Verboten! Review

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An American G.I based in Germany falls in love with a German woman and ends up marrying her. However she has a younger, easily-led brother who falls in with a Nazi cult called Werewolves. The cult then plot against the Americans leaving the G.I. trying to save his brother-in-law.


Set in occupied Berlin just after World War II, this didactic Fuller movie follows G.I. James Best's marriage to a desperate fraulein (Cummings) while her one-armed younger brother (Tom Pittman) falls in with the Werewolves, a Nazi revival cult. In a blunt but powerful scene, Cummings saves her brother's soul by taking him to the Nuremberg War Crimes tribunal where Fuller cuts in a lot of documentary footage.

In a typical Fuller touch, the background score uses Beethoven and Wagner with gunshots replacing some chords. It has a realistic view of the political compromises of the Occupation, but depicts the graffiti-strewn rubble of the city as a nourish nightmare world. The unfamiliar cast are earnest rather than good, but there's no denying the rough-edged, raw power of the Fuller approach.

Fuller knows how to make a good drama with Verboten! proving a good example. With gritty scenery and a moving and often disturbing plot, he manages to create a tense thriller, which is thanks largely to the director alone as the acting is sadly not as good as his other offerings.