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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 (as O. E. Hasse)
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

With the exception of Montgomery Clift and Paul Douglas, all military personnel in the film were actual members of the US military on duty in Germany at the time. See more »

Goofs

The "Russian fighter" that approaches one of the airlift C-54s is actually a US Air Force Republic P-47 "Thunderbolt." See more »

Quotes

Alfred L. Freiburger: [speaking into radio mike] 37, roger.
[to cockpit crew]
Alfred L. Freiburger: We'll use the new runway.
William A. Stewart: I hear it's a bowling alley with lights.
Alfred L. Freiburger: [reading check list] Heater switches, off.
William A. Stewart: Off.
Alfred L. Freiburger: Booster switches, high.
Sgt. 1st Class Danny MacCullough: High.
Alfred L. Freiburger: Fingers crossed.
Sgt. 1st Class Danny MacCullough: [with the others, in unison and crossing fingers] Crossed!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: This picture was made in occupied Germany. All scenes were photographed in the exact locale associated with the story, including episodes in the American, French, British and Russian sectors of Berlin.

With the exception of Montgomery Clift and Paul Douglas, all military personnel appearing in this film are actual members of the U.S. Armed Forces on duty in Germany. See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

The Stars and Stripes Forever
(uncredited)
Music by John Philip Sousa
Hummed by crew of plane
See more »

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User Reviews

 
It's A Big Lift in Entertainment
25 March 2005 | by angelsunchainedSee all my reviews

Just saw The Big Lift. Bought the DVD for 3 dollars. Out-dated since it was filmed on location in Berlin in 1950 at the beginning of the Cold War. However, the camera work, the on-location shots, the use of real military people as actors, and the out-standing performances by Monty Clift and Paul Douglas make this an entertaining night at the movies.

The acting is so good, it doesn't seem like a film at all. Somewhat slow in parts, but overall pretty good. Even a surprise ending. Paul Douglas steals the movie & there is one very disturbing scene in the film in which he is fantastic. Also, you get to see how really handsome Monty Clift really was before the car accident and party-life style aged him way before his time.


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