Oscar Movies: Devil Came at Night, The (1957)

The Devil Came at Night was made by Robert Siodmak, when he returned to Germany after spending a successful decade in Hollywood, directing such films as The Killers.

Based on an actual case, set during the last months of the Hitler regime, the story concerns a series of rapes and stranglings of young women.

Gestapo officer Rossdorf (Hannes Messemer) and non-party member Axel Kersten (Claus Holm), who investigate the case, discover that the criminal is Bruno Leudke, a mentally retarded man (played by Mario Adorf), who’s a loyal Nazi Party member.

The dilemma now is to stem the crime spree without publicizing the embarrassing fact that the Nazis are capable of creating a villain like Adorf.

Originally titled Nachts, Wenn der Teufel Kam, The Devil Strikes at Night has also been released as Nazi Terror at Night and the literal translation, Nights When the Devil Came.

 

Oscar Nominations: 1

Foreign Language Film

Oscar Context:

The winner was the Italian entry, Nights of Cabiria, from Fellini.

Credits

Running time: 97 minutes

Directed by Robert Siodmak

Written by Will Berthold and Werner Jörg Lüddecke