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36 Hours (1965)

 -  War | Thriller  -  19 February 1965 (USA)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 2,292 users  
Reviews: 35 user | 9 critic

Germans kidnap an American major and try to convince him that World War II is over, so that they can get details about the Allied invasion of Europe out of him.

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36 Hours (1965) on IMDb 7.4/10

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Pike is an American agent who is captured by the Nazis who want the date of Normandy attack. When they can't get the information through torture they try something totally different.

Director: Peter Markle
Stars: Corbin Bernsen, Joanna Pacula, John Glover
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Werner Peters ...
Otto Schack
...
Ernst
Russell Thorson ...
Gen. Allison
...
Col. Peter MacLean
Oscar Beregi Jr. ...
Lt. Col. Ostermann (as Oscar Beregi)
Ed Gilbert ...
Capt. Abbott
Sig Ruman ...
German Guard
...
Elsa
Karl Held ...
Cpl. Kenter
...
Kraatz
Marjorie Bennett ...
Charwoman
Henry Rowland ...
German Soldier
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Storyline

In this psychological war-drama an Army Major is captured by the Germans during World War II. They attempt to brainwash him into believing the war is over and that he is safe in an Allied hospital, so that he will divulge Allied invasion plans. Written by Patrick Dominick <p-dominick@adfa.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

normandy | d day | nazi | lie | deception | See more »

Taglines:

The Wildest Spy Adventure A Man Ever Lived!

Genres:

War | Thriller

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

19 February 1965 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Thirty Six Hours  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(archive footage)|

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The phony newspapers given to Major Pike, dated 1950, refer to "President Wallace". Henry A. Wallace was Vice President of the United States in 1944, when the film actually takes place. He was not slated on the Democratic ticket later that year and was succeeded as Vice President by Harry S Truman. See more »

Goofs

A sign in the fake American forces hospital reads "physiotherapy". This is the British term for what Americans call "physical therapy." It would have been a tell to Major Pike that all was not right. See more »

Quotes

Maj. Walter Gerber: Don't feel badly. Even Dillinger couldn't break out of here!
See more »

Connections

Remade as Breaking Point (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

March: News of the Day
(uncredited)
Music by John Rochetti
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Well-made, absorbing wartime thriller with an intelligent plot.
25 August 2005 | by (Todmorden, England) – See all my reviews

George Seaton had already written and directed the very impressive The Counterfeit Traitor when he turned his attention to this absorbing and cleverly-plotted thriller. Once again the film is set during WWII and once again Seaton weaves an exciting story against the backcloth of that intriguing and terrifying period of history.

Major Jefferson Pike (James Garner) is an American intelligence officer who is kidnapped and drugged en route to Lisbon during the days approaching the D-Day Landings. Pike's original mission before his capture was to pass on misleading information to the Germans, intended to trick them into expecting the Allies to storm ashore at Calais rather than the actual intended target area of the Normandy beaches. When Pike awakens, he is unknowingly in a secret compound in Bavaria, and the D-Day attack is still 36 hours away from actually taking place. He is told by disguised Nazi spy, Major Walter Gerber (Rod Taylor), that the war is over and that he has been suffering from amnesiac lapses for the past six years. Gerber's plan is to convince Pike that the war ended years previously with Allied victory and that it is safe to reveal details about the D-Day Landings.... details which would, in fact, be very useful to the German forces in the hours approaching the top-secret Allied attack.

It is a very interesting plot, and is well-handled. Rod Taylor's performance as the slippery Nazi trickster is exceptionally good, while Garner handles his slightly dull role (as the hero with sensitive information which he is unsure about revealing) with efficiency. The crisp black and white photography - unusual for a film made in the Technicolour-obsessed '60s - adds to the film's verisimilitude and sense of period, giving it a documentary-like feel. While the proceedings are stretched out to a rather lengthy 115 minutes, the film doesn't become significantly tedious and manages to keep the viewer excited (even though we know, because of the real-life success of the D-Day invasion, that the audacious Nazi plot is doomed to fail). 36 Hours is a solid, suspenseful yarn which should satisfy anyone who enjoys stories about wartime intrigue and audacious masquerades.


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