Featured Films-- Modlitba pro Katerinu Horovitzovou to My Mother's Courage


Modlitba pro Katerinu Horovitzovou (1965), Directors: Arnost Lustig and Antonín Moskalyk; Running time: Not available.

A group of wealthy American Jewish businessmen have been captured by the SS and are told that they are to be traded to the American army for several SS officers. However, these hostages are being required to pay bribes for their "transportation costs." In order to ensure that the businessmen will be more cooperative in paying up, a beautiful female singer is placed in their midst as a bargaining chip. The group of hostages are then placed on a train which is supposed to take them to the ship that will deliver them to freedom, but a series of "mishaps" delays their escape. It soon becomes clear that the journey is nothing more than a charade to soak as much money as possible out of the hostages. They arrive at a concentration camp, where the hostages are ordered to disrobe before their entry into the gas chamber. A particularly unpleasant SS officer orders the singer to strip in front of him. Just as the singer appears to move to take off her underwear, she wrestles the officer's gun away from him and starts shooting. That act of defiance brings in a set of guards who murder all of the hostages. (IMDb)


 


Moloch (1999), Director: Aleksandr Sokurov, Running time: 108 minutes.

In an ominous fortress perched high above the clouds, everything seems in order for a reposing 24 hours. It is the spring of 1942 and Eva Braun (Elena Rufanova) is the only voice that dares to contradict the Fuhrer. She gets caught up in the complexities of a man incapable of human intimacy, making her as volcanic as her beloved Hitler (Leonid Mosgovoi).

 

Monsieur Batignole (2002), Director: Gérard Jugnot, Running time: 100 minutes.

In "Monsieur Batignole," a Gentile butcher gets a crash course in Jewish reality when a young escapee neighbor falls into his lap during the summer of 1942. Well-crafted, bittersweet comedy, in which an ordinary fellow in Nazi-occupied France behaves heroically despite himself, zips along with an entertaining and witty blend of close calls.

 

Morituri (1965), Director: Bernhard Wicki, Running time: 124 minutes.

Marlon Brando plays a world-weary, conscientious objector to all wars in the tense, thoughtful Morituri, an adult drama about wartime ethics and the price of commitment to a cause. Brando plays Robert Crain, a German deserter who escaped the Nazis with his fortune intact, happy to be sitting out the battle in British-governed India. His comfort is challenged when an intelligence official (Trevor Howard) essentially blackmails him into going undercover, posing as an SS officer taking passage on a German ship carrying tons of rubber for munitions. Crain's mission is to deliver the ship into Allied hands, but once he's aboard, he becomes a target of derision by the proud, anti-Nazi captain (Yul Brynner) and suspicion by a handful of Resistance members planning to scuttle the voyage. The dramatic irony in this film by German actor-director Bernhard Wicki is that Crain, who claims to take no sides and believes in nothing worth killing for, becomes a catalyst for a great deal of sacrifice and the underscoring of others' convictions with bloodshed. Janet Margolin has a memorable role as a half-mad, Jewish doctor who puts her life on the line to help Crain, and Brynner nearly steals the show in a tremendous performance as a man who has lost faith in everything. Some spectacular scenes give Morituri a certain electricity, including a complicated, unbroken shot taken (one presumes) from a helicopter that swoops in on the ship from a distance to catch a few lines of dialogue and a bit of action. (Tom Keogh for Amazon.com)

 

The Mortal Storm (1940), Director: Frank Borzage, Running time: 100 minutes.

The Nazi Party's rise to power has disastrous consequences for a German family in this drama. Victor Roth (Frank Morgan) is a college professor teaching in Germany in 1933 who leads a peaceful and contented life with his wife Emelie (Irene Rich), son Rudi (Gene Reynolds), daughter Freya (Margaret Sullavan), and stepsons Otto (Robert Stack) and Erich (William T. Orr). However, Adolph Hitler's emergence as Germany's ruler has an unexpected impact on their lives. Fritz (Robert Young) and Martin (James Stewart) both vie for Freya's hand in marriage, but anti-Nazi activist Martin is forced to flee to Austria, while Freya is disturbed by Fritz's membership in a pro-fascist group. Victor repudiates Hitler's theories about Aryan superiority in class, and he not only loses his teaching position, but he is sentenced to a concentration camp. And while Emelie and Rudi join Freya as she tries to escape to Martin's new home in Austria, they find themselves hunted by Otto and Erich, now members of the Hitler Youth. The Mortal Storm was perhaps the most explicitly anti-Nazi film made in Hollywood prior to America's entry into WWII, and it resulted in all of MGM's products being banned in Germany.  (Mark Deming for All Movie Guide)

 

Mosquito Squadron (1970), Director: Boris Sagal, Running time: 90 minutes.

David McCallum ("The Man from U.N.C.L.E.") stars in an epic adventure that perfectly captures the explosive action and emotional torment of war. With its astonishing special effects, stark cinematography and brilliantly choreographed aerial combat sequences, Mosquito Squadron catapults the viewer into the searing heat of battle! As Allied forces struggle against the awesome might of the German Luftwaffe, an even greater threat is posed by the destructive V3 rocket nearing completion at a secret testing center. The Royal Air Force's Mosquito Squadron gears up to destroy the site, but its leader, Quint Monroe (McCallum), becomes conflicted when he discovers that the air strike may kill hundreds of British POWs, including the squad's former commander!

 

Mr. Klein (1976), Director: Joseph Losey, Running time: 122 minutes.

Both a thriller and a Kafkaesque dissertation on identity, Joseph Losey's Mr. Klein stars Alain Delon (Le Samorai, Le Cercle rouge) as Robert Klein—a charming and unscrupulous art dealer in Nazi-occupied France. As Jews flee Paris, Klein exploits them, preying on their desperation by buying their valuables at a fraction of their worth...until he finds his name is shared by a Jewish criminal who is a member of the anti-Nazi resistance. Klein reports this to the authorities only to find he is uncontrollably sinking into the quicksand of mistaken identity. Co-starring Jeanne Moreau (La Femme Nikita), Mr. Klein is an award-winning suspense classic that studies the ever-changing relationship between victim and oppressor.



 

Mrs. Miniver (1942), Director: William Wyler, Running time: 133 minutes.

Winner of six Academy Awards(R) including Best Picture, this memorable spirit-lifter about an idealized England that tends its prize-winning roses while confronting the terror of war struck a patriotic chord with American audiences and became 1942's #1 box-office hit. Greer Garson gives a formidable Oscar(R)-winning performance in the title role, comforting children in a bomb shelter, capturing an enemy parachutist and delivering an inspirational portrait of stiff-upper-lip British resolve. When Hitler did his worst, Mrs. Miniver did her best.

 

Münchhausen (1943), Directed by Josef von Baky, Running time: 101 minutes.

Spectacular film fantasy based on the exploits of the fictional Baron Münchhausen, this escapist extravaganza was commissioned by the Nazi propaganda Minister, Josef Goebbels.

 

My Mother's Courage (1996), Director: Michael Verhoeven, Running time: 89 minutes.

The deportation of 4000 jews from Budapest to Auschwitz in July 1944, as told by George Tabori, and how the narrator's mother escaped it, owing to coincidence, courage and some help from where you'd least expect it.