Mother Night

Synopsis: Howard W. Campbell, Jr., an American expatriate playwright, Nazi radio propagandist, and Allied spy, writes his memoirs during his pre-trial confinement in 1961 Haifa and learns that people are what they pretend to be.
Genre: Drama, Romance, War
Director(s): Keith Gordon
Production: New Line Home Entertainment
Rotten Tomatoes:
114 min


"Haifa, Israel 1961"

Do you prefer German or English?


You are to write down your memoirs | for the Haifa Institute...

for the documentation | of war criminals.

You have three weeks to complete | your memoirs before your trial begins.

Do you have any questions?

No. This is great. | Thanks for everything.

"Jews, Negroes... | Mongrel"

You are the only man I know who has | a bad conscience about the war.

Who is this?

Bernard Liebman.

I have guard duty | from 2:00 till 10:00.

Oh. I see.

Everyone else on either side...

is convinced he couldn't have acted | in any other way.

How do you know I have | a bad conscience?

The way you talk | in your sleep.

I can tell something | is troubling you.

What do you imagine | is troubling me, Bernard Liebman?

All I heard were | a couple of names.

"Helga" was one.

"Hoess" was the other one.

I knew Hoess.

He had no trouble sleeping.

Slept like a baby | right up to the end.

You know this?

I guess so.

I helped hang him.

- With your testimony? | - No.

With my hands.

Did that give you | lots of satisfaction?

My job was to strap his ankles.

I did a very good job.

I see.

Afterwards, I packed my bags | to go home.

The catch on my suitcase | was broken...

so I buckled it shut | with a big leather strap.

Twice, within one hour...

I did the very same job.

Once to Hoess...

once to my suitcase.

Both jobs felt about the same.


I, Howard W. Campbell, Jr., | am an American by birth...

a Nazi by reputation...

and a nationless person | by inclination.

I am awaiting a fair trial for | my war crimes by the state of Israel.

I was born in Schenectady, New York, | on February 16, 1904.

My father was raised | in Tennessee...

the son of a Baptist minister.

He was a service engineer | for General Electric.

Because of his work...

most of his reading consisted | of tradejournals and technical books.

There were a few | notable exceptions.


In 1919, when General Electric | relocated my father...

we left Schenectady | and moved to Berlin, Germany.

By 1938...

I had become a successful | playwright in the German language...

and I had married | the young, beautiful...

and famous German actress Helga Noth.

When my parents left Germany...

they asked me to return | to the United States with them.

I didn't.

"My dear, sweet Eva...

this is the only way...

I know how to make good...

the frightful wrong | which has befallen us.

It does not matter | what lies ahead...

for I have | a full life behind me...

all in those few, | sweet hours with you.

I once told you | that I would pledge my life...

for our nation of two...

and reside there...

even in death...

as surely as I reside in heaven...

when your arms are around me.

Soon it will be time | to keep that pledge...

and I rejoice to think...

that earthly distractions | will no longer intrude...

on my eternal devotion to you.

From this moment forward...

our nation of two...

is the only country...

I will know. "

As the insanity of the world | descended on us...

my Helga and I survived | by pledging our undying loyalty...

to the only nation | that made any sense to us.

It was called | das Reich der Zwei...

"the nation of two. "

It was only one month after my parents | returned to the United States...

three years before America | would enter the war...

when I first met | my blue fairy godmother.

I call him that because no one | believes he existed but me.

But he really does exist... | or at least he did...

on that Sunday afternoon | so long ago in Berlin.

Nice-lookin' men.

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Robert B. Weide

Robert B. Weide (born June 20, 1959) is an American screenwriter, producer, and director, perhaps best known for his work on documentaries and Curb Your Enthusiasm. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Mother Night" STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 29 Nov. 2020. <>.

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