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The Big Lift (1950)

 -  Drama | War  -  26 April 1950 (USA)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 835 users  
Reviews: 29 user | 2 critic

Experiences of two Air Force sergeants during the 1948 Berlin Airlift.

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Title: The Big Lift (1950)

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Sgt. 1st Class Danny MacCullough
...
MSgt. Henry 'Hank' Kowalski
Cornell Borchers ...
Frederica Burkhardt
Bruni Löbel ...
Gerda
O.E. Hasse ...
Stieber
Dante V. Morel ...
Himself (as Capt. Dante V. Morel)
John R. Mason ...
Himself (as Capt. John R. Mason)
Gail R. Plush ...
Himself (as Capt. Gail R. Plush)
Mack Blevins ...
Himself (as Capt. Mack Blevins)
William A. Stewart ...
Himself (as Capt. William A. Stewart)
Alfred L. Freiburger ...
Himself (as 1st Lt. Alfred L. Freiburger)
Gerald Arons ...
Himself (as 1st Lt. Gerald Arons)
James Wilson ...
Himself (as 1st Lt. James Wilson)
Richard A. Kellogg ...
Himself (as 1st Lt. Richard A. Kellogg)
Roy R. Steele ...
Himself (as 1st Lt. Roy R. Steele)
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Storyline

In 1948, the Soviet Union blockades the Allied sectors of Berlin to bring the entire city under their control. A semi-documentary about the resulting Berlin Airlift gives way to stories of two fictitious U.S. Air Force participants: Sgt. Hank Kowalski, whose hatred of Germans proves resistant to change, and Sgt. Danny McCullough, whose pursuit of an attractive German war widow gives him a crash course in the seamy side of occupied Berlin. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

From the Ruins came Hope and Despair

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 April 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Es begann mit einem Kuß  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The failure of the original copyright holder to renew the film's copyright resulted in it falling into public domain, meaning that virtually anyone could duplicate and sell a VHS/DVD copy of the film. Therefore, many of the versions of this film available on the market are either severely (and usually badly) edited and/or of extremely poor quality, having been duped from second- or third-generation (or more) copies of the film. See more »

Quotes

Alfred L. Freiburger: [as they march between the honor guard toward the welcome ceremony] Fix your hat.
Sgt. 1st Class Danny MacCullough: I feel just as if you and I were getting married, lieutenant.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of the movie, the "Hollywood" stars (Clift, Douglas etc.), are not credited, however a panoramic coda does credit the principle military service members who portrayed themselves in the film. It shows them standing at attention in front of a C-54, with their names and ranks scrolling across. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Woman on the Run (1950) See more »

Soundtracks

Anchors Aweigh
(uncredited)
Music by Charles A. Zimmerman
Lyrics by Alfred Hart Miles
Sung at the air field by the Air Corps members towards the Navy members
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An Interesting Glimpse Of The Start Of The Cold War
2 January 2009 | by (Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

This movie surprised me a little bit. From the title and the description of the movie on the DVD jacket, I was expecting to find almost a quasi-documentary about the Berlin airlift. There is some interesting stuff about the airlift. The challenges of flying in and out of Berlin in the era seem to be well documented, and there was what seemed to me to be a wholly authentic picture of American military life in that era, heightened by the fact that aside from Montgomery Clift and Paul Douglas, all the military personnel portrayed played themselves. Having said that, the movie really turned out to be more of a slice of life depiction of what it was like to live in Berlin during these post-war years, and especially during the airlift.

The movie focuses really on the budding relationship between Sgt. MacCullough (Clift) and a German woman he meets and falls in love with (played very well by an actress named Cornell Borchers.) As we watch their relationship develop we are introduced to the situation in Berlin

  • a city still largely in ruins 5 years after the end of World War II,


food and electricity in short supply, hopelessly divided into the different zones of occupation, some Germans struggling with a Nazi legacy, others co-operating with the Russians just to survive, and (in the greatest irony of all) a people totally dependent on the Western allies (who had so recently been their enemies) for their survival. Douglas offered a pretty good portrayal of an American soldier (Kowalski) who had been held in a German POW camp during the War and who struggled with his anti-German feelings all the way through. After being a bit taken aback to discover that this movie wasn't what I had expected it to be, I ended up getting quite caught up in the story. As a very early piece of Cold War movie-making propaganda, it obviously glorifies the American ideal, but it's pretty well put together and enjoyable all the way through. 7/10


5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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