Hangmen Also Die! (1943)
Average Rating: 7.8/10
Reviews Counted: 10
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 2
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 5/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 2
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 337
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
Mar 23, 1943 Wide
May 9, 2000
Cohen Media Group
Dr. Franz Svoboda
Prof. Stephan Novotn...
Aunt Ludmilla Novotn...
Haas Gestapo Chief
Rudy a Hostage
Gen. Votruba Bertrub...
Philip Van Zandt
Hans Heinrich von Tw...
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Although Director Fritz Lang gives this familiar material occasional touches of distinction, the picture still misses Grade A rank.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Visually the film's atmosphere is marvelously dark and oppressive due to the moody lensing of the great cinematographer James Wong Howe.
In this collaboration with playwright Bertolt Brecht, Fritz Lang's WWWII drama about the Czech defiance of the Nazis is admittedly propagandistic but is marked by a properly oppressive ambience and dark visuals courtsey of ace lenser James Wong Howe.
The film manages to pull off the tough double of making an anti-Nazi political statement and being thrilling entertainment as well.
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