6.5/10
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The Big Lift (1950)

Approved | | Drama, War | 20 July 1950 (UK)
Experiences of two Air Force sergeants during the 1948 Berlin Airlift.

Director:

George Seaton

Writer:

George Seaton
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Montgomery Clift ... Danny MacCullough
Paul Douglas ... Hank Kowalski
Cornell Borchers ... Frederica Burkhardt
Bruni Löbel ... Gerda
O.E. Hasse ... Stieber
Dante V. Morel Dante V. Morel ... Dante V. Morel (as Capt. Dante V. Morel)
John R. Mason John R. Mason ... John R. Mason (as Capt. John R. Mason)
Gail R. Plush Gail R. Plush ... Gail R. Plush (as Capt. Gail R. Plush)
Mack Blevins Mack Blevins ... Mack Blevins (as Capt. Mack Blevins)
William A. Stewart William A. Stewart ... William A. Stewart (as Capt. William A. Stewart)
Alfred L. Freiburger Alfred L. Freiburger ... Alfred L. Freiburger (as 1st Lt. Alfred L. Freiburger)
Gerald Arons Gerald Arons ... Gerald Arons (as 1st Lt. Gerald Arons)
James Wilson James Wilson ... James Wilson (as 1st Lt. James Wilson)
Richard A. Kellogg Richard A. Kellogg ... Richard A. Kellogg (as 1st Lt. Richard A. Kellogg)
Roy R. Steele Roy R. Steele ... Roy R. Steele (as 1st Lt. Roy R. Steele)
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Storyline

In 1948, the Soviet Union blockades the Allied sectors of Berlin to bring the entire city under their control. A semi-documentary about the resulting Berlin Airlift gives way to stories of two fictitious U.S. Air Force participants: Sgt. Hank Kowalski, whose hatred of Germans proves resistant to change, and Sgt. Danny McCullough, whose pursuit of an attractive German war widow gives him a crash course in the seamy side of occupied Berlin. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

From the Ruins came Hope and Despair

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

20 July 1950 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Quartered City See more »

Filming Locations:

Burbank, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,300,000, 31 December 1950
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

All the US officers appearing in the movie kept their actual rank except one, John R. Mason, who was "demoted" to the rank of sergeant for the story. See more »

Goofs

Throughout the film, Montgomery Clift's army uniform has sergeant stripes, then it doesn't, then it does, etc.etc. See more »

Quotes

Frederica Burkhardt: When you live in a sewer, you soon discover that the sewer rats are best equipped to survive.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of the movie, the "Hollywood" stars (Clift, Douglas etc.), are not credited, however a panoramic coda does credit the principal military service members who portrayed themselves in the film. It shows them standing at attention in front of a C-54, with their names and ranks scrolling across. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Woman on the Run (1950) See more »

Soundtracks

Vielleicht
(uncredited)
Written by Günter Neumann
Played by the band at the nightclub and sung by Cornell Borchers
See more »

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User Reviews

Scenery outweighs disadvantages
5 March 2004 | by fredrik-josefssonSee all my reviews

The shooting of the film on location in Germany is what makes the whole film work and memorable. The story in itself is not really that great, but probably it grasps our attention because of the surroundings: the ruins, the gloomy statues and the simple and down-to-earth life of the common people. Had it been a Hollywood stage production, there wouldn't have been much to it, but once the movie enters Berlin it gets to another level. The same goes for the acting. Acting among the local population with only two brought-in American actors in the cast ( the main characters ) must have been an inspiration.


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