The Devil Strikes at Night

1957 [GERMAN]

Crime / Drama / Thriller

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
958.88 MB
German 2.0
24 fps
1 hr 44 min
P/S 3 / 31
1.74 GB
German 2.0
24 fps
1 hr 44 min
P/S 10 / 47

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by dbdumonteil9 / 10

Räder müssen rollen für den Sieg.

"Nachts..." is the third movie of Siomak's "fourth "career ;a career that began in his native Germany ("Menschen am Sonntag" ) continued in France ("Mollenard Capitaine Corsaire" ) reached peaks of film noir in America ("the killers" )and ,back in Germany ,brought more remarkable works such as "Die Ratten" or "L'Affaire Nina B. " (made with French money).

"Nachts" is Siodmak at his most ambitious,a complex movie which demands your undivided attention.It's probably his finest hour in his final years at a time when he was living in his former homeland ,after the fall and before the wall.The Siodmak world is more than a world in ruins , a world that has lost its way and that has forgotten that it is in ruins.Helga and Axel do not understand that all they do is pointless from the very start :what's the point of finding a killer when millions of innocents are slaughtered ?Didn't they understand that their Aryan "race" is pure and that a serial killer is unthinkable ?Didn't they understand that the scapegoat is necessary for the others to go on? First the Jews ,then the gypsies ,the gays,the mentally retarded and the crippled ,and then a German ,a "normal" Aryan,Willi Keun? AS in "Desolation row" does "which side are you on? " matter when you're sailing on the Titanic?

"Nachts" predates such works as "nights of the general" (which was much inferior ,in spite a much more comfortable budget) by Litvak "Jagdzenen aus Niederbayern " by Peter Fleischman -the first scene has certainly influenced that director- and even Siodmak's own "Nina B".

"Nachts" showed that Siodmak was still a film noir past master: take the scene when Bruno (a sensational Mario Adorf) meets the Jewish lady in Frau Lehman's flat:it's a suspenseful scene to rival the best of Hitchcock.Axel's and Helga's desperate attempts to save an innocent was a subject Siodmak had already treated in his adaptation of William Irish (aka Cornell Woolrich)"Phantom Lady" .But the most extraordinary sequence is the "subjective flashback" in the forest where the killer relives what he did where the trees seem like bars of the prison of his mind.

"Nachts" was Siodmak at his most pessimistic :the train bound for "glory" slowly moving into the dark night as Axel mumbles " Bruno Luedke? what are you talking about? This man never was" .Such an ending anticipates that of Joseph Losey's "Mr Klein" (1975).Even if Siodmak "sweetens " his harsh final -he "saves " Helga-,the night has only begun....

Reviewed by hitchcockthelegend8 / 10

Serial Killer - Nazis - Same Thing!

Nachts, wenn der Teufel kam is directed by Robert Siodmak and written by Will Berthold (article) and Werner Jörg Lüddecke. It stars Claus Holm, Annemarie Düringer, Mario Adorf, Hannes Messemer, Carl Lange and Werner Peters. Music is by Siegfried Franz and cinematography by Georg Krause.

A serial killer is terrorising Hamburg, Germany, during World War II. When the local police struggle to catch him, the Gestapo are brought in to crack the case.

The basis for the story is that of real life serial killer Bruno Lüdke, here played by Adorf. Yet this is only a side-bar to the actuality of Siodmak's film, for it's a clinical deconstruction of Nazi Germany at the time, a look at the final throes of that regime. It shows how the corrupt powers would do anything to not make their government look bad, with orders even coming from Adolf himself! It's all very fascinating and potent, and well performed. There's some nice visual touches via the night sequences, though you reasonably expect to have more from Siodmak, a fine purveyor of expressionism and noir chiaroscuro. There's some contrivances and a couple of badly staged action sequences, but this remains a tough political drama with mystery shadings. 8/10

Reviewed by ChWasser9 / 10

The "serial-killer movie" is not an American invention

There is a strange continuity in German movies: about every 20 years someone makes a film about a serial-killer. Apart from "Es geschah am hellichten Tag" (recently remade by Sean Penn) I'm thinking of the following works:

* M - Eine Stadt sucht einen Mörder (1931)

* Nachts, wenn der Teufel kam (1957)

* Die Zärtlichkeit der Wölfe (1973)

* Der Totmacher (1995)

While three of these films are more or less loosely based on the case of Fritz Haarmann who killed more than 24 young men in the 20s, "Nachts, wenn der Teufel kam" is about Bruno Luebke who murdered several people in Hamburg during WWII (also a true case). In contrast to the picture that many American movies (e.g. "Hannibal") paint of a serial-killer as an evil being who kills for pleasure, these German movies show men who are helpless victims of their urge to kill, to which they succumb not when they want to, but when they 'have' to. Mario Adorf plays Bruno as such a man and his performance is of the same rank as Peter Lorre's in "M" or Götz George's in "Totmacher" IMO.

Even better is Hannes Messemer as an SS-Officer, who, for 'political' reasons, wants another man executed against better judgement. The main forte of the film however, is the depiction of everyday-life in the last years of the third Reich. In the scene where the ugly harvest helpers get their reward from a sweating hanger-on Robert Siodmak perfectly captured the moral corruption (thinly veiled by empty propaganda phrases) within Nazi-Germany. In view of mass-murder of an entirely different caliber (i.e. genocide),the question if the right man is sentenced for a killing series becomes secondary in the end.

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