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 »
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,
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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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