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Mother Night (1996)

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An American spy behind the lines during WWII serves as a Nazi propagandist, a role he cannot escape in his future life as he can never reveal his real role in the war.

Director:

Keith Gordon

Writers:

Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (novel) (as Kurt Vonnegut), Robert B. Weide (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Nick Nolte ... Howard Campbell
Anthony J. Robinow Anthony J. Robinow ... Prison Warden
Michael McGill Michael McGill ... Prison Official
Shimon Aviel Shimon Aviel ... Guard Bernard Liebman
Bill Corday Bill Corday ... Campbell's Father
Bronwen Mantel Bronwen Mantel ... Campbell's Mother
Brawley Nolte ... Young Howard Campbell
Sheryl Lee ... Helga & Resi Noth
John Goodman ... Major Frank Wirtanen
Louis Strauss Louis Strauss ... Old Jewish Man
Zach Grenier ... Joseph Goebbels
Richard Zeman ... Rudolph Hoess
Thomas Hauff ... SS Officer
Jeff Pufah Jeff Pufah ... Young German Soldier
Norman Rodway ... Werner Noth
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Storyline

Howard W. Campbell, Jr., an American expatriate playwright, Nazi radio propagandist, and Allied spy, writes his memoirs during his pre-trial confinement in 1961 Haifa and learns that people are what they pretend to be. Written by Erik Gregersen <erik@astro.as.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Howard W. Campbell, Jr., is the most patriotic American in the Third Reich. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for a scene of sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Fine Line Features

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German | Yiddish

Release Date:

1 November 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Confessione finale See more »

Filming Locations:

Montréal, Québec, Canada

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$48,661, 3 November 1996, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$392,362
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lieutenant Bernard O'Hare, when he captures Campbell, is not wearing the regulation M1 helmet of WW2 vintage, nor are the two U.S. soldiers who drive Campbell away from the concentration camp. Rather, they appear to be wearing the British paratrooper type-3 helmet, which, interestingly, was adopted by the Israeli Defense Forces in the late 1940's and '50's. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Prison Warden: Do you prefer German or English?
Howard W. Campbell Jr.: English.
Prison Warden: You are to write down your memoirs for the Haifa Institute For The Documentation of War Criminals. You have three weeks to complete your memoirs before your trial begins. Do you have any questions?
Howard W. Campbell Jr.: No, this is great. Thanks for everything.
See more »

Connections

References Twin Peaks: Episode #1.1 (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

White Christmas
Written by Irving Berlin
Performed by Bing Crosby
Courtesy of MCA Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Best adaptation of a Vonnegut book
4 February 2001 | by carlgt1See all my reviews

Before this, the flawed "Slaughterhouse Five" was the best. But this screen adaptation of "Mother Night" is very true to the book and keeps the comedy, mystery, and tragedy intent. Thankfully it wasn't Hollywood-ized or idiotized a la the movie of "Breakfast of Champions." Another good thing about this movie is that you don't have to be familiar with the book to follow it (as I think you do for Slaughterhouse Five). That's probably true of Breakfast of Champions also but they did such a bad job of that you're better off just reading the book and not seeing the movie! Nick Nolte did an excellent job in this film.


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