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Hitler's Madman (1943) Poster

Trivia

While in Germany before the war, director Douglas Sirk actually met Reinhard Heydrich at a party, and later recalled that "he made my blood run cold".
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Although this film was originally filmed by poverty-row studio Producers Releasing Corp. (PRC), the word got out in Hollywood that the picture was far and away the best thing PRC had ever done; eventually MGM executives got a look at it, were suitably impressed, bought it from PRC and it was released as an MGM picture.
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The footage with Ava Gardner, Frances Rafferty and Leatrice Joy Gilbert was shot by MGM and inserted into the film after it was purchased from PRC.
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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.
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Heydrich was not shot by a machine gun on a country dirt road as depicted in this film., but was mortally wounded by a modified British anti-tank grenade on a Prague city street in the 8th District near Bulovka Hospital. This occurred on May 27, 1942. Heydrich died of sepsis on June 4th at that hospital.
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The original filming at PRC took only one week.
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Reinhard Heydrich's official title at the time of this film was "Deputy Protector of Bohemia and Moravia" - hence he was called "The Protector" by some characters in this film.
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The Catholic procession shown in the film, "The Blessing of the Fields", would indicate this took place on April 25th, also the day of the Feast of St. Mark.
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This film represents one of a small handful of American films which featured the word Hitler or Hitler's, and both referencing Adolf Hitler, in their titles and were ones made around the time of the Second World War. These World War II movies include Hitler's Children (1943); Hitler's Madman (1943) aka Hitler's Hangman; Hitler--Dead or Alive (1942); The Hitler Gang (1944) aka Hitler & co.; the documentary short, Hitler Lives (1945); The Strange Death of Adolf Hitler (1943); Hitler's Women aka Women in Bondage (1943); the comic short, The Devil with Hitler (1942) and Hitler - Beast of Berlin (1939).
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This film received its USA television premiere in Los Angeles Tuesday 27 November 1956 on KTTV (Channel 11), followed by Philadelphia Wednesday 2 January 1957 on WFIL (Channel 6), by Seattle Sunday 10 February 1957 on KING (Channel 5), by Chicago Tuesday 12 February 1957 on WBBM (Channel 2), by Altoona PA 20 February 1957 on WFBG (Channel 10), and by Minneapolis 18 March 1957 on KMGM (Channel 9); its New York City television premiere took place 10 August 1958 on WCBS (Channel 2), followed by San Francisco 3 October 1958 on KGO (Channel 7).
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When Heydrich is at the professor's desk, he notes a book titled "Perpetual Peace" by noted Prussian philosopher Immanuel Kant. It was first published in 1795.
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The film depicts Heydrich being shot with an "American made" machine gun. In reality one of the assassins tried to shoot him with a British-made Sten sub-machine gun, but failed when it jammed. The two assassins then fired at him with American Colt M1903 pistols but missed.
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