Canaris is a 1954 West German drama film directed by Alfred Weidenmann and starring O. E. Hasse, Barbara Rütting and Adrian Hoven. It portrays real events during the Second World War when Wilhelm Canaris the head of German military intelligence was arrested and executed for his involvement with the 20 July Plot to overthrow Adolf Hitler. The film was a major success at the German box office, possibly because it allowed audiences to identify with a heroic German figure disassociated from Nazism. Released in the UK as Canaris Master Spy, and in the US as Deadly Decision—it is also known by the alternative title Canaris: Master Spy.
|Directed by||Alfred Weidenmann|
|Produced by||Emile J. Lustig|
|Edited by||Ilse Voigt|
|Music by||Siegfried Franz|
- O. E. Hasse as Admiral Canaris
- Barbara Rütting as Irene von Harbeck
- Adrian Hoven as Captain Althoff
- Martin Held as Obergruppenfuehrer Heydrich
- Wolfgang Preiss as Colonel Holl
- Peter Mosbacher as Fernandez
- Charles Regnier as Baron Trenti
- Franz Essel as Beckmann
- Alice Treff as Fräulein Winter
- Herbert Wilk as Hauptmann Degenhard
- Klaus Miedel as André, Franz. Offizier
- Arthur Schröder as Herr von Harbeck
- Ilse Fürstenberg as Anna Lüdtke
- Arno Paulsen as Taxifahrer
- Nora Hagist as Luftwaffenhelferin
Canaris opened in Hanover on 30 December 1954. The distributor played down any political significance to the film, and marketed it as the story of a good German Christian "whose human tragedy reflects the experience of millions of Germans."
The film was generally well received by critics, the press, and the public. It was recognized by the FBW as "especially valuable", and was awarded a Bambi for being the most financially successful film of 1955.
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- Wolfgram, Mark A. (2011). "Getting History Right": East and West German Collective Memories of the Holocaust and War. Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press. pp. 136–137. ISBN 978-1-61148-006-1.
- Cooke, Paul; Silberman, Marc, eds. (2010). Screening War: Perspectives on German Suffering. Rochester, NY: Camden House. pp. 57–60. ISBN 978-1-57113-437-0. Retrieved 17 April 2016.