Nachts, Wenn der Teufel Kam (1958)

Genres - Crime, Mystery  |   Sub-Genres - Detective Film, Political Drama, Crime Drama  |   Run Time - 97 min.  |   Countries - West Germany  |  
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Writer/director Robert Siodmak based his German-filmed The Devil Strikes at Night on an actual case. Set during the last months of the Hitler regime, the film concerns a series of rapes and stranglings of young women. Gestapo officer Rossdorf (Hannes Messemer) and non-party member Axel Kersten (Claus Holm) investigate the trail of evidence. They discover that the criminal is Bruno Leudke, a mental defective (played by Mario Adorf). An open-and-shut case...except for the fact that Adorf is a loyal Nazi Party member! The dilemma now is to stem the crime spree without publicizing the embarrassing fact that "Aryan supremacy" is capable of yielding a monster like Adorf. Originally titled Nachts, Wenn der Teufel Kam, The Devil Strikes at Night has also been released as Nazi Terror at Night and Nights When the Devil Came.

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Keywords

dilemma, investigation, Reich, Gestapo, psychopath, rape, serial-killer