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Deadly Decision (1954)

Canaris (original title)
Brief biopic of Wilhelm Canaris, army intelligence (Abwehr) chief of Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1944.


Alfred Weidenmann


Erich Ebermayer (idea), Erich Ebermayer (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
5 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
O.E. Hasse ... Adm. Canaris
Barbara Rütting ... Irene von Harbeck
Adrian Hoven ... Capt. Althoff
Martin Held ... Obergruppenfuehrer Heydrich
Wolfgang Preiss ... Col. Holl
Peter Mosbacher ... Fernandez
Charles Regnier Charles Regnier ... Baron Trenti
Franz Essel Franz Essel ... Beckmann
Alice Treff ... Fräulein Winter
Herbert Wilk Herbert Wilk ... Hauptmann Degenhard
Klaus Miedel Klaus Miedel ... André - French Officer (as Claus Miedel)
Arthur Schröder ... Herr von Harbeck
Ilse Fürstenberg Ilse Fürstenberg ... Anna Lüdtke
Arno Paulsen Arno Paulsen ... Taxifahrer - Berlin
Nora Hagist Nora Hagist ... Luftwaffenhelferin


Admiral Canaris is chief of the intelligence service of Nazi Germany. His department is quite successful and Hitler grants him all the money he wants for new developments. Still he's a thorn in the side of the Nazi chiefs, since he's not as unscrupulous as they want him and is known to criticize their ideology. Irene Heydrich is blackmailed to spy on Canaris just while he starts planning an attempt on Hitler's life. Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


"Canaris" Playing the Dangerous Dual Role - One, Right Hand Man to Hitler...The Other an Agent for the Allies of Europe!


Biography | Drama | War


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West Germany


German | French

Release Date:

6 May 1955 (Belgium) See more »

Also Known As:

Deadly Decision See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Fama-Film See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Composed by Richard Wagner (uncredited)
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User Reviews

Fine Film
5 January 2018 | by denis888See all my reviews

This is a very fine film, with excellent Otto Hasse as Admiral Canaris, the very German Abwehr Head who was, as we know, one of the anti-Hitler Resistance leaders, as well as impeccable and surgically neat and excellent Wolfgang Preiss as his aid, Colonel Hollem. There are other great German actors taking part in this period drama, with Martin Held as a chilling cold-blooded Nazi General Heydrich. The film is far from being flawless, as two hours aren't enough to cover life of this highly tragic man, who happened to live in Hitler's times, and who chose to fight, not run. There are weaker parts when the movie slides into a typical 50's schmaltzy detective flick, or when very important events are mentioned just as a faint glimpse. Still, in general, this is a very decent anti-war film with slightly skint but still powerful message that often it takes much courage to say No when all scream Yes. The film proves to show this, and manages to depict great decisions and sturdy assureness. Recommended.

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