Hangmen Also Die (1943) - Rotten Tomatoes

Hangmen Also Die (1943)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Hangmen Also Die Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

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.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Bertolt Brecht, Fritz Lang, John Wexley
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 9, 2000
Cohen Media Group


Brian Donlevy
as Dr. Franticek Svobod...
Anna Lee
as Nasha Novotny
Walter Brennan
as Prof. Novotny
Gene Lockhart
as Emil Czaka
Dennis O'Keefe
as Jan Horek
Alexander Granach
as Alois Gruber
Margaret Wycherly
as Aunt Ludmilla Novotn...
Nana Bryant
as Mrs. Novotny
Billy Roy
as Beda Novotny
Tonio Selwart
as Haas, Gestapo Chief
Ludwig Donath
as Schirmer
Sarah Padden
as Mrs. Dvorak
George Irving
as Necval the Poet
James Bush
as Worker
Arno Frey
as Itnut, Camp Officer
Lester Sharpe
as Rudy, a Hostage
Arthur Loft
as Gen. Votruba Bertrub...
Reinhold Schünzel
as Inspector Ritter
Otto Reichow
as Gestapo
Eddy Waller
as Cab Driver
Erville Alderson
as Liberal Official
Ralph Dunn
as Policeman
Emmett Lynn
as Hostage
Emmett Vogan
as Hostage
Philip Merivale
as Policeman
Hans Heinrich von Tw...
as Reinhard Heydrich
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Hangmen Also Die

Critic Reviews for Hangmen Also Die

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (6)

Although Director Fritz Lang gives this familiar material occasional touches of distinction, the picture still misses Grade A rank.

Full Review… | February 25, 2013
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

From a directorial standpoint this is a triumph for Fritz Lang, who succeeds with singular success in capturing the spirit of the Czech people in the face of the Nazi reign of terror.

Full Review… | February 25, 2013
Top Critic

For all of Mr. Lang's finesse, his film is too patient -- it runs well over two hours -- too ponderous to hit its stride as melodrama. Nor does it match in emotional power and conviction its heroic theme.

Full Review… | February 25, 2013
New York Times
Top Critic

The two-and-a-quarter-hour film has the iconic thrust of a silent; the pro-sacrifice resistance cant has an oddly jihadist tenor today.

Full Review… | February 25, 2013
Village Voice
Top Critic

Superb performances throughout, while James Wong Howe's photography perfectly captures the spirit of the occupied city, where hiding places are few and far from safe.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

June 6, 2005
AV Club
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Hangmen Also Die


I find that Fritz Lang's films are often hit-or-miss, but even when they miss, they're still usually interesting failures. "Hangmen Also Die!" isn't a failure at all, but it is too long and not as tensely directed as it should have been. What could have been a riveting thriller about the Czechs getting their revenge against the Nazis ends up being kind of exciting but nonetheless forgettable. Side note: it was co-written by noted German playwright Bertolt Brecht, who seldom wrote screenplays.

Stephen Earnest
Stephen Earnest

Super Reviewer


the weakest Fritz Lang film I've seen thus far; likely do to Hollywood Producer interference. Still the film contains flashes of Lang's brilliant use of sound and his distinct visual style.

steven mayo

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