HANGMEN ALSO DIE (1943) B/W 131m dir: Fritz Lang
w/Brian Donlevy, Walter Brennan, Anna Lee, Gene Lockhart, Dennis O'Keefe, Alexander Granach, Margaret Wycherly, Nana Bryant, Billy Roy, Hans von Twardowski
During WWII, a doctor assassinates the notorious Nazi Heydrich the Hangman, and, as a result, a wave of terror sweeps occupied Czechoslovakia.
From The Movie Guide: "While HANGMEN ALSO DIE is a much better than average American WWII propaganda film, it is a bit of a disappointment in the impressive career of master director Fritz Lang. Beyond a precious few scenes containing some stunning Lang visuals, the film is overlong and the characters haphazardly developed. The tension is occasionally interrupted by impassioned patriotic speeches that comment didactically and intelligently on the proceedings in a Brechtian fashion. As well they should, since this was the first Hollywood screenplay collaborated on by that celebrated German playwright. (Brecht was, however, denied co-screenwriting credit following a Guild arbitration.) Visually the film's atmosphere is marvelously dark and oppressive due to the moody lensing of the great cinematographer James Wong Howe."
For information about an alternate treatment of the same subject, consult HITLER'S MADMAN, made the same year by Douglas Sirk, another German director who fled Hitler to find refuge in the Hollywood production system.
HANGMEN ALSO DIE was nominated for two Oscars: Best Score (Hanns Eisler) and Sound (Jock Whitney).