Monday, August 27, 2012

Heydrich redux

Back in February 2010, I mentioned the movie Hangmen Also Die, about the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, who was the Nazi Reichsprotektor for the Czech lands. The Nazis responded by taking a small Czech village and killing all the men while sending the women to concentration camps. The Nazis, contrary to what I wrote in February 2010, made a lot of this public because they knew the plot to kill Heydrich had been hatched by Czech exiles in the UK, and the Nazis wanted to send a message to the Allies that if they tried similar operations in the future, they were going to kill a lot of innocents. (The events in The Heroes of Telemark, or at least the key sabotge events, took place after all this.)

I bring all this up only because tomorrow morning at 6:00 AM, TCM is showing Hitler's Madman, which also happens to be about the Heydrich assassination, and was released the same year as Hangmen Also Die. This one, however, was made at low-budget Producers Releasing Corporation, although it was distributed by MGM. (If memory serves, there's an MGM card at the beginning of the print TCM shows. PRC is also the studio at which Detour was made.) Heydrich was played by John Carradine, and the movie was directed by, of all people, Douglas Sirk. The movie is actually being shown in honor of tomorrow's Summer Under the Stars actress, Ava Gardner. This even though she only has a bit part as a young student. Hitler's Madman has, as far as I know, not gotten a DVD release, so you'll have to catch the TCM showing.

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