6.5/10
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14 user 5 critic

Night Crossing (1982)

Two men want to escape from East Germany (under Communist rule) but they will only go if they can take their families with them. Based on a true story.

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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Peter Strelzyk
...
Doris Strelzyk
...
Frank Strelzyk
Keith McKeon ...
Fitscher Strelzyk
...
Günter Wetzel
...
Petra Wetzel
Geoffrey Liesik ...
'Little' Peter Wetzel
Michael Liesik ...
Andreas Wetzel
...
Josef Keller
Anne Stallybrass ...
Magda Keller
Matthew Taylor ...
Lukas Keller
...
Schmolk
Günter Meisner ...
Major Koerner
...
Ziegler (as Sky Dumont)
...
Lt. Fehler
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Storyline

In 1978 in East Germany two families, the Strelzyks and the Wetzels,make plans to escape the Communist East and flee to the West. Peter Strelzyk comes up with a daring idea to construct a homemade air balloon big enough to carry the two families across the East-West militarized border. The border between East and West Germany is heavily militarized, complete with watch towers, guard dogs, barbed-wire, alarms, sensors, search lights and patrols. Rumors have it that some areas of the militarized border are mined. The only chance of crossing the border is by air. The Strelzyks and the Wetzels commence their risky venture by purchasing lots of taffeta fabric and sewing it together with a sewing machine in the attic. Peter Strelzyk builds an experimental homemade hot air balloon burner. In 1979 when the balloon is ready Peter and his son test it but the Wetzel family becomes hesitant. The Strelzyks decide to go alone but bad weather causes the balloon to crash inside the Communist zone. ... Written by nufs68

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The East German border: 836 miles of barbed wire walls, automated machine guns, armed guards, and deadly land mines. On September 15, 1979 two families tried to cross it.


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

5 February 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Balloon Movie  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At around the time the movie was developed, made and released, the film was considered the most serious film ever made by the Walt Disney studio. See more »

Quotes

Günter Wetzel: I'm not gonna be a delivery boy all my life. I'm a mechanic. Damn good one and I've got a right to prove it.
Petra Wetzel: There are other ways. Helicopters fly people out of Czechoslovakia.
Günter Wetzel: [laughs] How are we gonna get into Czechoslovakia? Sneak across that border with two little children? And even if we did, we don't have the money. They're charging ten, twelve thousand a ride.
Petra Wetzel: You really think we can do it?
Günter Wetzel: I know we can. We have to. The police are gonna find the Strelzyks and when they do, we're locked ...
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User Reviews

 
Must see for everyone who thinks that freedom is free - it is NOT!
25 November 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Probably grossly underrated by all who never experienced the hell of living under communist regime. Although, it seems hard to believe, all of it happened, actually the reality was even worse than the movie. It resembles Orwellian fiction, only this is no fiction. John Hurt is excellent as always. Yes, the screenplay is not full of action, but life is not either. Plot is breathtaking. Yes, people were shot, yes thousands of them. Their 'crime' was that they wanted to leave communist 'paradise' without government authorization. At times the movie drives tears in your eyes. We need more movies like this to really appreciate what America provides for us. Excellent movie, highly recommend! God bless our country, USA!


2 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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