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During the Cold War, a scientific team refits a Japanese submarine and hires an ex-Navy officer to find a secret Chinese atomic island base and prevent a Communist plot against America that could trigger WW3.
Military investigator Colonel Edwards is assigned a case involving Major Cargill, a Korean War POW who is accused of treason. Although Cargill admits his guilt and Edwards' superiors are impatiently pushing Edwards to move this case to court martial, Edwards becomes convinced of Cargill's innocence. Written by
Marty McKee <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When Miller throws his punch, it clearly misses to the left even though the victim's head snaps back. See more »
Maj. Harry Cargill:
A man can be a hero all his life, but if in the last month of it, or the last week, or even the last minute, the pressure becomes too great and he breaks, then he's branded for life. You can't ask a man to be a hero forever. There ought to be a time limit.
Lt. Gen. J. Connors:
There is no defense for treason.
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I have to take exception to other reviewers calling Time Limit, a courtroom drama. There are no scenes in any courtroom, military or civilian. Still it's a very engrossing story.
Richard Widmark is acting as an investigative officer for the Judge Advocate General's Office trying to ascertain if there are enough facts to bring Richard Basehart to trial for treason. Basehart was a prisoner of war in Korea who is accused of collaborating with the enemy.
Through a lot of patient probing of Basehart and others, Widmark arrives at a very ugly story that while it doesn't totally exonerate Basehart it does give him the basis for a defense. So much so that Widmark requests he be assigned as Basehart's attorney when he does come up for court martial.
Time Limit ran for 127 performances on Broadway in 1956 and starred Arthur Kennedy and Richard Kiley in the roles Widmark and Basehart play. Widmark's good friend Karl Malden did this one time only job of directing and gets good performances from his cast.
Time Limit asks a lot of disturbing questions about the behavior of prisoners of war and whether we expect too much from them. Ironically when the USS Pueblo was taken by the North Koreans in the late sixties, these same questions were asked for real.
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