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Decision Before Dawn (1951)

 -  Drama | War  -  25 February 1952 (Norway)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 1,426 users  
Reviews: 44 user | 21 critic

As the US Army approaches Nazi Germany, they recruit German prisoners to spy behind German lines.

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(screenplay), (novel), 2 more credits »
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Title: Decision Before Dawn (1951)

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Lt. Dick Rennick
...
Col. Devlin
...
Cpl. Karl Maurer aka Happy
...
Hilde (as Hildegarde Neff)
Dominique Blanchar ...
Monique
O.E. Hasse ...
Col. Oberst von Ecker
Wilfried Seyferth ...
Heinz Scholtz - SS Man (as Wilfried Seyfert)
Hans Christian Blech ...
Sgt. Rudolf Barth aka Tiger
Helene Thimig ...
Fräulein Paula Schneider
Robert Freitag ...
Sgt. Paul Richter (as Robert Freytag)
George Tyne ...
Sgt. Griffin
C.A. Amos ...
Himself (as C.A. Amos 1st Lt. USAF)
Harold Benedict ...
Lt. Pete Gevers
H.W. Briggs ...
Himself (as H.W. Briggs Sgt. USA)
D.G. Devine ...
Lt. Dick Rennick's driver
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Storyline

WWII is entering its last phase: Germany is in ruins, but does not yield. The US army lacks crucial knowledge about the German units operating on the opposite side of the Rhine, and decides to send two German prisoners to gather information. The scheme is risky: the Gestapo retains a terribly efficient network to identify and capture spies and deserters. Moreover, it is not clear that "Tiger", who does not mind any dirty work as long as the price is right, and war-weary "Happy", who might be easily betrayed by his feelings, are dependable agents. After Tiger and another American agent are successfully infiltrated, Happy is parachuted in Bavaria. His duty: find out the whereabouts of a powerful German armored unit moving towards the western front. Written by Eduardo Casais <eduardo.casais@research.nokia.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A woman's kiss . . . A lighted cigarette - Each had Its meaning! An exciting and realistic story of war . . . of German Prisoners Sent Back Behind Their Own Lines as Agents of the Allies!

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

25 February 1952 (Norway)  »

Also Known As:

Legion of the Damned  »

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

Since the instigation of five Best Picture nominees for the Academy Awards in 1944, this was the first Best Film nominee to only be nominated in one other category. The next instance of this occurred in 1994 when Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994) only picked up two nominations (including Best Film). See more »

Goofs

Before Karl (AKA Happy) parachutes back into Germany, the US crewman in the aircraft says that he is glad "every time that a string of hundred pounders leave that bomb rack". The aircraft that they are in is a C47, a cargo plane, and did not have bomb racks. See more »

Quotes

Lt. Dick Rennick: [Concluding narration] A man stays alive as long as he's remembered, and is killed only by forgetfulness. So long, Happy. Let your real name remain unknown, but let the memory of your sacrifice serve as a key to the meanings of treason.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in That Girl: Decision Before Dawn (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

Ach, wie ist' möglich dann (Treue Liebe)
Written by Kükcken
See more »

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User Reviews

Harrowing experience
31 May 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

For anyone who is used to freedom, this movie shows better than any other what it is like to live in a total police state. The Thousand-Year Reich is shown with every wart and blemish, making this one of the greatest propaganda movies for freedom. But it is a harrowing experience, a true thriller. For the life of me, I cannot understand why this film is not better known and why it is hardly available in public libraries. Could this reflect the conservative, McCarthyite influence on movies? I think it is a must-see.


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