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      Mother Night

      R 1996 1h 50m Comedy Drama List
      64% Tomatometer 28 Reviews 75% Audience Score 1,000+ Ratings At the dawn of World War II, American writer Howard Campbell (Nick Nolte) lives in Germany, where he pays little attention to the conflicts that surround him, instead preferring to attend elegant social events with his beautiful wife, Helga (Sheryl Lee). The U.S. government, however, enlists Howard to deliver pro-Nazi messages on European radio that are coded with secret messages for the Allied troops. But it isn't long before his superiors start suspecting that Howard is betraying them. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Buy Now

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      Mother Night

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      Critics Reviews

      View All (28) Critics Reviews
      Gene Siskel Chicago Tribune Director Keith Gordon emphasizes the speeches more than other issues, and his otherwise thoughtful movie needlessly romanticizes hate. Rated: 2.5/4 Aug 23, 2017 Full Review Owen Gleiberman Entertainment Weekly Rated: B- Sep 7, 2011 Full Review Susan Stark Detroit News Rated: 2/4 Jan 1, 2000 Full Review Rob Gonsalves Rob's Movie Vault A fine, melancholy adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut’s 1961 novel, with Nick Nolte in peak, vulnerable form. Rated: B Sep 1, 2022 Full Review Malcolm Johnson Hartford Courant Frankie Faison comes the closest to Vonnegut's spirit in his bold caricature of the Black Fuehrer of Harlem. Rated: 4/5 Apr 25, 2018 Full Review Emanuel Levy EmanuelLevy.Com Nick Nolte is excellent in Keith Gordon's ambitious but flawed adaptation of Vonnegut's fascinating novel. Rated: C+ Apr 28, 2011 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

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      Steve D Some good ideas but the execution is mixed. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/15/23 Full Review Audience Member Mother Night worked for me. I know it did not for everyone. Roger Ebert, whom I've always respected as one of the greatest critics of all time, and one who I almost always agree with, didn't like it much. Nick Nolte plays the central character. A man with no political agenda, an American expatriate living in Germany before World War II, happily living out his life as a playwrite and married to a beautiful woman he adores. Circumstance, and some choice, lead him to act as a propagandist for the Nazi Party, but in secret, he is a spy transmitting intelligence to the U.S. He becomes so effective in he speeches, that he finds he inspired the hatred of the Nazis better than anyone, so much so that when the war is over, he is in hiding, but has a fanbase of Neo-Nazi admirers in the U.S., and the U.S. intelligence community will not come out and clear his name. There are plenty of other details, but that's the gist. What gets me is that a lot of viewers and critics alike seem to falter on what the message of the film is. This puzzles me, because to me the message of the film is pretty obvious. It even states it clearly in the beginning, taken directly from Vonnegut: "We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be." If you watch the rest of the film with that line clearly in mind, then the message of the film is pretty obvious. Even the ending makes it pretty clear that the central character, having realized that no vindication from the government, saying he is really a hero for what he did, can erase the evil that he spread in the world. It's so mind-numbingly simple that I don't get the confusion. Maybe the abundance of style in the film made it so some viewers felt it had to be more complicated than that. The film does not always work, but it is probably the best adaptation of an author as difficult to film as Vonnegut as you're likely to get. For that alone, the film deserves the four stars I'm giving it, but not five because of it's imperfections. The absurdity of Vonnegut is captured without becoming slapstick nonsense. It veers into pretension at times, but saves itself with solid performances. And, in the end, the message should be pretty damn crystal clear. I don't quite get the confusion of the critics. Anyway, if you appreciate Vonnegut, I think you'll appreciate the film. Even if you don't, just remember the quote, and you'll do fine. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/23/23 Full Review Audience Member Faithful to the book while adding extra character dimensions, thanks to the masterful performances by Nick Nolte, Alan Arkin and John Goodman. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/19/23 Full Review Audience Member Very effective adaptation of the Kurt Vonnegut novel. Very well done. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 02/24/23 Full Review Audience Member Far and away the best adaptation of Vonnegut (probably the best suited of KV's works, too). It is a fascinating film, and in some ways improves upon the novel. It also stands on its own if you have NOT read the book, which can't really be said for most of the other KV adaptations. Check it out. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 02/08/23 Full Review Frances H Deeply moving and profound story, even if very sad and fictional, I can see why the author felt that this was the best movie version of any of his books, although I also liked Slaughterhouse Five, whose mood was much lighter. Although I was never a Nick Nolte fan, his performance in this movie was outstanding. Although not really a movie just for entertainment, it had some very real truths about life, war , politics, and what makes life worth living, Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 01/23/13 Full Review Read all reviews
      Mother Night

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      Movie Info

      Synopsis At the dawn of World War II, American writer Howard Campbell (Nick Nolte) lives in Germany, where he pays little attention to the conflicts that surround him, instead preferring to attend elegant social events with his beautiful wife, Helga (Sheryl Lee). The U.S. government, however, enlists Howard to deliver pro-Nazi messages on European radio that are coded with secret messages for the Allied troops. But it isn't long before his superiors start suspecting that Howard is betraying them.
      Director
      Keith Gordon
      Producer
      Keith Gordon, Robert B. Weide
      Rating
      R
      Genre
      Comedy, Drama
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Nov 21, 2016
      Box Office (Gross USA)
      $390.5K
      Runtime
      1h 50m
      Sound Mix
      Surround
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