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Hitler's Madman (1943)

Story of the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, Nazi SS commander, by Czech partisans and the reprisals inflicted by the Nazis on the Czechs.

Director:

Douglas Sirk
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Cast

Cast overview:
Patricia Morison ... Jarmilla Hanka
John Carradine ... Reinhardt Heydrich
Alan Curtis ... Karel Vavra
Howard Freeman ... Heinrich Himmler
Ralph Morgan ... Jan Hanka
Edgar Kennedy ... Nepomuk - the Hermit
Ludwig Stössel ... Herman Bauer - Burgomaster
Al Shean ... Father Cemlanek
Elizabeth Russell ... Maria Bartonek - Anton's Wife
Jimmy Conlin ... Dvorak - the Shopkeeper
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Storyline

Somewhat fictionalized account of the destruction of the village of Lidice in Czechoslovakia and the events leading up to it. In 1942, the Allies parachuted a Czech resistance fighter into the area. He quickly reunites with his former girlfriend and many of the villagers who knew him from before the war. The Nazis are evil however and under the command of Reinhardt Heydrich rule the country with an iron fist, arbitrarily arresting innocents and charging them with fictitious crimes. When Heydrich is severely wounded in a roadside attack - he dies three days later - Henrich Himmler orders the destruction of Lidice. The men are herded into a churchyard where they sing defiantly as they are shot down, the village is set aflame and the women are sent to concentration camps. The town itself is leveled. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Sensational! See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 June 1943 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Hangman See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$300,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original filming at PRC took only one week. See more »

Goofs

Given his girth and venality, the character of Himmler seems to have been based more on Hermann Goerring than Heinrich Himmler. Himmler had a rather slight build. See more »

Quotes

SS Colonel: Something has to be done immediately! There must be reprisals. Bloody reprisals. You must stamp out resistance at once!
SS Officer #1: What can we tell the press? They're waiting for a statement. Shall I tell them that the assassin was a Czech?
SS Officer #2: A Czech? Preposterous! They wouldn't dare!
SS Officer #3: It could have been a British parachuter.
SS Colonel: No! We'll say it was a Jew. That's always good!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Five Came Back: Combat Zones (2017) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Redeemed by a brilliant turn from John Carradine
9 August 2018 | by MOscarbradleySee all my reviews

Let's not kid ourselves, "Hitler's Madman" is not only no masterpiece but pretty terrible in places yet director Douglas Sirk's movie about the assassination of Heydrich, made almost as the events themselves were unfolding, has great moments. There are scenes here as good as any in war movies, just as there are B-Movie moments as bad as any in B-Movies. Certainly the events portrayed are harrowing enough for this to feel like the ultimate feel-bad movie; perhaps what is most astonishing is that it was made at all while the war was still going on.

It's let down, (badly), by some awful acting but redeemed by Sirk's brilliant handling of individual scenes and by a terrific performance from John Carradine as Heydrich, (his death scene is Oscar-worthy). It may not stick very closely to the events but it's still preferable to the more recent movie dealing with the same subject.


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