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John M. Stahl
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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
Their uniforms indicate both Van Dyke and Eddie were combat veterans of World War II. Van Dyke served in Italy with the 5th Army and earned the 2nd highest award for valor, the Distinguished Service Cross, plus a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. Eddie fought with the 4th Infantry Division in France and won both the Silver Star and Bronze Star for valor. See more »
Frederick S. Hobart:
Nothing that ever happens here is isolated. They kidnap a 19 year old boy, your son and we cant tell yet whether its a local needle or another Korea.
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The Cinemascope "extension" music, added by composer Alfred Newman to his "20th Century-Fox Fanfare" especially for films made in Cinemascope, and used in most of them, is not used in this film. See more »
Gregory Peck carries movie, script has too many flaws
It is always difficult to watch a movie that is now 46 years old and assess it as I am continually comparing movies of the 50's to that of the 90's. With special effects, digital sound and plenty of action in movies these days, I have to be careful not to expect the same type of style from 46 yr old movies.
Night People was nominated for an academy award for screenplay I believe. The movie is certainly enjoyabe and makes you think but as others have already pointed out there is one serious flaw with the story line that detracts from the overall viewing pleasure (to which I shall explain).
The plot centres around a young American GI being kidnapped by the soviets with a view of having him exchanged for to ex Nazi's who double crossed the Germans's during the war and are now hiding in Berlin (the West side). The Russians wish to exchange the American GI (who's father just happens to be a prominent businessman who flies to Berlin to exert his influence). One questions begs answering. Why didn't the Russians just kidnap the two ex Nazi's themselves without any American involvement????
And to add insult to injury the actual exchange insults the intelligence of the viewer as the Russians appear total clutses (the hand over the hostage in American territory before they receive their Nazi's (in fact they don't anyway). Sheer stupidity.
That aside, what the movie did highlight to me was that Gregory Peck was / is an outstanding actor. He is so far above the other cast members it isn't funny. His portrayal of Col Steve Van Dyke is excellent, being harsh, caring and funny at the appropriate moments. The movie also allowed me to acknowldege Broderick Crawford's acting ability.
I gave the movie a 7/10, it is certainly enjoyable enough, but I can't help wonder how the script got an Oscar nomination?
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