Written by Hans Fallada in 1947 as Every Man Dies Alone the book becomes a movie called Alone in Berlin.
Starring Brendan Gleeson (seen recently in Assassins Creed and Live by Night) and Emma Thompson (Burnt, Saving Mr Banks) playing the roles of Otto and Elise Hampel, a working class couple living in Berlin in 1940.
When news of their son’s death arrives, Otto buries himself in his factory work but soon decides to write cards denouncing Hitler and the war. He leaves these cards at various locations around Berlin. They are soon found and handed to police and Inspector Escherich is soon on the case to catch the perpetrator.
The couple know what will happen if they are caught and in a country where everyone watches everyone and no-one is to be trusted it becomes a game of cat and mouse.
The movie is not pretty as it shows what life in Berlin was like during the war. It has dark undertones and underlying tension through. Gleeson plays a remorse man who quietly goes about his business while Thompson is highly strung as the wife.
The book was written by Fallada in 24 days and he died prior to it being published. Amazingly a best seller in Germany, it wasn’t published in English until 2009.
I have seen 100’s of movies where I have read the book. This may well be the first book I bought because I have seen the movie.
A fine film worthy of your viewing.
Review by Geoff Jenke