Based on the extraordinary true story of Operation Anthropoid, the WWII mission to assassinate SS General Reinhard Heydrich, the main architect behind the Final Solution and the Reich's third in command after Hitler and Himmler.
ANTHROPOID is based on the extraordinary true story of Operation Anthropoid, the World War II mission to assassinate SS General Reinhard Heydrich. The Reich's third in command after Hitler and Himmler, Heydrich was the main architect behind the Final Solution and the leader of occupying Nazi forces in Czechoslovakia whose reign of terror prompted self-exiled Czech and Slovak soldiers (played by Cillian Murphy and Jamie Dornan) to hatch a top-secret mission that would change the face of Europe forever.iWritten by
In the scenes in the crypt beneath the Ss. Cyril and Methodius Cathedral, the presence of a copy of Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar" is a reference to the similarity to the plot of the film as well as the circumstances recounted in the respective works, and a grim foreboding of the fates of the protagonists. The (unknown number, but agreed to be around a dozen) assassins of Caesar, after contriving the dictator's death - under chaotic circumstances not dissimilar to those surrounding Operation Anthropoid - the leaders of the conspiracy, Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus, escaped Rome and raising an army, they were confronted at Philippi in Macedonia. Defeated by the armies of the Second Triumvirate under the leadership of Gaius Octavianus (the future Emperor Augustus) and Mark Antony, they eventually committed suicide to avoid capture and certain execution. Cassius slit his throat after the capture of his camp by Antony, while Brutus ran himself through with a sword with the assistance of a slave, once approached by overwhelming forces. In Shakespeare's play, the battle and suicides constitute the dramatic climax of the play, mirroring the fates of the assassins. See more »
The fire hose connections on the fire truck are of modern day. The connections from that day and time were the screw on type, much like the connections on a garden water hose. See more »
Greetings again from the darkness. It's been more than 70 years since the Second World War ended, and it's still producing fascinating stories, books, and movies. Director Sean Ellis co-wrote the script with Anthony Frewin after tireless research into a secret mission of the Czech resistance known as Operation Anthropoid. The purpose was to assassinate SS General Reinhard Heydrich, third in command of The Reich behind only Hitler and Himmler.
Hitler invaded Poland the year after taking Czechoslovakia and put Heydrich in charge. In addition to being the main architect behind the Final Solution, Heydrich became known as "The Butcher of Prague" as thousands of citizens were slain under his reign of terror.
The story is split into two distinct parts the buildup and the aftermath. It's late 1941 when we see Jan Kubis (Jamie Dornan) and Josef Gabcik (Cillian Murphy) parachute into the territory outside of Prague and make their way to the city only to discover their contact has been killed. Over the next few months, the two soldiers spend time planning, observing and blending in, while living with their host family – the Moravecs. They become attached to two local ladies (Charlotte Le Bon, Anna Geislorova), first as cover for the mission, and then in a more personal manner as tension builds and the mission gets closer.
Many of the original, historic and actual locations are used which adds an element of realism to a story that's already plenty real and emotional. The second half of the story is what happens after the assassination. Seven of the original parachutists go into hiding in the basement of the Saints Cyril and Methodius Cathedral. The manhunt is brutal and extensive, and once the hideout is discovered, a seemingly unending parade of German soldiers and ever-increasing weaponry are unleashed. It's a beautifully filmed, but gut-wrenching scene think of the last stand at The Alamo.
An extended shootout (6 hours in real time) may not seem like a fun day at the movies, but this story goes to the bravery and desperation of those who refused to give in to the relentless savagery of the Germans. In addition to Ms. Le Bon and Ms. Geislorova, Czech screen vet Alena Mihulova is another standout here. The pacing of the story telling is a bit off at times, but director Ellis brings historical accuracy to a fascinating story in ways that movies such as Valkyrie and Inglourious Basterds didn't even attempt. As courageous as those in the resistance were, the aftermath and reprisals do beg the question was it worth the price? Not an easy question to answer even in hindsight.
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