Rogues' Regiment (1948)

85-86 mins | Drama | November 1948

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HISTORY

The film's opening scene showing the cremation of Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun was re-created from photographs made by art director Gabriel Scognamillo while he was with Army intelligence in Berlin and from a description by Hitler's chauffeur. Newsreel footage of the Nuremberg trial was used in the film's opening with a voice-over narration outlining the trial, verdicts and sentences. The character of "Carl Reicher/Martin Bruener" and the premise of Rogues' Regiment were inspired by the three-year search by Allied intelligence officers for Martin Bormann, the third highest-ranking Nazi official at the close of the war, about whom little was known and whose escape or death was never confirmed.
       Production notes indicate that actor Charles Boyer allowed use of his French Research Foundation files for background data in the film. A Mar 1948 HR news item announced that Miklos Rozsa was to compose and conduct the score. Additonal news items list actors Louis Jean Heydt and Frederic Tozere as cast members, but their appearance in the film has not been confirmed. This film marked the first time that actor Stephen McNalley was billed under that name. He previously had been billed as Horace ... More Less

The film's opening scene showing the cremation of Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun was re-created from photographs made by art director Gabriel Scognamillo while he was with Army intelligence in Berlin and from a description by Hitler's chauffeur. Newsreel footage of the Nuremberg trial was used in the film's opening with a voice-over narration outlining the trial, verdicts and sentences. The character of "Carl Reicher/Martin Bruener" and the premise of Rogues' Regiment were inspired by the three-year search by Allied intelligence officers for Martin Bormann, the third highest-ranking Nazi official at the close of the war, about whom little was known and whose escape or death was never confirmed.
       Production notes indicate that actor Charles Boyer allowed use of his French Research Foundation files for background data in the film. A Mar 1948 HR news item announced that Miklos Rozsa was to compose and conduct the score. Additonal news items list actors Louis Jean Heydt and Frederic Tozere as cast members, but their appearance in the film has not been confirmed. This film marked the first time that actor Stephen McNalley was billed under that name. He previously had been billed as Horace McNalley. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
9 Oct 1948.
---
Daily Variety
30 Sep 48
p. 3, 11
Film Daily
1 Oct 48
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Mar 48
p. 22.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Mar 48
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Mar 48
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Apr 48
p. 7, 11
Hollywood Reporter
13 May 48
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
18 May 48
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
21 May 48
p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Sep 48
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
2 Oct 48
p. 4333.
New York Times
20 Dec 48
p. 31.
Variety
6 Oct 48
p. 11.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Robert Buckner Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
WRITERS
Orig story
Orig story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
COSTUMES
Miss Toren's gowns
DANCE
Dance dir
MAKEUP
Hairstylist
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Tech adv
SOURCES
SONGS
"Who Can Tell (Not I)" and "Just for Awhile," music by Serge Walter, lyrics by Jack Brooks, German lyrics by Walter Jurman.
DETAILS
Release Date:
November 1948
Production Date:
early April--late May 1948
Copyright Claimant:
Universal Pictures Co., inc.
Copyright Date:
16 November 1948
Copyright Number:
LP1943
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
85-86
Country:
United States
PCA No:
13211
SYNOPSIS

At the end of World War II, American intelligence agent Whit Corbett is assigned to locate the last remaining high-ranking Nazi official at large, Martin Bruener, of whom no photos exist. Tracking Bruener to French Indochina, Whit plans to go undercover in the French Foreign Legion, a favored retreat of former Nazis. On the train to Saigon he meets Mark Van Ratten, a German masquerading as a Dutch antique dealer, and Bruener, who claims to be Carl Reicher, a former Wehrmacht private. In Saigon, Van Ratten, suspecting Bruener's true affiliation, warns him that the Legion is ferreting out those enlistees suspected of SS connections and sends Bruener to a man who can remove his tell-tale SS tattoo. Later, at a bar frequented by legionnaires, Bruener runs into his former lieutenant, Erich Heindorf, and warns him not to reveal his identity. At the same club, Whit meets singer Lili Maubert, a French agent, who puts him in contact with his local superior, Colonel Mauclaire. Mauclaire gives Whit a photo of Nazi officers sitting with Bruener, whose back is to the camera, and in the military archives, Whit matches one of the men in the picture to legionnaire Heindorf. As the local revolutionaries are continually mounting guerrilla attacks against the French, both Whit and Bruener are accepted into the Legion without question. Meanwhile, Lili discovers that Van Ratten sells equipment and rifles to the guerrillas and helps plan attacks. When Whit learns that Heindorf wishes a transfer, he suspects Bruener may be nearby posing a threat and plans to interrogate Heindorf. Before he can do so, the legionnaires are assigned a mission ... +


At the end of World War II, American intelligence agent Whit Corbett is assigned to locate the last remaining high-ranking Nazi official at large, Martin Bruener, of whom no photos exist. Tracking Bruener to French Indochina, Whit plans to go undercover in the French Foreign Legion, a favored retreat of former Nazis. On the train to Saigon he meets Mark Van Ratten, a German masquerading as a Dutch antique dealer, and Bruener, who claims to be Carl Reicher, a former Wehrmacht private. In Saigon, Van Ratten, suspecting Bruener's true affiliation, warns him that the Legion is ferreting out those enlistees suspected of SS connections and sends Bruener to a man who can remove his tell-tale SS tattoo. Later, at a bar frequented by legionnaires, Bruener runs into his former lieutenant, Erich Heindorf, and warns him not to reveal his identity. At the same club, Whit meets singer Lili Maubert, a French agent, who puts him in contact with his local superior, Colonel Mauclaire. Mauclaire gives Whit a photo of Nazi officers sitting with Bruener, whose back is to the camera, and in the military archives, Whit matches one of the men in the picture to legionnaire Heindorf. As the local revolutionaries are continually mounting guerrilla attacks against the French, both Whit and Bruener are accepted into the Legion without question. Meanwhile, Lili discovers that Van Ratten sells equipment and rifles to the guerrillas and helps plan attacks. When Whit learns that Heindorf wishes a transfer, he suspects Bruener may be nearby posing a threat and plans to interrogate Heindorf. Before he can do so, the legionnaires are assigned a mission during which they are ambushed and surrounded. When Heindorf attempts to flee, Bruener shoots him in the back, and the severely wounded Heindorf is carried off by the guerrillas. Whit arranges to get into the guerrilla camp to speak to Heindorf. Realizing that Whit is closing in, Bruener goes to Van Ratten for help in securing a passport and transportation out of Indochina. As payment Bruener offers part of the contents of a chest of tools made entirely of platinum. When Van Ratten reveals that he has recognized Bruener, Bruener kills him and attempts to escape. With Heindorf's confirmation of Bruener's identity, Whit intervenes and, after a bitter fight, has Bruener arrested. Back in Germany, Bruener is tried and executed, while Whit returns to his home state of Nebraska with Lili. +

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.