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Les SS frappent la nuit
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Le diable à deux têtes, par Bernard Eisenschitz (51')
Description du produit
Description du produit
Les SS frappent la nuit (Nachts, Wenn Der Teufel Kam), 1 DVD, 100 minutes
Allemagne, 1944. La servante d'une auberge est assassinée. La police soupçonne le soldat Keun, son dernier client. Mais l'inspecteur Kerstein ne le croit pas coupable et tente de découvrir le véritable meurtrier...
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Un film de Robert SIODMAK vraiment à découvrir sauf si vous êtes vraiment allergique à la VO allemande.
Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com
1944~ We see a woman strangled by a man hiding in the dark~ her drunken boyfriend is arrested for the murder. The real murder is Bruno Luedke (MARIO ADORF) A TOTALLY psycho / mentally challenged man who delivers potato's which gives him great physical strength. The local police have no clues to a series of dead women..... the SS bring in a policeman/detective Axel Kersten (CLAUS HOLM) who is given total access to find the killer. He stumbles across an old wanted poster from 1937 where a girl was strangled in Hamburg and LINKS together several murders. Strangler Bruno lives in a shabby little home with a straw bed. He keeps his "trophies" from each killing in a wooden box.He proudly shows one of his "trophy's" to a nurse.... a purse he claims he found. The nurse demands he turn it over to the police. The purse belonged to yet another strangled DEAD girl. The police transfer the purse to Axel as a 'clue' where he pieces together who the killer is~ The police arrest Bruno and he confessed and even "reenacts" several killings to provide proof of his deeds. But the SS and the police want the whole matter to be a STATE secret. Admitting they have a deranged killer in Nazi Germany would tarnish the Nazi State. Axel shared his secret files to clear a man accused of a crime and is punished and sent to the "Front Lines" for crossing the SS. This is an interesting and excellent movie. Shot in West Berlin in 1957 and is based on an actual serial killer. Claus Holm is first rate as the brilliant policeman who finds and arrests Bruno. Mario Adorf is perfect as the psycho killer who impulsively kills. Annemarie Duringer is the lady friend of policeman Axel. This is a well done movie and shows the Nazi world falling apart under bombings and yet keeping the arrest of a serial killer a secret for all the 'wrong' reasons.~ 5 STAR all the way. This is a German spoken movie but has ENGLISH subtitles.
The story begins with local oaf Bruno Luedke (Mario Adorf) having dinner in a cafe in Hamburg. It's 1944 and WW2 is raging, but Bruno is "Article 51" -- mildly retarded -- and isn't going to be drafted. Instead he makes a living as a laborer. Bruno, however, has an interesting hobby: he likes to strangle women with his bare hands. His next victim, a waitress, turns out to be the mistress of a local Nazi Party official named Willi Keun (the wonderful Werner Peters, later of BATTLE OF THE BULGE fame). When Keun gets arrested for the murder, however, Hamburg police inspector Axel Kersten (Claus Holm), who has recently returned from the Eastern Front, isn't so sure of Keun's guilt. Seems that Keun was rejected from military service for a deformed thumb; his hands were too weak to crush the throat of the victim. This detail nags at him, and when he's at his would-be girlfriend Helga's apartment (Annemarie Düringer), he sees an old newspaper describing an old murder which precisely matches the circumstances of the new one, and begins to suspect a serial killer may be at work. Studies of other unsolved murders lead soon lead him to suspect Bruno, and this theory brings him to the attention of SS Gruppenführer Rossdorf (Hannes Messemer, of THE GREAT ESCAPE), who believes that if the killer really is a "mental defective", it will serve as propaganda for the racial hygiene policies of the Nazi government. Everything proceeds more or less smoothly until Rosssorf realizes that by admitting a serial killer could operate in Germany freely would undermine the public's faith in the infallibility of the regime. He tells Kersten to drop the matter and let things "take their course" -- meaning let Keun will go up a rope to protect the reputation of the system. Kersten, however, refuses to do this, a decision which sets the two men on a collision course which threatens his life, the life of his girlfriend and everyone else who gets in between Rossdorf and his particular method of justice.
THE DEVIL STRIKES AT NIGHT was shot in 1957, not long after the consecration of the Federal Republic of Germany, and could probably be forgiven if it delivered a heavy-handed indictment of the Nazi regime. Instead, writers Will Berthold and Werner Jörg Lüddecke, and director Robert Siodmak give us an even-handed portrayal of how the ideology of the Nazis, as well as the need for the regime to always be right (something it has in common with every dictatorship in history), put unbearable pressures on those who simply wanted to get at the truth. Shades of gray are in plentiful supply all around: Party official Willi Keun is ably portrayed not as a vicious monster but simply a likeable, bumbling opportunist whose main concerns in life are eating and drinking well and pleasing his grumpy mistress, while the child-like Bruno Luedke is more pitiable than loathsome -- a manchild who simply doesn't understand that what he does for fun is wrong. Indeed, the only real evil we see in the film is Rossdorf, superbly portrayed by Messemer as a man both intoxicated with his own power and lacking any scruples whatsoever. The way he plays cat-and-mouse with Kersten is difficult to watch: he can't even offer a man a cigarette without making him feel as if he's about to be shot, and the final confrontation between the two is a masterpiece, with ethics, justice and professionalism exploding against a wall of ideology, fanaticism and smug sadism.
DEVIL does have its problems, and I hesitated whether to give the film four stars or only three. The pace is somewhat slow, and the picture never quite decides whose story it wants to tell -- Luedke's or Kersten's, with the result that the storytelling has a disjointed, clumsy feel until the last half-hour or so, when the decision is made. The romance between Kersten and Helga is not brilliantly developed, either, though it does provide an interesting insight into how relationships were formed in a country which, by 1944, there were shortages of everything except slogans nobody wanted to hear. In the end, however, the suspense ramps up hard enough that it rolls over most of the movie's flaws. Throw in an ending with just the right note of ambiguity, and you have a movie which offers the viewer an almost unique look at the idea of justice in a country where the police were often the biggest criminals.
The film is good, it is not M (1931) by Lang but it is worth a viewing. As far as I can remember Siodmak hasn't made any bad movies during his entire career as a filmmaker. What I most liked about the film is the fact that it was completely shot in Germany in the late 1950's (which is a little after WWII ended) and it included an all German cast of actors and actresses. The film is in German language with English subtitles. Mario Adorf is very convincing in his role as a mentally handicapped serial killer.
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