MovieLogr

Hangmen Also Die! (1943)

Directed by Fritz Lang

War | Drama | Thriller

Most recently watched by sensoria

Overview

During the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia, surgeon Dr. Franticek Svoboda, a Czech patriot, assassinates the brutal “Hangman of Europe”, Reichsprotektor Reinhard Heydrich, and is wounded in the process. In his attempt to escape, he is helped by history professor Stephen Novotny and his daughter Mascha.

Length 134 minutes

Actors

Hans Heinrich von Twardowski | Walter Brennan | Reinhold Schünzel | Lionel Stander | Alexander Granach | Jonathan Hale | George Irving | John Abbott | Claire McDowell | Chester Conklin | Richard Alexander | Gene Lockhart | Arthur Loft | Ludwig Donath | Sarah Padden | Brian Donlevy | Margaret Wycherly | Edmund MacDonald | Anna Lee | Nana Bryant | Dennis O'Keefe | Tonio Selwart | Arno Frey | Byron Foulger | Virginia Farmer | James Bush | Erville Alderson | Lester Sharpe | Louis Adlon | William Roy

Viewing Notes

The came out at the height of the war when nothing was guaranteed, and is definitely what I’d describe as propaganda, but it’s a well told and beautifully photographed story. Pretty much the entire story is a work of fiction except for Heydrich getting assassinated (for a film based on the facts check out the more recent ANTHROPOID). But it works well for inspiring resistance and emphasizing the brutality of the Nazis.

Except for some inserts of actual footage of Prague, the bulk of the movie is shot on some pretty small sets. Even street scenes are compact and don’t show much of the area. Despite that, Howe does a great job using static shots and limited movement to not only capture the drama but instill a sense of claustrophobia and general anxiety.

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