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Escape from East Berlin (1962)

Approved | | Drama | November 1962 (USA)
In January of 1962, 29 East Berliners escaped to West Berlin via a tunnel they had dug beneath the Berlin Wall, led by Erwin Becker, a chauffeur in the car pool of the East Germany ... See full summary »

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Writers:

(story), (story) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Kurt Schröder
...
Erika Jurgens
...
Walter Brunner
...
Ingeborg Schröder
Carl Schell ...
Major Eckhardt
Edith Schultze-Westrum ...
Mother Schröder
Bruno Fritz ...
Uncle Albrecht
Maria Tober ...
Marga
...
Günther Jurgens
...
Heidi Eckhardt
Alfred Balthoff ...
Klussendorf - a Neighbor
Anita Kupsch ...
Bambi
Kurt Waitzmann ...
Prof. Thomas Jurgens
Helma Seitz ...
Frau Jürgens
Ronald Dehne ...
Helmut Schröder
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Storyline

In January of 1962, 29 East Berliners escaped to West Berlin via a tunnel they had dug beneath the Berlin Wall, led by Erwin Becker, a chauffeur in the car pool of the East Germany Parliament, who served as technical adviser on this film. The film opens with Karl Schroeder (Don Murray), chauffeur to an East German Major, seeing a friend killed as he tried to drive his truck through the wall, He is persuaded by the friend's sister, Erika Jurgens (Christine Kaufmann), and his own family to engineer an attempt to make an escape to the Western sector of the city by digging a tunnel under the wall which is close to their home. Their efforts to evade the suspicions of the East German police, their fear of betrayal by inquisitive neighbors and the exhaustion of the digging are only a few of the difficulties faced by the group. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Headline Hot! Filmed Where It Happened! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

November 1962 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tunnel 28  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The role of Kurt Schroder was originally intended for Horst Buchholz. See more »

Quotes

Uncle Albrecht: Off to band practice. We are marching in the celebration parade. I don't know what we're celebrating, but we are marching.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Der Tunnel (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Freedom
23 February 2016 | by (Barcelona) – See all my reviews

This is a film about the essential value of freedom. It tells the story of how 28 people run away from East Germany to West by digging a tunnel under the Belin wall. Filmed shortly after the wall was built, the move succeeds not only in showing the oppressive, almost claustrophobic everyday life in Eastern Germany but also in telling a story in an interesting, almost noir way. As the story begins, we see how Walter Brunner (Werner Klemperer) tries to escape from East Berlin to West by crashing his truck against the wall. We also see how Kurt Schröder (Don Murray) tries to convince him not to do it. He feels fine in east Berlin (at least that's what he says) as he has a comfortable job working as a chauffeur to an east German officer. As the movie goes on we can see how people live in East Berlin (as American point of view). I have found some interesting points in this film that appear in a quite imperceptible and yet poignantly way. People is not only afraid of being controlled or spied by the government itself but also by their neighbors. Although this is not major developed, we can clearly seen how Schröder's neighbor watches almost every movement they make, or how fear the family is when Marga (Maria Tober) speaks with two German soldiers and the family thinks she is reporting them. When the Spanish civil war ended another civil war began: neighbors reporting neighbors to be republican to obtain a gain or simply because they hated them. Human beings at their worst but also at their best, which we can see by helping others and giving them the chance to escape. Having been left apart from Hollywood industry due to communist accusations, Siodmak did not want to make a political film and that's why he made it an intrigue one as well. And he hit it. Surprisingly (or maybe not so) the film was considered a minor one and not a success nor in Western German (where it was found too soft) nor in France (where it was found too propagandistic) but it was in the U.S.A.


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