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Before Winter Comes (1969)

After World War II, in an Austrian camp for displaced people, an interpreter mediates between the British and the Soviets regarding the fate of various refugees.



(screenplay), (based on "The Interpreter" by)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Capt. Kamenev
John Collin ...
Count Kerassy
Mark Malicz ...
Gertan Klauber ...
Russian Major
Beata (as Hana-Maria Pravda)
Tony Selby ...


Comedy set in a refugee camp in occupied Austria after World War II. A shrewd multi-lingual interpreter who mediates between Russian and British military brass enters into a friendly rivalry with British Major Giles Burnside, who is in charge of assigning the displaced persons into either the American or Russian zones. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


a rare blend of picture


Comedy | Drama | War


M | See all certifications »




Release Date:

8 August 1969 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Quiero ser libre  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Brigadier Bewley: You'll be staying in the service, of course? It's in the family. People with your background should do pretty well.
Lieutenant Pilkington: Thank you, sir. Emm, I shall be going back to University to study languages. I've been told that they are going to be most important in the new Europe.
Brigadier Bewley: Oh, yes. And in the new Army. We could use fellows like you on the staff.
Lieutenant Pilkington: Well, no sir, whatever my father might say, eh, I'm - not really cut out for fighting.
Brigadier Bewley: My dear, Pilkington, whoever joined the Army to fight?
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I'll Make a Man of You
Music by Herman Finck
Lyrics by Arthur Wimperis
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User Reviews

Saw this film when it came out.
23 June 2012 | by See all my reviews

When the film was released, Columbia booked it as a 2nd feature. Personally, after trying to sit through it, the studio probably should have shelved it, not necessarily for content, but because that use of flashy zooms became so difficult to sit through that I headed for the lobby more than four times.

In this instance zoom meant zooming in - cut - zoom out - zoom in-cut-zoom out all the way through the film.

The use of zoom lenses in motion pictures was a new tool for filmmakers at the time, but its application here made the film impossible to sit through, at least in a theatre. Until now, thought it had all but disappeared forever.

Not sure if time has changed any of this.

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