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The Man I Married

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The Man I Married (1940) starring Joan Bennett, Francis Lederer, Lloyd Nolan, Anna Sten
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The Man I Married – in 1938, a young American woman travels with her German husband on a vacation to Europe, where the Nazi party is firmly in control. And slowly, step by step, her German husband is seduced by its allure …

The Man I Married (1940) starring Joan Bennett, Francis Lederer, Lloyd Nolan, Anna Sten

Kenneth Delane: I gather you’re one of those people who pride themselves on being fair to Nazis.
Carol Hoffman: No, I… I just try to discount propaganda.
Kenneth Delane: That just means that you’ve swallowed Dr. Goebbels hook, line, and sinker. That’s one of Gobble-Gobbles’ favorite tricks – making people discount facts.

And Carol begins putting together, piece by piece, the other side of the story. Czech citizens being forced to pick. up the trash that the Germans throw in their street, as the Nazis, young and old, taunt them. And old man, their friend’s brother, dying in Dachau of appendicitis. Even though, according to his widow, he’d had his appendix removed years earlier. And on, and on.

Carol Hoffman: Heil, heel!

And clearly, their marriage is in trouble. And it gets progressively worse. One night, she sees Eric walking home late at night from Frieda’s house, carrying his shoes. He’s unapologetic. He tells her, in fact, that he’s joined the Nazi party. He’s going to stay in Germany, with their son. And divorce Carol, to marry Frieda.

Carol’s upset, and heartbroken. But Eric’s father, Heinrich, won’t hear of it. He’s an “old style” German — whom Frieda looks down on. But, he knows something about Eric that he’s willing to disclose to the Nazi party …

Product Description 

An American girl falls in love and marries a German who is slowly being seduced by the Nazi Party. She must find a way to escape with their child before it’s too late.

Cast of characters

  • Joan Bennett (Scarlet Street; Dark Shadows: The Vampire Curse) … Carol Hoffman.
  • Francis Lederer (Terror is a Man; The Return of Dracula) … Eric Hoffman. German citizen, living in the USA. On a vacation, he takes his family to Europe, to help his father. It turns out his father is trying to sell his factory. But after a while, Eric wants to stay and run it. It”s a very good depiction of a man, slowly seduced by the Nazi worldview.
  • Lloyd Nolan (Bataan; The Lemon Drop Kid) … Kenneth Delane. An American reporter, embedded in Berlin. He helps Carol see the other side of the story, gets her out of a jam more than once. Even rescuing herr from the SS — while her husband waits outside, since he doesn’t want the party to find out.
  • Anna Sten (The Girl with the Hat Box) … Frieda Heinkel. Eric’s former girlfriend. An unapologetic Nazi, who looks down on the American Carol immediately. She literally seduces Eric, both to the Nazi worldview … and to herself.
  • Otto Kruger (High Noon; Dracula’s Daughter) … Heinrich Hoffman. Eric’s German father. Not a member of the Nazi party. In fact, one of his friends was turned over the the SS after simply telling a joke. A pivotal character at the conclusion.

Secondary characters

  • Maria Ouspenskaya (Dance, Girl, Dance; The Wolf Man (1941)) … Frau Gerhardt. The widow of Gerhard’s brother. She knows her husband couldn’t have died of appendicitis, and tells Carol. She’s staying in Germany. Where she’ll be killed, and buried by her husband.
  • Ludwig Stössel (House of Dracula) … Dr. Gerhardt. The brother of the man being held in Dauchau. He gives the vacationing Hoffmans $500 to bribe the Germans to let his brother out. This is before we learn that the brother died there.
  • Johnny RussellRicky Hoffman. The young son, who becomes an object in the tug of war between his parents.
  • Lionel Royce … Herr Deckhart
  • Frederik Vogeding (The Three Musketeers) … Train Traveller. Early on in the film, on the train into Germany, he gives some additional facts about the “wonders” of the new Germany to Carol and Eric, before leaving the train car.
  • Ernst Deutsch (Isle of the Dead) … Otto
  • Frank Reicher (The Mummy’s Ghost [1944]) … Friehof

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