Montgomery Cliff (in his last role) plays James Bower, an American physicist visiting West Germany who's recruited by a shady CIA agent, named Adam, to help them with the defection of a ... See full summary »
Eager to land a journalistic position, Adam White goes to work as an advice-giving newspaper columnist. His editor, Shrike, takes pleasure in browbeating his alcoholic wife Florence for her... See full summary »
The destiny of three soldiers during World War II. The German officer Christian Diestl approves less and less of the war. Jewish-American Noah Ackerman deals with antisemitism at home and ... See full summary »
The only son of wealthy widow Violet Venable dies while on vacation with his cousin Catherine. What the girl saw was so horrible that she went insane; now Mrs. Venable wants Catherine lobotomized to cover up the truth.
Joseph L. Mankiewicz
A silent nine-year-old Czech boy, a survivor of Auschwitz, flees a refugee center in postwar Germany and is found by an American G.I. At the same time, the boy's mother, the sole surviving member of his family, searches refugee centers for her son. Time, distance, and the massive numbers of refugee children are factors hampering the reunion of mother and son. Written by
Martin H. Booda <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The picture on the wall seen when all the Jewish children leave the UNRRA facility is Theodor Herzl. See more »
Steve (Montgomery Clift) leaves Karel a sandwich by the side of the road, and drives off in his Army Jeep. As he drives off, a cameraman's or director's hand can be seen reflected in the windshield, motioning Karel to move forward and retrieve the food that Steve just left him. Sure enough, right on cue, we see Karel move forward to pick up the sandwich. See more »
[Steve is teaching a young boy, whose name he does not know but has coined Jim, to speak English]
Ralph 'Steve' Stevenson:
You have no idea how useful it's going to be for you to know English. You can go where ever you like. Everybody knows what 'OK' means. You can use English all over the world. Not, not just America: Canada, Africa, Australia, India. Even in England, they understand English... well, sort of.
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This film marked the feature film screen debut of Montgomery Clift. It was not meant to be that way. Red River was made first, but held up in release due to a threatened lawsuit. So The Search ended up being the movie going public's first glimpse of Montgomery Clift.
They didn't get to see him until the film was only just about half way finished. The only character who is continuously on screen through out the film is little Ivan Jandl. What a performance too. The worst thing that could have happened to this film is to have some name Hollywood kid actor play that role. Young Ivan comes across as a real kid who went through horrors unimaginable in first world countries today.
Ivan is Czech and his family are singled out by the Nazis and put in Auschwitz. Father and sister are killed, mother and son are separated. The film is their search for each other.
Ivan after V-E Day is in another kind of camp, a refugee camp run by the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Agency. He's almost comatose from the shock of four years of horror. To him the men in uniforms are still to be feared even though it's not Nazi uniforms. He makes a break for it and GI Montgomery Clift picks him up and takes him back to his dwelling.
Ivan and Monty kind of grow on each other, but at the same time Ivan's mother played by Czech opera star Jarmila Novotna is pursuing her quest for her little boy. She comes to the UNRRA camp which is headed by Aline McMahon. This may very well be her best screen moment. McMahon also narrates large chunks of the film, describing the enormous task the UNRRA had in reuniting families all over Europe in addition to a whole lot of other things like food, clothing, and shelter.
Clift and Ivan have great chemistry. And no one ever portrayed sensitivity better than Montgomery Clift on the screen. You know how much empathizes with Ivan's plight with every look, every nuance, every gesture. Fred Zinneman got a great performance out of him and later on Zinneman directed Clift in his greatest film role in From Here to Eternity.
The film was shot in postwar Germany and the landscape itself and the looks of the people tell what they've been through. I wouldn't be surprised but that Clift's performance in The Search later on led him to being cast in The Big Lift, another film set in post World War II Germany.
Probably it was just as well Clift got his first exposure in this film. It guaranteed him co-star status with John Wayne when Red River finally did come out.
The Search 56 years later is a moving movie experience.
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