Hangmen Also Die!

Hangmen Also Die!

Director: Fritz Lang, Brian Donlevy, Walter Brennan, Anna Lee

Cast: Fritz Lang, Brian Donlevy, Walter Brennan, Anna Lee

     
 

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Hangmen Also Die is set in Czechoslovakia during the Nazi occupation. Czech loyalist Brian Donlevy assassinates the vicious Gestapo leader Heydrich, then goes into hiding. The wounded patriot is sheltered by history professor Walter Brennan, who is already under surveillance by the Nazis thanks to his veiled classroom attacks on the Third Reich. Fifth columnist

Overview

Hangmen Also Die is set in Czechoslovakia during the Nazi occupation. Czech loyalist Brian Donlevy assassinates the vicious Gestapo leader Heydrich, then goes into hiding. The wounded patriot is sheltered by history professor Walter Brennan, who is already under surveillance by the Nazis thanks to his veiled classroom attacks on the Third Reich. Fifth columnist Gene Lockhart arranges for the professor and 400 other Prague citizens to be rounded up as hostages, to be killed if Heydrich's assassin is not revealed. Ultimately Lockhart himself is framed by the citizenry, giving the actor full scope to cringe and cower as only he could. Persuasively directed by Fritz Lang, Hangmen Also Die was based on a story by Lang and expatriate German playwright Bertold Brecht.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Fritz Lang's only collaboration with his friend and fellow German émigré, the playwright Bertolt Brecht (who later disowned it), tells the story of a group of Czech resistance fighters during World War II: ordinary citizens who band together to harbor the film's hero, Dr. Svoboda (Brian Donlevy), who is involved in the assassination of a Nazi officer. One can understand why the uncompromising Brecht would be disappointed in the result, which smoothes over his radical ideas in an attempt to make a commercially viable picture. The clichéd Nazi villains come across as broad caricatures -- one of them even sports a monocle and utters the line "we have ways of making you talk" -- and the heroic villagers tend to be equally indistinguishable in their stoic wholesomeness. But despite these concessions to what was believed to be popular taste, Lang still manages to convey the very real cruelty of the Nazis, and works in some brilliant suspense sequences. Worth it for master cinematographer James Wong Howe's gorgeously detailed chiaroscuro images alone, Hangmen Also Die also includes one of Lang's most beautifully designed set pieces: the murder of a Nazi officer that plays out in the eerie silence of an empty hospital locker room, and ends with the chilling image of a bowler hat lazily rolling across the floor.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/09/2014
UPC:
0741952739890
Original Release:
1943
Rating:
NR
Source:
Cohen Media Group
Time:
2:15:00
Sales rank:
32,411

Special Features

Retoration of previously censored footage New 30 minute featurette with historian and author Robert Gerwarth Illustrated essay by Professor Peter Ellenbruch, University of Duisberg-Essen, Germany Feature-length audio commentary by Richard Peña 1942 German newsreel Restoration before and after comparison 2014 re-release trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Brian Donlevy Dr. Franz Svoboda
Walter Brennan Prof. Stephan Novotny
Anna Lee Mascha Novotny
Gene Lockhart Emil Cruka
Dennis O'Keefe Jan Horek
Alexander Granach Alois Gruber
Margaret Wycherly Aunt Ludmilla Novotny
Nana Bryant Mrs. Novotny
Billy Roy Beda Novotny
Tonio Selwart Haas, Gestapo Chief
Jonathan Hale Dedic
Lionel Stander Taxi Driver
Byron Foulger Bartos
Virginia Farmer Landlady
Ludwig Donath Schirmer
Sarah Padden Mrs. Dvorak
Edmund MacDonald Dr. Pilar
George S. Irving Neeval
James Bush Peacock
Arno Frey Camp Lieutenant
Lester Sharpe Rudy, a Hostage
Arthur Loft Gen. Votruba Bertruba
William Farnum Viktorin
Erville Alderson Liberal Official
William Benedict Hostage
Ralph Dunn Policeman
William Haade Patriot
Emmett Lynn Actor
Philip Merivale Actor
Charles B. Middleton Actor
Otto Reichow Gestapo
Philip Van Zandt Officer
Emmett Vogan Actor
Eddy Waller Cab Driver
Reinhold Schünzel Inspector Ritter
Dwight Frye Actor
Hans Heinrich Von Twardowski Reinhard Heydrich

Technical Credits
Fritz Lang Director,Producer
Eleanor Behm Costumes/Costume Designer
Sam Coslow Songwriter
William S. Darling Art Director
Hanns Eisler Score Composer,Songwriter
Gene Fowler Editor
Arthur Guttman Musical Direction/Supervision
Julia Heron Costumes/Costume Designer,Set Decoration/Design
James Wong Howe Cinematographer
Fred Lau Sound/Sound Designer
Walter Mayo Asst. Director
Arnold Pressburger Producer
John Wexley Screenwriter
Jack Whitney Sound/Sound Designer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Hangmen Also Die!
1. The Butcher [10:55]
2. News Travels Fast [8:10]
3. An Unexpected Guest [10:16]
4. Interrogation [9:32]
5. The Conspirators Meet [10:12]
6. Gestapo Headquarters [11:08]
7. The Bank Vault [10:59]
8. Suspicion [11:07]
9. Setting Up Czaka [8:35]
10. Inspector Gruber On The Case [3:41]
11. The Stakes Are Raised [5:29]
12. The Noose Tightens [9:12]
13. Gruber Hunts His Suspect [11:02]
14. The End Of The Line [11:13]

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