Douglas Sirk's first American film, Hitler's Madman was made on a very small budget at MGM (according to Sirk, “not even a B, but a C or D feature”). It was conceived as a testament to the martyrs of Lidice, Czechoslovakia, butchered by the Nazis following the assassination of Rudolph Heydrich, “Hitler's Madman” (played by John Carradine). The film focuses on the character of Hanka (Ralph Morgan), torn between his desire for peace and stability and his national loyalties, and shows the reactions of people of all classes to the occupying Germans. According to Howard Mandelbaum, Sirk portrayed the Nazi atrocities with “expressionistic bravura.”
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