers. Anna Lee is strong in her central role as the woman caught up in a dangerous plot. Many of the supporting characters also shine, such as Alexander Granach as the lusty Nazi enforcer Gruber. I couldn't quite warm up to Brian Donlevy in the central role. (He looks too much like an American businessman, like Raymond Bailey.) And Walter Brennan, although he looks great, seems out of place because of his heavy New England accent.

What makes this movie a standout is the script and direction. There's not a wasted moment in this long film, and plenty of interesting set pieces (the theater, the cab ride/street confrontation, etc.). Brecht and Lang weave a web that grows larger but not looser as the film progresses.


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