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HISTORY

Town Without Pity was also known as Shocker . It was described in the 9 Apr 1961 NYT as the first German-American co-production since World War II.
Lead actor Kirk Douglas’s production entity, the Bryna Company, was named as a co-producer in the 14 Oct 1960 LAT, which also stated that William Schorr would act as a “special representative” for Mirisch Corp. Douglas received a $1 million salary, according to a 25 Jul 1961 LAT. brief.
       Filming of exteriors was scheduled to begin in France on 24 Oct 1960, according to the 13 Oct 1960 DV. Shortly after, a 4 Nov 1960 DV production chart reported a 28 Oct 1960 start of principal photography. After shooting in the French Riviera, cast and crew moved to Germany in early Nov 1960, as noted in the 10 Nov 1960 NYT. There, interiors were shot at Gloria—Film’s studio in Munich. The German towns of Bamberg and Forcheim also served as locations, before bad weather prompted another move to a film studio in Vienna Austria, according to the 25 Dec 1960 LAT.
       Bob Joseph, listed as the film’s publicist in the 26 Oct 1960 DV, was chosen to play a small role in a battlefield scene, according to the 11 Nov 1960 DV. Items in the 21 Dec 1960 LAT and 11 Jan 1961 DV named the following as cast members: Al Hoosman; and Kirk Douglas’s five-year-old son, Peter Douglas, who was set to make his feature film debut.
       The picture was initially denied a Production Code ... More Less

Town Without Pity was also known as Shocker . It was described in the 9 Apr 1961 NYT as the first German-American co-production since World War II.
Lead actor Kirk Douglas’s production entity, the Bryna Company, was named as a co-producer in the 14 Oct 1960 LAT, which also stated that William Schorr would act as a “special representative” for Mirisch Corp. Douglas received a $1 million salary, according to a 25 Jul 1961 LAT. brief.
       Filming of exteriors was scheduled to begin in France on 24 Oct 1960, according to the 13 Oct 1960 DV. Shortly after, a 4 Nov 1960 DV production chart reported a 28 Oct 1960 start of principal photography. After shooting in the French Riviera, cast and crew moved to Germany in early Nov 1960, as noted in the 10 Nov 1960 NYT. There, interiors were shot at Gloria—Film’s studio in Munich. The German towns of Bamberg and Forcheim also served as locations, before bad weather prompted another move to a film studio in Vienna Austria, according to the 25 Dec 1960 LAT.
       Bob Joseph, listed as the film’s publicist in the 26 Oct 1960 DV, was chosen to play a small role in a battlefield scene, according to the 11 Nov 1960 DV. Items in the 21 Dec 1960 LAT and 11 Jan 1961 DV named the following as cast members: Al Hoosman; and Kirk Douglas’s five-year-old son, Peter Douglas, who was set to make his feature film debut.
       The picture was initially denied a Production Code seal of approval, as stated in the 9 May 1961 NYT. However, presumably after edits were made, the 26 Sep 1961 DV reported that the seal had been granted. The Catholic Legion of Decency rated the film as an “A-III,” which indicated it was “morally objectionable for adults.”
       Although tepid reviews in the 10 Oct 1961 DV and 20 Nov 1961 LAT criticized the film’s overuse of its title tune, “Town Without Pity,” the song received an Academy Award nomination for Music (Song) and won a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song – Motion Picture. Actress Christine Kaufmann also received a Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year – Actress.
       The film opened in Europe months before its U.S. release. A 112-minute version opened in West Germany in Mar 1961 as Stadt ohne Mitleid.
       Although the 13 Oct 1960 DV stated that Manfred Gregor adapted the screenplay from his 1960 novel, Das Urteil, he did not receive screenwriting credit. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
13 Oct 1960
p. 2.
Daily Variety
26 Oct 1960
p. 26.
Daily Variety
4 Nov 1960
p. 7.
Daily Variety
11 Nov 1960
p. 3.
Daily Variety
11 Jan 1961
p. 6.
Daily Variety
26 Sep 1961
p. 2.
Daily Variety
10 Oct 1961
p. 3, 8.
Daily Variety
12 Oct 1961
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
14 Oct 1960
Section A, p. 9.
Los Angeles Times
21 Dec 1960
Section B, p. 6.
Los Angeles Times
25 Dec 1960
Section F, p. 3, 8.
Los Angeles Times
25 Jul 1961
Section C, p. 7.
Los Angeles Times
16 Nov 1961
Section A, p. 13.
Los Angeles Times
20 Nov 1961
Section C, p. 17.
New York Times
10 Nov 1960
p. 62.
New York Times
9 Apr 1961
p. 9.
New York Times
9 May 1961
p. 45.
New York Times
11 Oct 1961
p. 53.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANIES
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Gottfried Reinhardt Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
COSTUMES
Cost des
MUSIC
MAKEUP
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod supv
Prod mgr
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Das Urteil by Manfred Gregor (Vienna, 1960).
SONGS
"Town Without Pity," words and music by Dimitri Tiomkin and Ned Washington.
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Ville sans pitié
Stadt ohne Mitleid
Shocker
Release Date:
10 October 1961
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 10 October 1961
Los Angeles opening: 17 November 1961
Production Date:
began 28 October 1960
Copyright Claimant:
Mirisch Corp.
Copyright Date:
21 September 1961
Copyright Number:
LP21203
Physical Properties:
Sound
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
105
Countries:
Germany, United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In the small German town of Neustadt, sixteen-year-old Karin Steinhof is brutally raped by four drunken GI's from the U. S. occupation forces. Outraged, the girl's father and the bürgermeister demand that the military impose the death penalty, a verdict possible only if Karin takes the stand to testify. The defense counsel, Major Steve Garrett, warns Karin's father that he will do all in his legal power to save the men's lives, even if it means subjecting Karin to vicious cross-examination and destroying her reputation. Herr Steinhof remains adamant in his determination to exact revenge, however, and he insists that Karin testify. At the trial, Garrett uses the testimonies of vindictive witnesses to establish Karin as a tease who enjoyed exposing her naked body. He then calls her to the stand and ruthlessly badgers and taunts the girl with the implication that when the soldiers first saw her she was standing nude in the hope of exciting her boyfriend. Unable to bear the ordeal, Karin collapses before completing her testimony. Since the death penalty cannot now be imposed, the four men receive long prison sentences. As an ashamed Garrett prepares to leave the court, he learns that Karin has committed suicide after being ridiculed by the townspeople. Shunned by his fellow officers and the local citizenry, Garrett packs his briefcase and leaves ... +


In the small German town of Neustadt, sixteen-year-old Karin Steinhof is brutally raped by four drunken GI's from the U. S. occupation forces. Outraged, the girl's father and the bürgermeister demand that the military impose the death penalty, a verdict possible only if Karin takes the stand to testify. The defense counsel, Major Steve Garrett, warns Karin's father that he will do all in his legal power to save the men's lives, even if it means subjecting Karin to vicious cross-examination and destroying her reputation. Herr Steinhof remains adamant in his determination to exact revenge, however, and he insists that Karin testify. At the trial, Garrett uses the testimonies of vindictive witnesses to establish Karin as a tease who enjoyed exposing her naked body. He then calls her to the stand and ruthlessly badgers and taunts the girl with the implication that when the soldiers first saw her she was standing nude in the hope of exciting her boyfriend. Unable to bear the ordeal, Karin collapses before completing her testimony. Since the death penalty cannot now be imposed, the four men receive long prison sentences. As an ashamed Garrett prepares to leave the court, he learns that Karin has committed suicide after being ridiculed by the townspeople. Shunned by his fellow officers and the local citizenry, Garrett packs his briefcase and leaves Neustadt. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.