IMDb > Silent Night (2002) (TV) > Reviews & Ratings - IMDb

Reviews & Ratings for
Silent Night (TV) More at IMDbPro »

Write review
Filter: Hide Spoilers:
Page 1 of 4:[1] [2] [3] [4] [Next]
Index 37 reviews in total 

32 out of 32 people found the following review useful:

One poignant film...*May Contain Spoilers*

Author: Andy ( from Tampa, Florida USA
10 December 2004

I saw this story originally I believe on "Unsolved Mysteries" a few years ago and I thought to myself "this story would make a great movie," and wondered how long it would take for someone to realize what a movie of this caliber could do for people. I see that it didn't take as long for that realization, as I thought it would.

In one of the most heartfelt performances in her life, Linda Hamilton, as Frau Elisabeth Vincken, a woman living alone with her young son who has her own demons to deal with and her own dislike of the war that has torn her country and family apart, has managed to pull off what few other women could have with the strength and believability that she did.

World War II...Christmas Eve...all the makings for a dreary night in the trenches with not much to celebrate one would think.

Not so for this movie and the heartstrings definitely get a good pulling in this film.

The animosity between the German and American soldiers when they first meet is evident and Martin Neufeld puts in one heck of a performance as Lt. Hans Klosterman, a bitter, loyal to the death, and unbending German officer. The hatred, the anger that he feels toward the American soldiers, especially Sgt. Ralph Blank, played with hard realism by Alain Goulem; who seems to butt heads from the get go with the battle hardened Lt., who have come seeking shelter for the evening in the home of Frau Vincken is palpable and makes for a very believable situation. More than once I felt myself torn between hating Neufeld's character and having hope for his heart to soften.

As has already been said, this story was based on a real life occurrence. Sometimes fact can be more beautiful than fiction and this movie is ironclad proof.

If any film needed levity and laugh now and then, it was this movie, and that call was quickly and with an outstanding performance, answered by Private Jimmy Rassi, played with expert talent by Romano Orzari. This actor really put his heart into his performance and the result was a character that was not only heartwarming but completely and utterly believable.

If you want a movie that can convey the message of what Christmas is REALLY about, then you must see this film. It will make you think, it will make you laugh, it will make you will give you hope that our future, if we could simply put aside our differences could be a lot brighter than what people could ever dream...

Was the above review useful to you?

24 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

A moving, redemptive story about finding peace in the midst of war.

Author: joelg-2 from Cedarville, Illinois
23 December 2002

This film was excellent. "Silent Night" starring Linda Hamilton has to be one of the best Christmas movies I've seen in some time, especially as it really gets across the meaning of the season. The story is centered around two small groups of American and German troops during World War II who are forced to take shelter over the night in a German woman's (Hamilton) home Christmas Eve. The soldiers' mutual hostility is evident, but agree to a temporary truce until morning. The inner conflicts some of the characters portrayed - both the German and American sides - were vivid and moving. The ending is satisfying as well, and leaves enough room for a sequel if someone has an idea for having the parties meet again post-war. I can't praise the film highly enough, and kudos to the entire cast. Well done!

Was the above review useful to you?

23 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

This movie grows on you

Author: Jenny from Texas
7 September 2004

I think most love a true story and this one to me is one of the best. I loved this movie the first time I saw it but each time since, I fall in love with it a bit more. Set in a time in our history where death and war (World War II) were on every mind, this sweet story shows how love and friendship can happen even between strangers who are bitter enemies forming a friendship that can and actually does wind up lasting a lifetime. It opens as a battle rages on showing the horrors of war while a mother and her son try to find a safe haven in the family cabin. Little did they know on that special Christmas Eve so long ago that something was going to happen that would change their lives forever. Enemies met in that small space and an understanding grudgingly developed between people even surprising them at the end and bonding them for life. Hopefully all will make a point of going back in time and experiencing this amazing true story. You won't be disappointed.

Was the above review useful to you?

19 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

True-life story expanded

Author: blanche-2 from United States
5 December 2005

Die-hard "Unsolved Mysteries" fans will remember the wonderful story told by a man named Fritz about a Christmas eve in the German woods when he and his mother were visited by American soldiers seeking to get out of the cold. It was a lovely story if you just stopped there, but German soldiers soon arrived and wanted to get out of the cold as well! The mother insisted that everyone lay down their weapons and have a Christmas dinner, and they did so. One of the soldiers was wounded, and the soldiers on the other side helped him. They all spent the night with no incident, realizing that on whatever side you were on, you were still a human being.

Well, if this didn't have all the makings of a movie, what does? The story, of course, has been vastly expanded to include some conflict and some insight into the personalities involved. In real life, there wasn't intense communication since there were language barriers.

This is a Christmas story that embodies the true meaning of the season in every sense of the word, all the more poignant because it's true. The performances are all wonderful. In real life, Fritz, who emigrated to America and became a baker, was looking to connect with the GIs he had met. The show found one of the old soldiers in a nursing home, and as he and Fritz reminisced, it was obvious that to both of them, the incident happened yesterday.

This movie is highly recommended. It's about a remarkable woman who understood the term "peace on earth."

Was the above review useful to you?

17 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

A gem of a small, feel-good Christmas movie.

Author: Allen from Virginia
20 December 2002

This film challenged my assumptions about made-for-TV films. Linda Hamilton and an excellent supporting cast do a first-rate job portraying a group of American and German soldiers who take time out from battle in the closing days of World War II to celebrate Christmas and remember their shared humanity.

Nice underacting combined with solid camera work and lighting make this film work. An interesting touch is that throughout much of the film, the German characters speak in German with English subtitles; personally, I found this effective -- amazingly, most of the accents were pretty good. Although it has a happy ending -- it is a Christmas movie, after all -- the film has sufficient pathos to prevent it from becoming saccharin.

This film seems proof again that our northern neighbors seem to have to compensate for a lack of special effects and big names by resorting to acting and plot! Definitely worth watching.

Was the above review useful to you?

14 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Truth is stranger than fiction...

Author: ChristianDiorScientist from Ontario
20 December 2002

And this movie proves that old adage. Silent Night is a simple story with a small cast in one setting (and one that will translate well into a stage play, if it didn't originate as one to begin with). It is not an unfamiliar story for those who read military history, but the human aspect of civilians in the midst, and especially one courageous woman who set the terms of a truce for just one evening, is a fresh twist. As with all "based on a true story" movies, one wonders how true the facts are to the original events. If liberties were taken with the facts of this event, the result was a charming and tightly told story that questions the value of duty and honour versus the value of life and friendship. Its a good war story, and a good Christmas story, and although the plot is set up from the start, so that the viewer knows all will end well, there is a tension throughout that keeps the viewer interested.

Was the above review useful to you?

15 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Lovely Re-telling of a common story un-commonly told.

Author: Lixza ( from North Hollywood CA
27 December 2002

Growing up I was told by my Parents and Grand Parents similar accounts of how during the W.W.II that the enemy lines were crossed in order that the Rank and File solders, of each side could have a cup of worm cheer and a carol or two on Christmas Eve.

The night that seemed too holy not to stop and remember Family so far away. This touching move does this and in a engaging and dramatic way. It also reminds us that not all Germans welcomed the war and the havoc it brought, nor did all Germans believe in the Nazi propaganda. Elisabeth's impassioned speech in which she tells a reluctant Nazi solder ` If I had only know earlier, in the beginning I would have done something, but I didn't know' brought me to tears. Also the scene where the two sides sit down to a "pitch in" Christmas Supper was very moving.

Linda Hamelton's Elisabeth is a fine performance and a wonderful example of how when given good material she can really give an award winning performance. All the actors turned convincing and hart tugging performances.

I feel that it is unfortunate that a Major network did not pick this up for broadcast, and that it ran on a rather obscure cable station, but Kudos to Hallmark for using good sense in airing it.

Was the above review useful to you?

15 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Can't Praise it Enough

Author: Seeta Bänjïc ( from Sarajevo, Bosnia
21 February 2004

Silent Night is honestly the best Christmas movie I have ever seen. It kicks ass compared to all those other holiday movies about superficial families that try to get along for the sake of the youngest child during the holidays. This movie shows the reality of both war and goodness of mankind.

Though it is set during the Second World War, it is really about how race and ethnicity should not affect people. It is also very realistic; the snowy Ardennes and cozy cottage Elisabeth and Fritz live in had me running outside to chop wood for my fireplace just so I could have that old-world feeling. The costumes are very nice too, easily matching the real costumes used in Band of Brothers. The only thing I got tired of was Linda Hamliton's German accent, a few more weeks of voice coaching and she could have fooled me though.

This movie deserves a place of honor on the movie shelf right next to Band of Brothers and Schindler's List. I feel strongly that a book should be written by the Vincken family about this event, I would certainly buy it.

Was the above review useful to you?

12 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Totally different Christmas movie

Author: shearercole from Toronto, Ontario
24 December 2003

Undoubtedly one of the best Christmas movie ever. The plot is simple, yet was so effective in bringing out the best in every cast member. Viewers can be forgiven for having a temporary sense of disbelief as they watch Linda Hamilton portray a bold character who forces the soldiers into submitting to a truce (no mean feat for any unarmed woman). However i believe the bulk of the credit should be given to the supporting cast, these guys convincingly added emotional weight to the movie. Also as a previous reviewer pointed out, lighting and staging were very fitting and impressive for a tiny production like this and man, would they look good on the DVD.

Forget this movie if you're hungry for some action - watch it instead to find out how human commonness and compassion triumph over hostility and bitterness in the midst of insanity. Highly recommended. 9.5/10

Was the above review useful to you?

12 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

A great story. A must see for everyone!

Author: jcdjms from United States
9 December 2004

Linda Hamilton's performance was wonderful! The story was great, and the acting was very good. If you want to be "touched", and not just entertained, this a great movie. The tone is warm and serious, but not without a few light-hearted moments. The setting is World War II, so it is not your normal Christmas movie, but it is well worth watching.

I enjoyed Linda Hamilton in the Terminator movies, but she shows a more serious side in Silent Night. I was blown away by the convincing German accent and acting skills. She shows that she is more than an action lady (although she certainly has left a legacy in the first two Terminator movies).

Was the above review useful to you?

Page 1 of 4:[1] [2] [3] [4] [Next]

Add another review

Related Links

Plot summary Ratings Awards
External reviews Parents Guide Plot keywords
Main details Your user reviews Your vote history