Please sign in to post.

Anthropoid - new movie about the Heydrich assassination in Prague

I just saw Anthropoid yesterday and can't stop thinking about it, even though I knew the story and how it would end it was a very intense experience, with excellent performances by Cillian Murphy and Jamie Dornan as Gabcik and Kubis, and I highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in WWII. Filmed in Prague so it was good to see familiar places, and I'm sorry now that when I visited last year I didn't find Saints Cyril and Methodius Church where they held the Germans at bay for 6 hours--you can tour the crypt.

Posted by
4637 posts

Yes, it was filmed in Prague and it also happened there. For anybody who is interested in the story I can recommend excellent non-fiction book by Callum MacDonald: The Killing of SS Obergruppen Fuehrer Reinhard Heydrich.
There is also old Czech movie: Atentat (Assassination).

Posted by
2163 posts

Thank you for the book recommendation--there are a few out there and last night I was dithering over them on Amazon.

Posted by
1118 posts

We, too, just saw this movie and loved it !

Now we have to return to Prague to visit the church - it is still standing with the bullet marks on the window - at least from the photo that appeared on google search....

Posted by
2261 posts

We made it a point to go by the church when were in Prague in 2010, indeed it is still there with all the damage, it is a moving memorial.

(As an added bonus, once you are there it's under 1/4 mile from there to the "Dancing Building".)

Posted by
170 posts

Thank you for this post. The story of the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich is fascinating. Cillian Murphy, who has those intensely blue eyes, would make a good assassin!

There is a particularly interesting bit of historical irony involving Heydrich. His brother, Heinz Heydrich, who was also in the SS, helped Jews escape the Holocaust. Thus, Reinhard Heydrich was an architect of the Holocaust, while Heinz Heydrich helped Jews escape it. Go here for more information: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heinz_Heydrich

Posted by
2163 posts

Craig--thank you for the link, indeed quite ironic that Heinz assisted the Jews.

Posted by
646 posts

The church's crypt is an informative and moving museum. It's pocket sized and free. The front room is just photo panels and storyline, but very well done. Behind a sculptural door made of an airplane wing is the crypt where the assasins made their last stand. There are busts of all the heros there together with moving tributes including flowers, dog tags, and children's drawings. We saw a higher percentage of Czechs in this museum than anyother we visited. But as its far, far from crowded that could be a fluck. The gentlemen at the desk told us local svhoolmgroups visit often. The bullet holes are outside. It's all free and we'll worth the detour from old town. Besides the Dancing House is three blocks away and the view of The St. Charles Bridge from the bridge opposite the Dancing House is grand.

We bought the historical novel HHhH by Laurent Binet at the museum's tiny shop. It's a novelization of the process of writing an historical account of the assassination without inventing facts. It's rather meta, but a great read. Having just read it, the movie trailer didn't look great to me. It appeared to focus on the young men's love lives (largely fictional) more than the problems and moral choices. The assasins knew there would be a retaliation against civilians and there certainly was. Please tell me the movie is better than the reviews.

Posted by
3107 posts

Poking around , I just bumped into this . While I have not yet seen this new release , for those interested in the story , there is a film from the seventies entitled " Operation Daybreak " starring Martin Shaw , Anthony Andrews , and Timothy Bottoms that brutally presents the story . Based on the book by Alan Burgess , " Seven Men at Daybreak " , I could not sleep after seeing it some years ago , worth seeking out . We visited the church three years ago , a very moving experience . The film also stars Anton Diffring as Heydrich , the quintessential Nazi in film despite his totally opposing views in real life .

Posted by
197 posts

There's also "Prague Fatale", one of the Bernie Gunther series, that centers around this assassination. Books are written by Philip Kerr.

Posted by
4637 posts

jen, you are right. The movie is a little bit Hollywoody although it was not made there. Kubis was Czech, Gabcik Slovak. The guys were not so emotional and philosophical as shown in the movie. They had girlfriends but certainly did not discuss with them their task.
Those guys were trained British commandos. They were sent by Czech president in exile Benes. After assassination the Munich treaty was annulled by British government and Czech government in exile was fully recognized. Unfortunately the support group was not so thoroughly screened and one member of the group (Curda was his name) betrayed the group to Nazis. (He was executed after the war). Without betrayal Nazis would probably not get them.
Nazi retributions were severe; two villages razed to ground (Lidice and Lezaky), men shot, women and children sent to concentration camps where most of them died. And many other people executed. It was total terror unimaginable for someone living in democratic society. Heydrich was the highest ranked Nazi assassinated in WWII.

Posted by
2163 posts

Last weekend on TCM I happened on a movie made in 1943 called Hitler's Madman, with John Carradine as Heydrich, quite a chilling performance. The movie plays fast and loose with the facts, and focuses more on the decimation of Lidice, inspired by Edna St. Vincent Millay's poem "Lidice", recited throughout.

Posted by
63 posts

I just rented Anthropid. Thank you for the recommendation. It looks like it is right up my alley.

Posted by
2163 posts

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did, let us know. That final hour was absolutely nerve-wracking for me.

Posted by
63 posts

I watched the film and enjoyed it. It is well done and very sad. The German occupation was so harsh. I found parts painful to watch but well worth it.

Posted by
285 posts

I watched the film last week as well. I thought it was very well done and the acting was compelling. I will have to make sure to visit the church when I fit in a trip to Prague on my next itinerary through Eastern Europe.

Posted by
12400 posts

Leave it to John Carradine to play villainous, evil roles. Hollywood also produced another film in 1943 with Brian Donlevy on the killing of Heydrich, "Hangmen Also Die."