7.2/10
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A Midnight Clear (1992)

R | | Drama, War | 24 April 1992 (USA)
Trailer
1:04 | Trailer

On Disc

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This WW2 psychological drama plays out at Christmas. US GIs hold an isolated cabin in the Ardennes against a handful of Germans cut off from their main force. Combat-weary and short of rations, both sides are determined to survive.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Bud Miller
...
Cpl. Mel Avakian
...
Stan Shutzer
...
Sgt. Will Knott
...
Vance 'Mother' Wilkins
...
Paul 'Father' Mundy
...
Major Griffin
...
Lieutenant Ware
David Jensen ...
Sergeant Hunt
Curt Lowens ...
Older German Soldier
Rachel Griffin ...
Janice
Timothy S. Shoemaker ...
Eddie (as Tim Shoemaker)
Kelly Gately ...
Bill Osborn ...
American Sentry
...
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Storyline

Set in 1944 France, in the Ardennes forest region, an American Intelligence Squad locates a German platoon wishing to surrender rather than die in Germany's final war offensive. The two groups of men, isolated from the war at present, put aside their differences and share a Christmas celebration. The surrender plan includes a mock battle that turns bad when one of the soldiers is unaware of the surrender plan. Written by Anthony Hughes <husnock31@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, war violence and a scene of sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 April 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Section 44  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$1,526,697 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of three pictures adapted from novels written by author William Wharton [to date, February 2016]. The films are Dad (1989), Birdy (1984), and A Midnight Clear (1992). See more »

Goofs

When Miller checks the frozen corpses of the German and American soldiers with his bayonet, he uses his left arm. In some shots, though, he is using his right arm. See more »

Quotes

Will Knott: It's thanks to Griffin and his military mortuary skills that I've made my recent headlong leap to three stripes. We lost half our squad, attempting one of his map-inspired, ill-conceived recon patrols. When I say 'lost', I mean 'killed'. Nobody in the army ever admits that someone on our side is killed. They're either lost, like Christopher Robin... hit, as in a batter hit by a pitched ball... or they get 'it' like in hide-and-go-seek. Or maybe they 'get it', as with an ambiguous joke.
See more »

Soundtracks

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
Sung by Sam Phillips
Arranged and Produced by T Bone Burnett and Sam Phillips
Sam Phillips appears courtesy of Virgin Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Why I couldn't let my father watch this
28 November 2000 | by (Columbia, SC, USA) – See all my reviews

Once upon a time in northern France on late summer night in 1944, there was a sergeant in his mid-twenties, an armorer who normally fixed the big guns when they broke down or cleared hangfires from them. ("Lonely goddamn work, I'll have you know.")

When his turn in the rotation came up every few nights, he would man the forward-observer post duty for the artillery battalion in which he served. He and a private went forward with binoculars and a field telephone to call in fire missions if they saw anything moving. And that particular night they did: Like silent spectres out of the darkness came a handful of German infantryman who, even in the poor light and from hundreds of yards away, were staggering with exhaustion, hungry, dirty. A mess wagon came forward and set up to feed them what must have been their first hot meal in days or even weeks. Patton's advance had been pressing them eastward across France without letup.

"Sarge? Aren't you gonna call this in?"

"No. Not yet. Let's let those poor sons of bitches finish their chow first."

When the Germans had finally eaten their fill, a couple had lit cigarettes, and the mess wagon was turning around to leave, Dad finally called the battery plotter with the coordinates. He made the German soldiers and the mess wagon disappear in a rain of 155-mm howitzer shells.

At the time the movie finally made it to cable, Dad had only a few months to live. When I saw this movie, I couldn't get that story of his out of my head. Knowing how bitter and disgusted he felt about the war -- "I was a political prisoner of Franklin Delano Roosevelt" was how he put it -- I realized that this movie was too powerful for him to see.

I realize this is more a personal anecdote than a remark about the movie per se, but it says something about the tone and impact of Gordon and Wharton's story that I was finally able to understand, just a little bit, why I saw Dad sitting alone at the breakfast table in the middle of the night, chain-smoking in the darkness, for all those decades. And the horrific glimpse this film gave me sobers me to this day.

In memoriam: Amzi R. McClain (1920-1999), T/Sgt, Batt A 721st FA Btn 66th Inf Div 1943-1945


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