None Shall Escape (De Toth, 1944)

Obviously an Allied propaganda film, None Shall Escape embraces a fictional post war milieu set at the United Nations where Nazi’s are being tryed for crimes against humanity, even before WWII had ended in real life. The main subject is Wilhelm Grimm, a sadistic German living in Poland who gets exiled, then returns to rule over the small town he once resided in as a Nazi commandant. Wilhelm is confronted by three witnesses who’ve viewed different parts of his reign of terror, sharing the life’s work of this psycho and revealing his crimes for the court. The film is convincing in it’s condemnation of the Nazi regime by creating a truly awful villain, one who will stop at nothing, including killing off family, to save the master race. However, for all of it’s potent moments, None Shall Escape is very dry on the whole, ridiculously one note in it’s arc. On the positive side, the film does have moments of sheer heinousness shocking to be found in classical Hollywood cinema. I’m not familiar with De Toth’s work, but his westerns and some of his Noir look fascinating, so I’ll give those that are recommended a look in the near future.


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