7.4/10
1,701
45 user 25 critic

Decision Before Dawn (1951)

Not Rated | | Drama, War | 25 February 1952 (Norway)
Trailer
2:58 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $3.99 on Amazon Video

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

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
Reviews
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Willy Loman is an over-the-hill salesman who faces a personal turning point when he loses his job and attempts to make peace with his family: Willy's long-suffering wife Linda, and Biff and Happy, his troubled sons and his life.

Director: Laslo Benedek
Stars: Fredric March, Mildred Dunnock, Kevin McCarthy
Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An unhappy man threatens suicide by standing on the ledge of a high-rise building for 14 hours.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: Paul Douglas, Richard Basehart, Barbara Bel Geddes
Go for Broke! (1951)
Certificate: Passed Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The story of Japanese-American soldiers who fought in Europe during World War II.

Director: Robert Pirosh
Stars: Van Johnson, Lane Nakano, George Miki
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

This is the story of the crew of a downed bomber, captured after a run over Tokyo, early in the war. Relates the hardships the men endure while in captivity, and their final humiliation: ... See full summary »

Director: Lewis Milestone
Stars: Dana Andrews, Richard Conte, Farley Granger
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A middle-aged iconoclast, doggedly avoiding the tedium of employment and conventional life, faces the prospect of losing custody of his young ward.

Director: Fred Coe
Stars: Jason Robards, Barbara Harris, Martin Balsam
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A young priest, Father Chisholm is sent to China to establish a Catholic parish among the non-Christian Chinese. While his boyhood friend, also a priest, flourishes in his calling as a ... See full summary »

Director: John M. Stahl
Stars: Gregory Peck, Thomas Mitchell, Vincent Price
Moulin Rouge (1952)
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Fictional account of French artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.

Director: John Huston
Stars: José Ferrer, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Colette Marchand
The Hangman (1959)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

U.S.Marshal Bovard comes to a small border town to identify and arrest a fugitive but the whole town seems determined to prevent the marshal from doing his job.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Robert Taylor, Tina Louise, Fess Parker
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The adventurous Lady Edwina Esketh travels to the princely state of Ranchipur in India with her husband, Lord Albert Esketh, who is there to purchase some of the Maharajah's horses. She's ... See full summary »

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Myrna Loy, Tyrone Power, George Brent
Wilson (1944)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A chronicle of the political career of US President Woodrow Wilson.

Director: Henry King
Stars: Alexander Knox, Charles Coburn, Geraldine Fitzgerald
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

During the WW2 housing shortage in Washington, two men and a woman share a single apartment and the older man plays Cupid to the other two.

Director: George Stevens
Stars: Jean Arthur, Joel McCrea, Charles Coburn
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

When aging criminal Roy Earle is released from prison he decides to pull one last heist before retiring by robbing a resort hotel.

Director: Stuart Heisler
Stars: Jack Palance, Shelley Winters, Lori Nelson
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
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 ...
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:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

| |

Release Date:

25 February 1952 (Norway)  »

Also Known As:

Call It Treason  »

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

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: Otherwise, the war hasn't changed much - crowded in the rear areas, and lonely as you got nearer and nearer the front, with nothing but a map to tell you where the enemy was supposed to be. But you soon discovered if your map was accurate enough.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Ach, wie ist' möglich dann (Treue Liebe)
(uncredited)
Written by Friedrich Kücken (1827)
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.


47 of 49 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:
?