MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 32,186 this week

Decision Before Dawn (1951)

 -  Drama | War  -  25 February 1952 (Norway)
7.4
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.4/10 from 1,442 users  
Reviews: 44 user | 21 critic

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

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel), 2 more credits »
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $3.99 on Amazon Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 3606 titles
created 16 May 2011
 
a list of 1334 titles
created 15 Oct 2011
 
a list of 30 titles
created 21 Dec 2011
 
a list of 10000 titles
created 26 Jun 2012
 
a list of 27 titles
created 15 Jul 2012
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Decision Before Dawn (1951)

Decision Before Dawn (1951) on IMDb 7.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Decision Before Dawn.
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Snake Pit (1948)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A detailed chronicle of a woman during her stay in a mental institution.

Director: Anatole Litvak
Stars: Olivia de Havilland, Mark Stevens, Leo Genn
The Blue Veil (1951)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Louise Mason is a young widow who fills her empty life with the task of becoming a children's nurse. As the years pass, and the widow tries to find her own place in life, her young charges,... See full summary »

Directors: Curtis Bernhardt, Busby Berkeley
Stars: Jane Wyman, Charles Laughton, Joan Blondell
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A woman unhappy in her passionless marriage leaves her husband for a younger and more ardent lover.

Director: Anatole Litvak
Stars: Vivien Leigh, Kenneth More, Eric Portman
The Frogmen (1951)
Certificate: Passed Adventure | War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The new commander of a Navy Underwater Demolition Team--nicknamed "Frogmen"--must earn the respect of the men in his unit, who are still grieving over the death of their former commander and resentful of the new one.

Director: Lloyd Bacon
Stars: Richard Widmark, Dana Andrews, Gary Merrill
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

John Garko is a fun-loving leader of a bunch of oddball G.I.s whose mission is to steal the German's secret attack plans from a villa behind enemy lines, where they run into a brutal Nazi ... See full summary »

Director: Gianfranco Parolini
Stars: Gianni Garko, Klaus Kinski, Aldo Canti
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

After returning from a concentration camp, Susanne finds an ex-soldier living in her apartment. Together the two try to move past their experiences during WWII.

Director: Wolfgang Staudte
Stars: Hildegard Knef, Elly Burgmer, Erna Sellmer
Goodbye Again (1961)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In this adaptation of Françoise Sagan's best selling novel, Paula is a beautiful and highly successful 40-year-old businesswoman. She is deeply in love with Roger, her mature consort of ... See full summary »

Director: Anatole Litvak
Stars: Ingrid Bergman, Yves Montand, Anthony Perkins
Battleground (1949)
Action | War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A squad of the 101st Airborne Division copes with being trapped in the besieged city of Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Van Johnson, John Hodiak, Ricardo Montalban
High Flight (1957)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

The Commanding Officer of an RAF Training School must deal with a difficult cadet, but the cadet reminds the C.O. of himself when young.

Director: John Gilling
Stars: Ray Milland, Bernard Lee, Kenneth Haigh
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In North Africa during World War II, Sergeant Larry Nevins is blinded by a German sniper's bullet. Rehabilitation at the military hospital presents many challenges, but accepting his ... See full summary »

Director: Mark Robson
Stars: Arthur Kennedy, Peggy Dow, Julie Adams
Documentary | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Re-enactment of World War 2 Battle of Arnhem. Later lavishly remade as A Bridge Too Far.

Director: Brian Desmond Hurst
Stars: Stanley Maxted, Thomas Scullion, Allan Wood
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

Spike Milligan and his friends decide to go to occupied France to silence a large German gun that is firing across the channel. They bumble though encounters with Germans and the French ... See full summary »

Director: Jay Lewis
Stars: Bill Travers, Spike Milligan, Grégoire Aslan
Edit

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the first films after World War II to portray the German people - outside of the Nazi regime - in a sympathetic light. See more »

Goofs

Karl is mistakenly called a corporal. The Luftwaffe uniform that he wears both in the US POW cage and while back in Germany has the rank insignia of an "Obergefreiter", specifically three winged emblems on the collar patches, plain shoulder straps and two chevrons on his left sleeve. Also when the list is checked for his name at the bridge the rank is written down as 'Gfr' (gefreiter) The ranks of Gefreiter, Obergefreiter and Stabsgefreiter (all which were partially identified by chevrons on the sleeve) were not NCOs and had no command authority over other soldiers. They were simply grades of seniority and would be more equivalent to Private First Class (PFC) in the US military. The German rank that is the closest equivalent to Corporal is Unteroffizer. Also, Karl is wearing the medical badge on his right sleeve; Luftwaffe enlisted medical personnel wore the badge on the left sleeve, while Wehrmacht (army) wore it on the right. See more »

Quotes

American NCO: Come on, Kraut-heads. Get movin', you're holdin' up the war.
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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Outstanding picture, one of the best WW2 movies
4 June 2000 | by (California) – See all my reviews

As American forces approach Germany near the end of World War II, it becomes crucial for them to get an idea of the Germans' capacity to resist. In order to do that, they recruit spies from among German POWs, train them and send them into Germany to gather information. This is somewhat of an unusual film about a subject that, as far as I know, had never been dealt with before or since (the movie is based on fact; American military intelligence did indeed use German POWs as spies). The location filming helps the picture greatly, as the war had only been over for a few years and Germany still hadn't rebuilt yet. Performances are universally top notch, notably Oskar Werner as a young German soldier code-named Happy who volunteers to return as a spy, and especially Hans Christian Blech as Happy's tough, opportunistic, and not entirely trustworthy partner. There are some nail-biting moments, notably aboard a train when Happy and his partner come under scrutiny by a suspicious Gestapo agent. The film has a tough, gritty, dangerous look that is totally atypical of the usual 20th Century Fox gloss, and is all the better for it. Gary Merrill as the tough American officer in charge of the operation, and Richard Basehart as an American agent sent in to accompany the two German spies, also turn in first-rate performances, and director Anatole Litvak keeps the film full of twists and surprises, but it's Oskar Werner's show, and he is up to it. An excellent film and one to put on your must-see list.


39 of 40 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Decision Before Dawn Vehicles + Ordnance list simon-chapman
Purchase Info rogers605
Available on DVD evil_spoon
Showing on Fox Movie Channel shepherd1138
Discuss Decision Before Dawn (1951) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?