In Nazi Germany in 1936 seven men escape from a concentration camp. The camp commander puts up seven crosses and, as the Gestapo returns each escapee he is put to death on a cross. The ... See full summary »
A silent nine-year-old Czech boy, a survivor of Auschwitz, flees a refugee center in postwar Germany and is found by an American G.I. At the same time, the boy's mother, the sole surviving member of his family, searches refugee centers for her son. Time, distance, and the massive numbers of refugee children are factors hampering the reunion of mother and son.Written by
Martin H. Booda <email@example.com>
All of Tommy's lines were obviously dubbed. See more »
[holds up picture of sexily-posed woman]
What'd he tell you for that?
[to Steve, who's standing nearby]
Ohhhh, brother! You'd better stick to building bridges!
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The devastating effect of war on children...gripping, powerful film...
MONTGOMERY CLIFT is the nominal star of THE SEARCH but it's little Ivan Jandl that audiences were likely to remember after watching this spellbinding story of his plight as a victim of war amid separation from his mother. Clift is firmly in command of his role as a compassionate soldier who takes the boy under his wing and teaches him to communicate in English. Wendell Corey is excellent as a soldier friend of Clift and opera singer Jarmila Novotna is totally convincing as the boy's mother intent on being reunited with her son.
Another pivotal role is filled brilliantly by ALINE MacMAHON in a part that surely deserved an award nomination. At any rate, Clift deserved his nomination as Best Actor and Ivan Jandl fully deserved his special Oscar as the juvenile lead. His facial expression and eyes tell the whole story without a single bit of dialogue. The only other child actor I can compare him with (at that time) is Claude Jarman, Jr. who showed a natural skill for performing at a tender age.
The impact of the devastation of war on ruined buildings is caught by the camera vividly in on location footage shot in Germany under Fred Zinnemann's expert direction. But it's the impact of war on the very young children that is the focus of this film and to that end it succeeds brilliantly in capturing the grief and loneliness of all those victims of war in a way that is sure to stir your emotions.
Summing up: gritty post-war film, honest emotionally and powerful in its presentation. Highly recommended.
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