At the height of the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia, four German exiles in Hollywood – director Fritz Lang, playwright Bertolt Brecht (earning his only US credit), composer Hanns Eisler and actor Hans Heinrich von Twardowski – pooled their talents to create Hangmen Also Die!, a remarkable film about the Czech resistance.
Twardowski plays Reinhard Heydrich, an SS Obergruppenführer and the ‘Reich-Protector’ of Czechoslovakia, known alternately as ‘The Hangman’ and ‘The Butcher of Prague’. When he is assassinated by a surgeon (played by Brian Donlevy), the city is locked down and the doctor must rely on the help of the resistance to evade capture.
Shot by the great James Wong Howe (Sweet Smell of Success, Seconds), Hangmen Also Die! is a gripping blend of war picture, film noir and political thriller.