The Night of the Generals


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148 Min

The Night of the Generals


The murder of a prostitute in Nazi occupied Warsaw draws Wehrmacht Major Grau into an investigation where the evidence points to one of three high ranking Generals. The trail leads Grau from Warsaw to Paris and straight into the 1944 plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, of which two of the Generals are deeply involved. Grau's case goes unfinished and it is not until 1965 when the true killer is brought to justice.


Jan 1st, 1967


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  • Goof (continuity error): The apparent fullness of Von Stauffenberg's briefcase changes from when he arrives to when he is inside; it is much thicker, fuller, and obviously heavier.
  • Goof (anachronisms): A modern Polish newspaper, the "Zycie Warszawy" (Polish: "Warsaw Everyday"), is clearly visible in the hands of a man who saw the German general on the stairs in the beginning of the movie. "Zycie Warszawy" was not published during the Nazi occupation.
  • Goof (anachronisms): The Soviet armored vehicle ZIL-152 on the Warsaw streets in 1942. The production of ZIL-152 began in 1950.
  • Goof (factual errors): The ranks given for the Waffen SS are totally incorrect as they are Wehrmacht ranks, not SS.
  • Goof (factual errors): At his French Headquarters, O'Toole/General Tanz is shown with a rank of SS-Obergruppenführer und General der Waffen-SS. A person with such a rank would command an army or at least a corps, not a division.
  • Goof (factual errors): The half tracks used are WWII American Internationals with sheet metal modifications to give them a more 'German' look. This is an acceptable expediency given that not many German half tracks survived the war and the collectors scene had yet to get underway.
  • Goof (anachronisms): It is extremely unlikely that a French Police Inspector would have been able to travel to Communist Poland in the 1960s and interview a former law enforcement official. This period of time was during heightened tension between the east and the west and it is doubtful the Polish government and immigration authorities would ever have allowed this meeting to take place.
  • Goof (factual errors): In the near beginning of the movie, Grau passes a swastika banner. The swastika is backwards.
  • Goof (anachronisms): At about 15 minutes into the movie, when General Tanz arrives at the Old Town quarter of Warsaw, there is a poster for the French film "Tintin et le mystere de la toison d'or", designed by Roslaw Szaybo in 1964.
  • Goof (factual errors): General Tanz is portrayed as having commanded the Nibelungen division of the Waffen SS and later attends a reunion with banners/shields saying it was founded in 1940. However, the Nibelungen was formed barely one month before the end of the war in 1945.
  • Goof (audio/visual unsynchronized): When Tanz says "naturally, I'm General" while holding the gun on Corporal Hartmann, his mouth movements are significantly out of sync.
  • Goof (factual errors): A Nazi general would never own an English car with a right-hand drive seat.
  • Goof (revealing mistake): Some of the background images in the car tour through Paris are in black & white.
  • Goof (audio/visual unsynchronized): When Inspector Hauser confronts General Tanz at the divisional reunion, the name of his Hamburg victim, Erica Muller, is poorly overdubbed in a glaringly different tone.
  • Goof (revealing mistake): When General Tanz (depicted as an SS General) arrives in Paris, he immediately asks Generals Gabler and Kahlenberge (who are Regular Army) to re-enforce his division with four thousand troops and new equipment. Within the Waffen-SS, all supply, manpower, and procurement requests were handled by the SS Operations Head Office in Berlin and not through channels of the Regular German Army. Thus, Tanz's request in Paris makes little sense.
  • Goof (anachronisms): Modern Polish street name plates are clearly visible in the film's 1942 Warsaw (eg. "Nowomiejska" street).
  • Goof (factual errors): The Lichnowski's Palace, a palace in Warsaw where the Nazi's were to have their headquarters, according to one character's memoirs, is in fact the Braniccy's Palace, and never served as a headquarter during Nazi occupation. Moreover, the Lichnowski's Palace is located, not in Warsaw, but in the Silezia area, which before the war was part of Nazi Germany.
  • Goof (continuity error): Major Grau's car headlights are covered during night in Warshaw, but are uncovered the day later. That's a continuity mistake and that's a historical mistake because car lights must be covered due to air strike risk and curfew policies, specially when they are military cars.
  • Goof (factual errors): In the middle of the film, General Tanz's entire Panzer Division transfers from the Regular Army to the Waffen-SS. This would never have happened in the real German military, since SS units were independently formed, trained, and never augmented with units from the Regular Army.
  • Goof (factual errors): Major Grau is handed a German soldier's identity disc from the crime scene in Paris shortly before Operation Valkyrie commences. He reveals the name of the suspect by apparently reading the name on the disc. German identity discs, however, never contained the soldier's name on them - only their roll number, unit designation and occasionally their blood group.
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