Devil Came at Night, The (1957): Robert (“The Killers”) Siodmak’s German Oscar Nominee

In the second year of the best foreign-language Oscar category, the five nominees were: Fellini’s “The Nights of Cabiria” from Italy, which won, “The Devil Came at Night” from the Federal Republic of Germany, “Gates of Paris” from France, “Mother India” from India, and “Nine Lives” from Norway.

 

“The Devil Came at Night” was directed by the German-born director Robert Siodmak, best-known for his American noirs in the 1940s, such as “The Spiral Staircase” and “The Killers,” starring Burt Lancaster in a stunning debut.

 

Based on a real-life case, set in WWII, “The Devil Came at Night” is a suspenseful drama about an investigator of a series of murders, who discovers that the killer is a member of the Gestapo, but the Gestapo covers up the evidence, and instead blames an innocent man.

 

The film, made by Siodmak upon return from Hollywood to Germany, was released under different titles, including “The Devil Strikes at Night,” Nazi Terror at Night,” and Nights When the Devil Came,” which is the closest to the German title, “Nachts Wenn der Teufel Kamm.”