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Post WWII yarn about a young GI abducted by the Soviets in West Berlin and hauled off to the East. His recovery gets complicated as Colonel Steve Van Dyke (Peck) tries to sort out the usefulness of informants, spies, bureaucrats, and the abductee's influential father (Crawford)! Written by
The scenes where Gregory Peck and Buddy Ebsen ride up and down on the "People dumb waiter" were not shot in Berlin, but in Frankfurt. It's located in the old IG Farben building that used to be the 5th Corps Headquarters. See more »
For the first time ever, the Cinemascope logo ("Twentieth Century-Fox presents A Cinemascope Production") is not shown until about five minutes into the film, after the opening sequence. See more »
A film that starts out innocently enough and is shot in Technicolor doesn't hold out much hope of being much of a tough Berlin Cold War drama like Carol Reed and James Mason might have made. Nonetheless, Night People gets pretty engrossing as the story unfolds. What it lacks in shadowy black and white photography and bleak ambiance, it makes up for in a couple of cool plot twists and attention to keeping the story moving. Gregory Peck bites off his lines as if he really means them as the colonel who's trying to get the young corporal who was kidnapped from the US sector after he kisses his German girlfriend good night, to the Russian sector and held for the ransom of an elderly couple, the wife of whom is part of a cool scene in a big beerhall restaurant where Peck is chewing the scenery and German sausages with Broderick Crawford. Crawford's character as a rich Toledo industrialist and well connected father of the kidnapped corporal gets pretty interesting as well as he's bent on throwing as much of his considerable weight around as he can in order to expedite his son's return. But this is international intrigue which requires a lot of preparation while the go-between German ex-mistress of Peck who likes absinthe, gets slowly revealed. Actually, the story is mostly top-notch, though with sergeant Buddy Ebsen's numerous humorous observations and overall casualness, the film is a lot lighter though not necessarily less smarter than some the of black and white classics.
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