Up 8,981 this week

Before Winter Comes (1969)

M  |   |  Comedy, Drama, War  |  13 August 1969 (Sweden)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 5.9/10 from 162 users  
Reviews: 5 user

After WW2, in an Austrian camp for displaced persons, an interpreter mediates between the British and the Soviets regarding the fate of various refugees.



(screenplay), (based on "The Interpreter" by)
0Check in

Celebrate IMDb's 25th Anniversary with Photos We Love

IMDb turns 25 on October 17! To celebrate, we put together a gallery of some of our favorite movie, TV, and event photos from the last 25 years.

See the Photos We Love

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 113 titles
created 02 Nov 2011
a list of 4874 titles
created 14 Jan 2012
a list of 123 titles
created 20 Jun 2013
list image
a list of 9997 titles
created 26 Nov 2013
a list of 96 titles
created 2 months ago

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Before Winter Comes (1969)

Before Winter Comes (1969) on IMDb 5.9/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Before Winter Comes.
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Vineyard owner marquis Philippe de Montfaucon is called back to his castle Bellenac because of another dry season. He asks his wife and children to remain in Paris, but they still come ... See full summary »

Director: J. Lee Thompson
Stars: David Niven, Sharon Tate, Deborah Kerr
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

In an upper-class British household, a crazy alcoholic, has an incestuous relationship with his sister, who is also capable of being fairly spirited herself.

Director: J. Lee Thompson
Stars: Peter O'Toole, Susannah York, Michael Craig
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

The eldest daughter of a Professor of Psychology at a large conservative university causes havoc, and great embarrassment, for her father with her free-willed and uninhibited lifestyle.

Director: Michael Gordon
Stars: David Niven, Lola Albright, Chad Everett
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Stanislaus Pilgrin, a Polish chess master and handsome gigolo, marries wealthy Jewish widow, Dr. Michele Wolf, an X-ray technician and has an affair with her step-daughter, Fabienne and ... See full summary »

Director: J. Lee Thompson
Stars: Maximilian Schell, Samantha Eggar, Ingrid Thulin
Adventure | Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In 1941 during the desert war in Abyssinia the Italian captain Blasi and the British major Richardson alternate between being bitter enemies or best friends depending on the circumstances.

Director: Guy Hamilton
Stars: David Niven, Alberto Sordi, Michael Wilding
The Chairman (1969)
Certificate: M Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

An American scientist is sent to Red China to steal the formula for a newly developed agricultural enzyme. What he is not told by his bosses is that a micro-sized bomb has been planted in ... See full summary »

Director: J. Lee Thompson
Stars: Gregory Peck, Anne Heywood, Arthur Hill
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Living in the Gramercy Park neighborhood of New York City, working class lawyer Chris Walters and his wife, the former Alice Ganz, are celebrating their thirteenth anniversary in wedded ... See full summary »

Director: David Miller
Stars: David Niven, Mitzi Gaynor, Carl Reiner
Cabo Blanco (1980)
Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

In 1948, an assortment of shady characters are searching for Nazi loot, sunken off the coast of Peru.

Director: J. Lee Thompson
Stars: Charles Bronson, Jason Robards, Dominique Sanda
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Prudence is on the pill; so is her sister-in-law, but someone has been swapping aspirin for their pills. Is it the teen-age niece, the maid, the chauffeur, a lover, Prudence's husband, or ... See full summary »

Directors: Fielder Cook, Ronald Neame
Stars: Deborah Kerr, David Niven, Robert Coote
Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A local doctor is recruited as a cold war spy to fulfill a very important secret mission in the Middle East, only to experience that his mission is complicated by a sexy female double agent.

Director: Val Guest
Stars: David Niven, Françoise Dorléac, John Le Mesurier
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
Director: Anthony Asquith
Stars: Leslie Caron, David Niven, James Robertson Justice
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A married middle-aged art critic and 16-year-old Margot begin an affair and develop a troublesome mutually parasitic relationship.

Director: Tony Richardson
Stars: Nicol Williamson, Anna Karina, Jean-Claude Drouot


Cast overview, first billed only:
Major Burnside
Lieutenant Pilkington
Brigadier Bewley
Ori Levy ...
Captain Kamenev
John Collin ...
Sergeant Woody
Karel Stepanek ...
Count Kerassy
Guy Deghy ...
Mark Malicz ...
Gertan Klauber ...
Russian major
Hana Maria Pravda ...
Beata (as Hana-Maria Pravda)
George Innes ...
Tony Selby ...
Hugh Futcher ...


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:

13 August 1969 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Quiero ser libre  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


I'll Make a Man of You
Music by Herman Finck
Lyrics by Arthur Wimperis
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Post WW2 glimpse of life in Austrian camp
8 February 2002 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

This starts out as a rather tongue-in-cheek rendering of life in a camp for displaced persons after the war in 1945 somewhere near the Austrian border. There are many humorous incidents but eventually the film's message does get serious later on.

I'm amazed at the abundance of illustrious actors making up the cast -- David Niven as Major Burnside; Topol as the effusive interpreter; John Hurt playing the youthful but intense Lieutenant Pilkington; and Anthony Quayle as Brigadier Bewley.

There are moments of deep friction in the camp between British and Russian troops on various zoning matters including the fate of the interpreter who happens to be Russian.

Although there is a fair amount of drama and mature content throughout, I have the impression that this film has been an easy interlude for all these great, serious actors. Anna Karina as Maria the local girl is a lovely addition to the cast.

The scenery is fabulous of course, being filmed on location in Austria. It is somewhat of an offbeat script, however it does hold one's attention through to the end. This movie is one I missed out on all these years so am glad to have had to opportunity to finally see it. For me such good actors can't help but create an absorbing drama.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
What's with the ending? lee-777
Discuss Before Winter Comes (1969) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: