“I will show you there is a difference between a Nazi and a German!”
When an American sergeant (James Best) is wounded while exploring a sniper-infested village in Germany near the end of World War II, he’s nursed to health by a German woman (Susan Cummings) who he marries — but is Cummings genuinely in love with Best, or just exploiting his access to food? Meanwhile, Cummings’ impressionable younger brother (Harold Daye) becomes more deeply involved in a group of neo-Nazi “werewolves” whose deceptive leader (Tom Pittman) works alongside Best.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Cross-Cultural Romance
- Sam Fuller Films
- World War II
Former G.I. Samuel Fuller wrote, directed, and produced this punchy look at life in post-war Germany, as former Nazis and everyday Germans tried to find a place for themselves in a landscape run by the American Military Government. Made on an incredibly low budget, the film’s sparse sets nonetheless effectively set the tone for a politically confused nation with starving citizens unsure where to turn or what to do next.
Verboten! is notable for preceding Judgment at Nuremberg (1961) in its frank depiction of the atrocities of concentration camps, with ample use made of actual footage — and if Fuller is typically blunt in his handling of dramatic scenes, it’s in service of a story worth telling.
This one is a must-see for Fuller fans, and recommended for others.
Notable Performances, Qualities, and Moments:
- Expressive low-budget sets
- Joseph Biroc’s atmospheric cinematography
No, but it’s worth a look as a unique film by a unique director.