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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 1,419 users  
Reviews: 43 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 »
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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

Based on a true story. Towards the end of the war, Allied military intelligence services did recruit, train and utilize German POWs to return to Germany and spy for them. See more »

Goofs

When Happy is being chased through the train yard, he is shown running between two moving trains. In the reverse shot, there is only one train, but then in another shot from the original angle, the second train is back again. 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 Hilde (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
A Great Period Movie
31 December 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The movie puts you in WWII's closing days as you watch an idealistic young German Army medic become a traitor to his country by working as a spy in order to let the war end quickly and let peace return. The movie extras are former German soldiers, and you can tell by how they wear their "rag tag" uniforms and bark out commands in German. The scenes are superb. Bombed out areas of Germany were used, and one scene in a bombed out theater is especially great. You hear the falling glass and metal structures as the Gestopo search for the soldier. It is simply a very entertaining movie that lets one ponder: What would I have done if I were in his place?


37 of 39 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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