A renowned film critic, scholar, and former editor of Cahiers du cinema, Jean-Michel Frodon is also a respected historian of cinematic representations of the Nazi genocide of Europe’s Jews. On the occasion of the English translation of his edited anthology Cinema and the Shoah, Frodon will present and discuss one of the few WWII-era Hollywood features to present Nazi ideology realistically, as an example of what Hannah Arendt famously phrased the “banality of evil.”
Special thanks: Lisa Rivo, National Center for Jewish Film.
Jean-Michel Frodon in Person
Special Event Tickets $12
Monday March 22 at 7pm
Directed by André de Toth.
With Alexander Knox, Marsha Hunt, Henry Travers
US 1944, 35mm, b/w, 85 min.
Shot in 1943, None Shall Escape already looks forward to a future where Nazi war criminals are put on trial. After first presenting Wilhelm Grimm as a prisoner charged with “crimes against humanity,” the film flashes back to the end of World War I to detail the process by which an ordinary man becomes a Nazi party leader. The hard-edged realism that Hungarian emigré director André de Toth would bring to subsequent films like Ramrod and Pitfall gives None Shall Escape a genuine toughness absent from Hollywood’s other anti-Nazi pictures. Besides its historical reality, None Shall Escape’s stark vision of a fascist state is given a chilling psychological realism by Alexander Knox’s brilliant embodiment of the fictional Grimm, a kind of Nazi everyman, and by the frightening details of the Nazi atrocities depicted, which were verified by the State Department, a standard practice during the war years.