Beasts of Berlin


1h 24m 1939

Film Details

Also Known As
Beast of Berlin, Goose Step, Hell's Devils, Hitler-Beast of Berlin
Release Date
Oct 29, 1939
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Producers Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Producers Distributing Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 24m
Film Length
9 reels

Synopsis

Hans Manling and a small band of German citizens struggling to overthrow the iron heel of Nazi despotism, meet secretly in a cellar beneath the Hofbrau tavern, where they print handbills urging resistance to the state secret police, the Gestapo. Among the group are Hans's brother-in-law Karl, Gustav Schulz, Father Pommer, and Albert, who poses as a Nazi in order to infiltrate their hated organization. When Hans's wife Elsa announces that she is pregnant and wants to leave Germany for America, Hans begins to suffer doubts, but remains loyal to the cause. Soon after, he is arrested and interrogated when Lustig, the owner of the Hofbrau, is tortured into divulging that Hans is the leader of the underground. Learning of Hans's arrest, Albert plans to inform Elsa, when he is accosted by a group of Nazis who insist that he join them in a night of drinking. Late that night, drunk and full of remorse, Albert blurts out the names of the other members of the underground, and as a result, they are all arrested and sent to a concentration camp. The camp is under the command of Colonel Hess, who was Hans's commander during World War I. When Hans refuses to recant his position, Hess orders him to be beaten and tortured, causing Braun, one of the guards, to take pity on him. Later, when orders come to free the prisoners, Hess denies the release of both Hans and Karl, and Karl dies while attempting to escape. While laboring in the fields one day, Hans sees two of his friends driving a hay wagon and, as Braun looks the other way, Hans dives into the wagon. He is then taken across the border to freedom in Switzerland, where he is united with Elsa and his infant son. Safe in Switzerland, Hans vows to continue the fight.

Film Details

Also Known As
Beast of Berlin, Goose Step, Hell's Devils, Hitler-Beast of Berlin
Release Date
Oct 29, 1939
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Producers Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Producers Distributing Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 24m
Film Length
9 reels

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

This picture marked the first onscreen credit for actor Alan Ladd. According to contemporary news item and information in the file on the film in the MPAA/PCA Collection in the AMPAS Library, there was a controversy between Producers Distributing Corp. and the PCA over the title of this picture. The PCA approved the title Goose Step, but Producers Distributing Corp. began to distribute and advertise it under the title Hitler-Beast of Berlin. The PCA responded that this title was too inflamatory and was in conflict with the code regulations relating to the portrayal of citizenry of other nations. New York and Massachusetts also rejected the title Hitler-Beast of Berlin, but approved the title Beasts of Berlin. The PCA refused to register the title Beast of Berlin, and consequently, the film was reviewed under the titles of Goose Step, Hitler-Beast of Berlin, Beasts of Berlin and Beast of Berlin. In January 1940, the PCA issued the film a certificate under the title of Goose Step and warned Producers Distributing Corp. that the certificate would be rescinded unless the company used that title. It was also known as Hell's Devils. The title Hitler-Beast of Berlin alluded to the 1918 film entitled The Beast of Berlin (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20; F1.2328).