6.6/10
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28 user 5 critic

The Big Lift (1950)

Approved | | Drama, War | 26 April 1950 (USA)
Experiences of two Air Force sergeants during the 1948 Berlin Airlift.

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Hank Kowalski
...
Frederica Burkhardt
...
Gerda
...
Stieber (as O. E. Hasse)
Dante V. Morel ...
Dante V. Morel (as Capt. Dante V. Morel)
John R. Mason ...
John R. Mason (as Capt. John R. Mason)
Gail R. Plush ...
Gail R. Plush (as Capt. Gail R. Plush)
Mack Blevins ...
Mack Blevins (as Capt. Mack Blevins)
William A. Stewart ...
William A. Stewart (as Capt. William A. Stewart)
Alfred L. Freiburger ...
Alfred L. Freiburger (as 1st Lt. Alfred L. Freiburger)
Gerald Arons ...
Gerald Arons (as 1st Lt. Gerald Arons)
James Wilson ...
James Wilson (as 1st Lt. James Wilson)
Richard A. Kellogg ...
Richard A. Kellogg (as 1st Lt. Richard A. Kellogg)
Roy R. Steele ...
Roy R. Steele (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:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

26 April 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Es begann mit einem Kuß  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Screen Director's Playhouse" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on January 18, 1951 with Paul Douglas reprising his film role. See more »

Goofs

When the white paint is first spilled on "Danny" (Montgomery Cliff) it splashed mostly on the lower part of the front of his uniform, from the chest down. Later, almost his entire uniform, front and back, had some paint from the shoulders down. See more »

Quotes

Frederica Burkhardt: When you live in a sewer, you soon discover that the sewer rats are best equipped to survive.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: This picture was made in occupied Germany. All scenes were photographed in the exact locale associated with the story, including episodes in the American, French, British and Russian sectors of Berlin.

With the exception of Montgomery Clift and Paul Douglas, all military personnel appearing in this film are actual members of the U.S. Armed Forces on duty in Germany. See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Mariandl
(uncredited)
Music by Hans Lang
Lyrics by Kurt Nachmann
Played and sung by the band in the club
See more »

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User Reviews

Truly a Time Capsule of the Berlin Airlift
30 April 2000 | by (Great Neck, NY, USA) – See all my reviews

This is film is one of the best true-life adaptations of an historical event

  • The Berlin Airlift. It was made on location in Berlin with the full
cooperation of the US Military who actually played minor acting roles with the exception of the principal actors. The movie does an excellent job in portraying the bleak situation that the Berliners had to endure as a result of the Soviet blockade along with all the wrecked structures all of the city and the hording of black market staples such as coffee and coal. The most interesting portrayal in this film is the Paul Douglas character of that of an American seargant who has no love for the Germans and goes out of his way to be rude and act like a true "occupation" taking revenge out on a former Nazi prison guard that tormented him while he was a prisoner.

Its probably the most realistic portrayal of an American soldier after the war when technically the US Army was an occupation force along with the British and French. In addition, the portrayal of the German widow who really hated the Americans was probably realistic as well. These characters seemed more than stereotypes which was common in films portraying the political situation at the time. It does a good job in showing how ordinary soldiers and people can have divided loyalties and wrestle with the adverse situation that befell them in Berlin at the time. Truly a time capsule of Postwar Berlin.


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