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In 1944, a company of German soldiers on the Russian front are numbed by the horrors and hardships of war when Private Ernst Graeber's long awaited furlough comes through. Back home in Germany, he finds his home bombed. While hopelessly searching for his parents, he meets lovely Elizabeth Kruse, daughter of a political prisoner; together they try to wrest sanity and survival from a world full of hatred. Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Melodrama maestro, Douglas Sirk, ditches the Technicolor gaudiness of his 1950s weepies for romance set against the grim backdrop of death and destruction with "A Time To Love And A Time To Die". Yes, many of Sirk's familiar touches are here. But this is not a carbon copy of his hit soap operas. This film is affecting, if overly-long, with two surprisingly good leads in the impossibly handsome John Gavin and the lovely Lilo Pulver. Sirk does gloss up the devastation of war a bit; however, Sirk does allow this movie to have its share of shockingly frank and disturbing moments.
John Gavin plays German soldier, Ernst, who returns to his hometown on furlough. What he finds are the tattered remains of his home and goes on a search for his missing parents. During his frantic search, Gavin meets a childhood acquaintance. Among the air raids, bombings and sheer terror, they develop a romance and marry. Knowing that their time together will be short, they milk every moment for what it's worth before inevitable tragedy destroys their romance.
Gavin who was cast more frequently for his good looks than his acting chops actually makes a passable lead this time, although his playing a German is a little bit of a stretch. While this is not Douglas Sirk at his finest, it is an interesting project that capitalizes on the popularity of war films while also allowing Sirk to immerse himself in a topic that comes straight from his own past.
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