AFI Catalog of Feature Films
Movie Detail
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Women in Bondage
Alternate Title: Hitler's Women
Director: Steve Sekely (Dir)
Release Date:   10 Jan 1944
Production Date:   4 Aug--21 Aug 1943 at the Chaplin Studios
Duration (in mins):   72
Duration (in feet):   6,385
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Cast:   Gail Patrick (Margot Bracken)  
    Nancy Kelly (Toni Hall)  
    Bill Henry (Corp. Heinz Radtke)  
    Tala Birell (Ruth Bracken)  
    Gertrude Michael (Gertrude Schneider)  
    Alan Baxter (Otto Bracken)  
    Maris Wrixon (Grete Ziegler)  
    Rita Quigley (Herta Ruman)  
    Felix Basch (Dr. Mensch)  
    H. B. Warner (Pastor Renz)  
    Anne Nagel (Deputy)  
    Mary Forbes (Gladys Bracken)  
    Frederic Brunn (District leader)  
    Roland Varno (Ernst Bracken)  
    Ralph Linn (Corp. Mueller)  
    Francine Bordeaux (Litzl)  
    Aune Franks (Blonde)  
    Gisela Werbiseck (Herta's grandmother)  

Summary: Margot Bracken, the wife of Ernst Bracken, a German officer serving on the Russian front, returns to the family estate at Brackenfeld in war-torn Germany to live with Ruth, her sister-in-law, and Gladys, her mother-in-law. Gertrude Schneider, the district leader of the youth movement, appoints Margot to be section leader of a group of girls which includes Toni Hall, who is in love with Corporal Heinz Radtke. Only physically perfect women are allowed to marry soldiers in the SS, and therefore, the Reich rejects Toni's marriage to Heinz because she is near-sighted. When Heinz spurns her, Toni hysterically denounces the government and is arrested. She is declared insane and shot as she attempts to rejoin Heinz. Gertrude, who despises Margot for being too lenient with her charges, orders her examined under the ruling that all women must bear children. When Ernst, paralyzed by wounds he received in battle, returns home, Gertrude tries to force Margot to allow her brother-in-law to father her child. Upon learning of the situation, Ernst, humiliated, commits suicide. Incensed by the Nazi atrocities, Margot defies blackout orders and directs an Allied air raid to the location of the hidden munitions works nearby. As an Allied bomb lands on Brackenfeld, Margo rejoices that these raids will lead to the eventual liberation of all degraded European women. 

Production Company: Monogram Productions, Inc.  
Distribution Company: Monogram Pictures Corp.  
Director: Steve Sekely (Dir)
  William Strohbach (Asst dir)
  Eddie Davis (2d asst dir)
  Harold Erickson (Dial dir)
Producer: Trem Carr (Exec prod)
  Herman Millakowsky (Prod)
  Jeffrey Bernerd (Assoc prod)
Writer: Frank Wisbar (Orig story)
  Houston Branch (Scr)
Photography: Mack Stengler (Dir of photog)
Art Direction: Dave Milton (Art dir)
Film Editor: Richard Currier (Film ed)
Set Decoration: Al Greenwood (Set dresser)
Music: Edward Kay (Mus dir)
Sound: Tom Lambert (Sd eng)
Production Misc: Frank Wisbar (Tech adv)
Country: United States

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Monogram Pictures Corp. 12/11/1943 dd/mm/yyyy LP12390

Genre: Drama
Sub-Genre: World War II
Subjects (Major): Eugenics
  War crimes
Subjects (Minor): Bombing, Aerial
  War injuries
  World War II

Note: The working title of this film was Hitler's Women . The picture marked the first American production of Herman Millakowsky. Millakowsky, who had enjoyed a successful producing career in Germany and France, left Europe to escape the Nazis. According to a HR news item, the film was based on material that Millakowsky had compiled during his residence in France, Germany and Austria. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Box Office   27 Nov 1943.   
Daily Variety   10 Nov 43   p. 3.
Film Daily   16 Nov 43   p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter   24 Feb 43   p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter   4 Aug 43   p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter   10 Aug 43   p. 18.
Hollywood Reporter   23 Aug 43   p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter   10 Nov 43   p. 4.
Motion Picture Herald   20 Nov 1943.   
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest   25 Sep 43   p. 1554.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest   20 Nov 43   p. 1634.
Variety   24 Nov 43   p. 18.

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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.
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