6.6/10
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15 user 23 critic

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:

Wake up America !

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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film shows the men of Lidice being machine gunned in the town square. Actually, the men were marched to a nearby farm and shot in groups of five, then ten against the barn's stone wall. This took from early morning to mid-afternoon. Most of the women were sent to Ravensbruk concentration camp in Germany. Most of the children, save for a few selected for "Germanization" were sent to the Chelmno extermination camp in Poland and gassed. See more »

Goofs

When Karel meets Jamilla's mother for the first time, there is a moving shadow of the boom microphone on the pillar above and behind them. See more »

Quotes

Karel Vavra: Patience, children. Patience. You mustn't cry Jarmilla. None of us must cry. We must stand erect with our eyes to the sun and courage in our hearts.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Imaginary Witness: Hollywood and the Holocaust (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Powerful and Profound Film
18 June 2015 | by jlthornb51See all my reviews

As poetically dark as the poem recited throughout, this is a motion picture that should be studied and reflected upon for many generations to come. We must never forget. Lidice by Edna St. Vincent Millay is powerfully incorporated into the drama as the assassination of the brutal monster, Reinhard Heydrich is recounted and the subsequent murderous destruction of the town of Lidice exposed. The diabolical evilness of Heydrich is blood chillingly brought to the screen by director Douglas Sirk in his first Hollywood film after fleeing the Nazis himself. While the use of the stunning poem and the direction are superb, no film or actor could possibly convey what happened during this time and do justice to its under barbarous criminality and hellishness. This film is indeed a sincere and moving attempt to do so and while doomed to failure by the enormity of the horror it must bring to the screen, it succeeds in bringing the tragic story of Lidice's destruction to a wide audience. However, neither that terrible event nor the sickening, pure evil of Heydrich and the Nazis can ever be captured on celluloid.


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