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Time Limit (1957)

Approved | | Drama, War | 23 October 1957 (USA)
During the Korean War former prisoner of war, Major Harry Cargill admits to having collaborated with the enemy but military investigator Colonel William Edwards wants the details.

Director:

Karl Malden

Writers:

Henry Denker (screenplay), Henry Denker (play) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Widmark ... Col. William Edwards
Richard Basehart ... Maj. Harry Cargill
Dolores Michaels ... Cpl. Jean Evans
June Lockhart ... Mrs. Cargill
Carl Benton Reid ... Lt. Gen. J. Connors
Martin Balsam ... Sgt. Baker
Rip Torn ... Lt. George Miller
Khigh Dhiegh Khigh Dhiegh ... Col. Kim (as Kaie Deei)
Yale Wexler Yale Wexler ... Capt. Joe Connors
Alan Dexter Alan Dexter ... Mike
Manning Ross Manning Ross ... Lt. Harvey
Joe Di Reda Joe Di Reda ... Gus (as Joe Di Rida)
James Douglas James Douglas ... Steve
Kenneth Alton Kenneth Alton ... Boxer
Jack Webster Jack Webster ... Lt. Harper
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Storyline

Military investigator Colonel William Edwards is assigned a case involving Major Harry Cargill, a Korean War prisoner of war who is accused of aiding the enemy. Although Cargill admits his guilt and Edwards' superiors are impatiently pushing him to move this case to court-martial, Edwards doubts eventually convinces him of Cargill's innocence. Written by Marty McKee <mmckee@wkio.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

"He doesn't ever touch me...you'd never know we were man and wife - and you want me to make him talk?" See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Korean

Release Date:

23 October 1957 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Wenn Männer zerbrechen See more »

Filming Locations:

Agoura, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Heath Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

When Miller throws his punch, it clearly misses to the left even though the victim's head snaps back. See more »

Quotes

Maj. Harry Cargill: A man can be a hero all his life, but if in the last month of it, or the last week, or even the last minute, the pressure becomes too great and he breaks, then he's branded for life. You can't ask a man to be a hero forever. There ought to be a time limit.
Lt. Gen. J. Connors: There is no defense for treason.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Richard Widmark's best film IMHO
14 May 2017 | by AlsExGalSee all my reviews

To me, Richard Widmark's best film is Time Limit. It's about an army inquest into a soldier who admits that he helped the enemy when he was a POW during the Korean war. Widmark is the Colonel in charge of the investigation, and Richard "He Walked By Night" Basehart brings his A-game to the role of the soldier. Any other colonel might just connect the dots and recommend a court martial - Basehart's Maj. Harry Cargill admits he gave broadcasts for the North Koreans, signed a paper saying the Americans were doing germ warfare, and was attempting to indoctrinate the other POWs in formal "classes" that the North Koreans had to try to brainwash them. All of the POWs in the same camp he was in verify that Cargill did these things.

But Cargill refuses to tell Widmark's Colonel William Edwards WHY. And he doesn't seem to care he could be, heck, probably will be executed for treason without some defense. With Cargill's past stellar military record, including in WWII, Edwards will not finish this investigation until he gets a "why". But Cargill has talked to nobody about why he did what he did - not even his wife. And Colonel Edwards is being pressured by his superior, a General whose son died in the same POW camp that Cargill was in, and even by Martin Balsam as a particularly irritating sergeant, to recommend prosecution and wash his hands of the matter.

And then Edwards notices that the descriptions of the back-to-back deaths of two soldiers in the POW camp the day before Cargill seemed to turn traitor are identical - as in word for word each time by each soldier. Is there a Manchurian Candidate situation going on here, or something else entirely? The plot twist at the end is the farthest thing from a gimmick, and is infinitely better presented and far less Hollywoodish than the sanctimonious speech by Jose Ferrer at the end of The Caine Mutiny, although I like that film too, for different reasons.

Check it out if you get the chance. WWII films always seem to get the spotlight, but this one is a forgotten jewel about a forgotten war.


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