Mother Night

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Mother Night ★★★ 1996 (R)

American writer Howard Campbell (Nolte) is recruited as a spy in pre-WWII Germany in this adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut's 1962 novel. He poses as a Nazi sympathizer in broadcasts to American troops, but his anti-semitic diatribes are actually coded information crucial to the Allies. After the war, Campbell's life unravels as he loses his young wife (Lee) and the U.S. government refuses to acknowledge his efforts. He is smuggled back to the U.S., where both Israeli Nazi-hunters and twisted neo-Nazis search for him. After being captured, imprisoned in Israel, and conversing with fellow prisoner Adolf Eichmann (Gibson), Campbell realizes the moral of this dark comedy: “We are what we pretend to be.” Arkin is excellent as his Greenwich Village neighbor who also has some secrets. If you look closely, you can see author Vonnegut in a cameo. 113m/C VHS, DVD . Nick Nolte, Sheryl Lee, Alan Arkin, John Goodman, Kirsten Dunst, David Strathairn, Arye Gross, Frankie Faison, Bernard Behrens, Henry Gibson; D: Keith Gordon; W: Robert B. Weide; C: Tom Richmond; M: Michael Convertino.