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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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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:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The ice-cold freezing conditions in the Bavarian Mountains provided a number of problems for the production. Compressed steam was used to burn off ice from snow fields. Snow was also swept off the icy roads. Moreover, trees had to be painted green in order to reflect the seasonal September look. See more »

Quotes

Peter Strelzyk: Are we in the West?
Police Officer: Of course you are.
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User Reviews

 
Mann's film makes us realize the true value of freedom...

'Night Crossing' is about an enormous barrier designed not to keep enemies out but to keep its own people in…

'Night Crossing' is about a very long border fencer equipped with silent alarms and automatic firing systems…

'Night Crossing' is about the denial of the basic human rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…

'Night Crossing' is about the fear and pain that afflict so many families…

'Night Crossing' is about one attempt to risk a crossing through the border zone…

'Night Crossing' is about a loving father whose only desire is to give his boys what should never have been taken away from them…

'Night Crossing' is about a disturbed mother who wants her babies and her husband alive…

'Night Crossing' is about a caring husband who wants his family to be together but in a better place…

'Night Crossing' is about children who want to be free to reach at anytime the sky…

'Night Crossing' is about a hot-air balloon handcrafted and built by two families…

'Night Crossing' is about a balloon which could go just high enough to crash or catch fire and explode…

'Night Crossing' is about two determined men who want their family to climb into a hot air balloon and float away to 'liberty'…

'Night Crossing' is about the fear of getting caught by an evil regime…

'Night Crossing' is about a sensible man who can't let bad dreams stop him…

'Night Crossing' is about an icy policeman who wants every lookout tower on full alert…

With exquisite music by Jerry Goldsmith, Delbert Mann's 'Night Crossing' makes us realize the true value of freedom…

Final thoughts:

There are a few moments in everyone's life, certainly in public lives, that can define a person...

For those of us old enough to remember the Reagan presidency, seeing the clips again in the wake of his death makes it seem like those events happened just yesterday, or last week. The voice, the expressions, are all so familiar. But for a large percentage of people, these events might as well have happened fifty years ago, if not more. They are part of the distant past. President Reagan is a name, and not much more. President Gorbachev is another name, and not much more. So how can we remember these two men who had such a huge impact on their country?

Reagan and Gorbachev worked together to tear down the Berlin Wall and to steer their superpower nations away from nuclear confrontation…


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