Hangmen Also Die! is a 1943 noir war film directed by the Austrian director Fritz Lang and written by John Wexley from a story by Bertolt Brecht (credited as Bert Brecht) and Lang. The film stars Hans Heinrich von Twardowski, Brian Donlevy, Walter Brennan, Alexander Granach and Anna Lee, and features Gene Lockhart and Dennis O'Keefe. Hanns Eisler composed the score, being nominated for an Academy Award, and the cinematographer was James Wong Howe.
The film is loosely based on the 1942 assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, the Nazi Reich Protector of German-occupied Prague, number-two man in the SS, and a chief mastermind of the Holocaust, who was known as "The Hangman of Prague." The real Heydrich was assassinated by Czech resistance fighters parachuted from a British plane in Operation Anthropoid, but in the film, which was made during World War II before the full story had become public knowledge, Heydrich's killer is depicted as a member of the Czech resistance with ties to the Communist Party.
Hangmen Also Die! was Bertolt Brecht's only script for a Hollywood film: the money he earned from the project enabled him to write The Visions of Simone Machard, Schweik in the Second World War and an adaptation of Webster's The Duchess of Malfi. The collaboration of three prominent refugees from Nazi Germany - Lang, Brecht and Hanns Eisler - is an example of the influence this generation of German-speaking exiles had on American culture.