6.4/10
897
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

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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

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

Günter Wetzel: People have always laughed at the great ideas.
Doris Strelzyk: You want us to climb into a balloon and float away to West Germany?
Petra Wetzel: Come on. It isn't funny to make jokes about going to the West.
Doris Strelzyk: They're not joking.
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User Reviews

Suspenseful, even after many watchings
29 November 2003 | by See all my reviews

This movie has been enjoyed by our family numerous times. The first time, I stayed on the edge of my seat during the entire movie. Even subsequent viewings give me goosebumps and cause excitement and tears. I consider this movie to be one of my absolute top 5 favorites. It is very well written and the actors do a fine job of making you care about them. Families who would like their children to get a feel of what life was like in East Germany before the Berlin Wall came down should definitely see this movie.


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