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The Divided Heart (1954)

Approved  |   |  Drama  |  11 August 1955 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 98 users  
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A three-year-old orphan is adopted by a German couple shortly after World War II. On his tenth birthday, he is told that his mother, a Yugoslav refugee, is alive and wants him back. The ... See full summary »


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Title: The Divided Heart (1954)

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Won 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Cornell Borchers ...
Yvonne Mitchell ...
Armin Dahlen ...
The Chief Justice
Geoffrey Keen ...
Liam Redmond ...
First Justice
Eddie Byrne ...
Second Justice
André Mikhelson ...
Prof. Miran (as Andre Mikhelson)
Pamela Stirling ...
Mlle. Poncet
Michel Ray ...
Martin Keller ...
Krystyna Rumistrzewicz ...
Mark Gübhard ...
Max (as Mark Guebhard)


A three-year-old orphan is adopted by a German couple shortly after World War II. On his tenth birthday, he is told that his mother, a Yugoslav refugee, is alive and wants him back. The case must be decided in court, which must decide with whom the boy will be better off. Written by

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Two women - each with the right to call this boy her son.




Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

11 August 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ayrilan Kalbler  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Gaumont Kalee) (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Grateful acknowledgment is due to Richard Hughes for his contribution to the film. See more »

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User Reviews

Birth Mother or Adopted Mother
20 August 2015 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I awarded this film 6/10 having seen it today 20/8/15 on "London Live" TV station who have been running a season of Ealing films from 2.00p.m on most weekdays.For a 69 year old this was the first time I saw this film which I found moving when a 10 year old Slovenian boy has to decide with whom he should live, either his natural mother or German adoptive parents.World War II caused many sad cases of orphans who had lost either or both their natural parents and a legal section of the U.S. War Commission as occupying country in West Germany had to make the decision whether to repatriate children once their natural parents had been found.This was decided in the film by a trio of international judges standing in for King Soloman.

Yvonne Mitchell plays the Slovenian mother and I was impressed how she appeared to speak Slovanese and even Geoffrey Keen who played the administrator who mediates between the rival mothers.I assume a real Slovenian did the voice track with Yvonne lip-syncing to the spoken sound track.It would have been more realistic however if the German adoptive parents had spoken German in their scenes together.No spoiler from me about which of the mothers won the custody battle but the moral arguments from the three judges I found convincing.

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