Police surround the apartment of apparent murderer Joe Adams, who refuses to surrender although escape appears impossible. During the siege, Joe reflects on the circumstances that led him to this situation.
Barbara Bel Geddes,
When lovely and virtuous governess Henriette Deluzy comes to educate the children of the debonair Duc de Praslin, a royal subject to King Louis-Philippe and the husband of the volatile and ... See full summary »
A secretary takes her boss's car for the holiday in the Mediteranean, oddly retracing a journey she has not taken, and is recognized by people she has not met before. When a body turns up ... See full summary »
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 »
Department of State courier Mike Kells ends up in postwar hotbed Trieste after failing to collect a package from a colleague. The Military Police are happy for him to get more involved, but... See full summary »
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 »
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 <email@example.com>
December 8th, 1944: the date on which Karl Maurer (Werner) is captured in the film, was in real life the actual date on which Oskar Werner deserted from the Wehrmacht. See more »
Early in the movie, Lt. Rennick and his driver, Sgt. Griffin, are driving in an open jeep to Rennick's new headquarters at the convent. It is clearly winter with snow on the ground and leafless trees. Yet, when they drive up to their headquarters gate, it now looks like early summer, with trees with full leaves and no snow on the ground. Then, it's back to winter again with heavy snow when Happy parachutes back into Germany. See more »
A taut story, first-rate acting, and a compelling subject make this film worth seeing.
Espionage/spying is a tricky subject, but "Decision Before Dawn" handles it brilliantly. No flash, no Mata Haris, no absurd coincidences. Weaving human drama and the grim realism of war, this film is that rare gem that manages to teach without preaching.
Among the superb performances is our hero Happy, played with just the right blend of suspense and humanity by Oskar Werner. Happy (an ironic name given to him by his American overseers) is torn between love of his native land and his duty to what is right. Werner walks this tightrope better than most I've seen.
In the end, however, it's the script that is the true gem of the film. Peter Viertel is a master story teller, with such great screenplays as "Saboteur" and "The Hard Way" to his credit. Viertel, with a story by author George Howe, weaves an intricate, but not confusing, narrative of war and devotion and duty. He's one of the few _writers_ I look for when I check out "On TV This Week" on IMDB.
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