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Decision Before Dawn (1951)

 -  Drama | War  -  25 February 1952 (Norway)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 1,448 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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Writers:

(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
Edit

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

The producers and director Anatole Litvak chose to film the movie on location in postwar Germany because of its authentic background - many of the country's large cities still had areas that had been bombed into rubble and not been rebuilt yet, and there was a lot of actual WW II German military equipment - tanks, rifles, uniforms, etc. - still available. See more »

Goofs

The shot of the C-47 just before Happy parachutes into Germany shows USAF markings on the fuselage not used until after WWII. See more »

Quotes

Lt Pete Gevers: Even if means fighting against your own people?
Cpl. Karl Maurer aka Happy: I believe fighting against them now is fighting for them.
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

 
realistic WWII movie, illustrates a little-known aspect of the war
17 October 2001 | by (santa cruz, ca) – See all my reviews

I saw this movie recently on AMC, and was extremely impressed. It was filmed on location only a few years after the end of the war, and uses the bombed-out scenery to brilliant advantage. I agree with all of the previous comments, and wonder why this film is not available on DVD or video. I was so intrigued by the story that I found a copy of the book on which it was based over the internet, "Call it Treason" by George Howe. I just finished it, and I enthusiastically recommend the book,it's worth searching for (out of print.) I wish there were more books and movies like this around....


23 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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