GenreDrama Costume designTravis Banton CountryUnited States
Release dateAugust 9, 1940 (1940-08-09) WriterOscar Schisgall (short story), Oliver H.P. Garrett (screen play) CastJoan Bennett (Carol Hoffman), Francis Lederer (Eric Hoffman), Lloyd Nolan (Kenneth Delane), Anna Sten (Fredia), Otto Kruger (Heinrich Hoffman), Maria Ouspenskaya (Frau Gerhardt) Similar moviesFury, Captain America: The First Avenger, The Book Thief, Sex Tape, Argo, Valkyrie
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The Man I Married (alternative title I Married a Nazi) is a 1940 drama film starring Joan Bennett and Francis Lederer.
A successful American woman, Editor at The Smart World - Editorial, General Offices, Carol Cabbott (Joan Bennett) has just married a German, Eric Hoffman (Francis Lederer), a streamline marriage. They have a seven-year-old son, Ricky (Johnny Russell). They are to have a vacation to Germany to visit Eric's father he hasn't seen for ten years, although everybody tells them that going to Germany is foolish. A friend, Dr. Hugo Gerhardt (Ludwig Stössel), originally German, asks them a favor: if they could deliver money to, and somehow help his brother, the famous philosopher Gerhardt, who has been arrested and imprisoned in a concentration camp. When the Hoffmans finally get to Berlin, not Eric's father but his old schoolmate Frieda (Anna Sten) meets them at the station. His father at home, an elderly director and owner of a factory, tells them he wants to sell everything and leave Berlin, as he can no longer stand the hostile atmosphere. Even his butler is a Nazi, and Frieda is always around. An active enthusiastic Nazi follower, Frieda drags Eric to Nazi gatherings until finally he doesn't want to return to America, but wants to keep the factory and stay as a German. His wife Carol, however, feels uneasy staying there, and as time passes she recognizes her husband less and less.
While he goes to Nazi gatherings, she tries to find out something about Gerhardt, with the help of Kenneth Delane (Lloyd Nolan), a foreign correspondent in Berlin, who has a prophetic understanding of the demise of Nazi Germany (remarkably accurate for this pre-war film). They find out Gerhardt has been killed, and so deliver the money to the widow, who wants to stay in Germany to be near her late husband. They witness scenes of deliberate cruel denigration of people by Nazis. Carol and Eric decide to divorce as he is in love with Frieda, who has put all sorts of things in his mind, but he wants to keep his son, as he is German too, he says, whereas Carol wants to return to America with Ricky. Finally the grandfather Hoffman warns his son, that if he doesn't let the son return with his mother to the United States, he will go to the Police and tell them that his mother was a jewess. Faced with the fact to be a Jew (as in Judaism the affiliation is matrilineal) he breaks down, as for the Nazis it's the worst that can be. Frieda leaves him, disgusted. Carol and Ricky leave for New York. Delane, who had hoped to get a leave to go back home, takes them to the station and tells her he has to stay "for the duration".
Joan Bennett as Carol Hoffman
Francis Lederer as Eric Hoffman
Lloyd Nolan as Kenneth Delane
Anna Sten as Frieda
Otto Kruger as Heinrich Hoffman
Maria Ouspenskaya as Frau Gerhardt
Ludwig Stössel as Dr. Hugo Gerhardt
Johnny Russell as Ricky
Lionel Royce as Herr Deckhart
Frederick Vogeding as Traveller
Ernst Deutsch as Otto
New York Times reviewer Bosley Crowther called the "anti-Nazi propaganda film" "restrained", "frank and factual" and "generally entertaining cinematically". He singled out Lederer's performance for praise, but of Bennett he wrote, "she does little more than model dresses and express incredulity."