6.5/10
958
20 user 11 critic

Night People (1954)

Approved | | Adventure, Crime, Mystery | 14 May 1954 (Sweden)
During the Cold War, an American soldier is abducted in West Berlin, sparking a recovery effort led by Colonel Steve Van Dyke.

Director:

Nunnally Johnson

Writers:

Nunnally Johnson (screenplay), Jed Harris (story) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Gregory Peck ... Col. Steve Van Dyke
Broderick Crawford ... Charles Leatherby
Anita Björk ... 'Hoffy' Hoffmeier
Rita Gam ... Ricky Cates
Walter Abel ... Maj. R.A. Foster, MD
Buddy Ebsen ... Sgt. Eddie McColloch
Max Showalter ... Frederick S. Hobart (as Casey Adams)
Jill Esmond ... Frau Schindler
Peter van Eyck ... Sergei 'Petey' Petrochine
Marianne Koch ... Kathy Gerhardt
Ted Avery Ted Avery ... Cpl. John J. Leatherby
Hugh McDermott ... Maj. Burns
Paul Carpenter Paul Carpenter ... Eddie Whitby
John Horsley ... Lt. Col. Stanways
Lionel Murton Lionel Murton ... Norman Lakeland
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Storyline

Post WWII yarn about a young GI abducted by the Soviets in West Berlin and hauled off to the East. His recovery gets complicated as Colonel Steve Van Dyke (Peck) tries to sort out the usefulness of informants, spies, bureaucrats, and the abductee's influential father (Crawford)! Written by Corey Hatch

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

You have never really seen Gregory Peck until you see him in "Night People". See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

14 May 1954 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

The Cannibals See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,250,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (FMC Library Print)

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The scenes where Gregory Peck and Buddy Ebsen ride up and down on the "People dumb waiter" were not shot in Berlin, but in Frankfurt. It's located in the old IG Farben building that used to be the 5th Corps Headquarters. See more »

Goofs

When Van Dyke hands Hoffy the poisoned drink, he is grasping the top of the glass. The scene cuts to a different view, and Van Dyke is grasping the bottom of the glass. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Cpl. John J. Leatherby: [as he sneaks up behind Kathy as she's trying to playfully hide from him behind a street sign] Getting kinda cute, huh?
[she laughs]
Cpl. John J. Leatherby: How are ya?
See more »

Crazy Credits

The CinemaScope "extension" music, added by composer Alfred Newman to his "20th Century-Fox Fanfare" especially for films made in CinemaScope, and used in most of them, is not used in this film. See more »

Connections

Featured in Gregory Peck: An Actor's Craft (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Kiss
(uncredited)
Music by Lionel Newman
Lyrics by Haven Gillespie
Sung during the opening street scene
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
" When a Game appears to end in a Tie, the thing to do is steal the ball "
22 December 2013 | by thinker1691See all my reviews

Back in 1954, this spy film appeared on the Silver Screen. When it did, it was not promoted as a spy thriller to audiences. However, this is was one of those particular movies called " Night People " which does produces a bigger bang than one expects. The story as written by Jed Harris and directed by Nunnally Johnson begins slowly and tells of a single United States soldier, Cpl. John Leatherby (Ted Avery) stationed in West Germany shortly after W.W. II. After his kidnapping, the Americans are notified. A noise which is heard in the state department and there after reaches the the parents of the young soldier, who happens to have some very powerful friends, one which takes his millionaire status and starts banging on Washington doors to get his son back. Back in Germany, the problem lands on the stoop of one, Col. Steve Van Dyke (Gregory Peck) who is ordered to resolve the issue. He is an experienced soldier, but is hindered by the boy's Father (Broderick Crawford) who tries to throw his weight around and ably assisted by Sgt. Eddie McColloch (Buddy Ebsen). Dealing with the other major powers controlling the Eastern section of the Berlin Wall, proves a difficult task, what with the rise of the Russians, Ex-Nazis, double agents and political victims all vining for his attention. What we expect as an audience members is a sleeper, instead this film lays the foundation of later Tom Clancy type spy thrillers and Gregory Peck does a notable job in his role. Without hesitation I would recommend this movie due to the participation of Broderick Crawford, Buddy Ebsen, Anita Björk and Marianne Koch, and all the rest of the cast who made this remarkable film a classic. ****


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