60 user 16 critic

The Search (1948)

Passed | | Drama, War | 26 March 1948 (USA)
In the Post-War Berlin, an American private helps a lost Czech boy to find his mother.



(screen play), (collaborator: on screen play) | 1 more credit »

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Jarmila Novotna ...
Mary Patton ...
Ewart G. Morrison ...
William Rogers ...
Ivan Jandl ...
Leopold Borkowski ...
Claude Gambier ...
Raoul Dubois


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 <booda@datasync.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Everybody agrees MGM's The Search is a wonderful motion picture !


Drama | War


Passed | See all certifications »





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Release Date:

26 March 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Det dagas  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


This film was first telecast in New York City Saturday 9 March 1957 on WCBS (Channel 2), followed by Philadelphia Tuesday 6 August 1957 on WFIL (Channel 6); on the West Coast, it was not telecast in Los Angeles until 4 January 1959 on KTTV (Channel 11) followed by San Francisco 10 January 1959 on KGO (Channel 7). See more »


The army jeep that Steve (Montgomery Clift) is in suddenly changes to a different jeep when he brings Karel back to the Army house. Notice the appearance of large decal lettering in the passenger side window, in addition to other minor differences. See more »


[Steve is teaching a young boy, whose name he does not know but has coined Jim, to speak English]
Ralph 'Steve' Stevenson: [to Jim] 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.
See more »


Referenced in Montgomery Clift (1983) See more »


Hineh Ma Tov
Lyrics from Psalm 133
Sung by the Jewish children to the tune of "Battle Hymn of the Republic" music by William Steffe (ca 1856)
See more »

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User Reviews

The Littlest Victims of War and Totalitarianism
17 October 2005 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

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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How does it end? wide_eyed15
The Search on TCM Davidd2152
Available on dvd... kafka1928
Ivan Jandl Photos + his Oscar cluvonj
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Just got the DVD in the mail today! rockettojendell
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