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A Time to Love and a Time to Die (1958)

Approved | | Drama, Romance, War | 4 July 1958 (USA)
On the Russian front in 1944 German Private Ernst Graeber receives a leave and visits his family in Germany but Germany isn't the same country he left behind.

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Ernst Graeber
... Elizabeth Kruse Graeber (as Lilo Pulver)
... Immerman
... Hermann Boettcher
... Reuter
... Professor Pohlmann
... Captain Rahe
... Woman Guerrilla
... Oscar Binding
Charles Regnier ... Joseph
... Frau Lieser
Kurt Meisel ... Heini
Agnes Windeck ... Frau Witte
... Sauer
... Political Officer
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Storyline

In 1944, a company of German soldiers on the Russian front are numbed by the horrors and hardships of war when Private Ernst Graeber's long awaited furlough comes through. Back home in Germany, he finds his home bombed. While hopelessly searching for his parents, he meets lovely Elizabeth Kruse, daughter of a political prisoner; together they try to wrest sanity and survival from a world full of hatred. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Born out of the blazing passions of war! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

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Release Date:

4 July 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Will o' the Wisp  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)|

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This Douglas Sirk film is an example of American 1950s Sirkian technicolor melodrama (though it is arguably less soapishy). Other examples include Written on the Wind (1956); Imitation of Life (1959); Magnificent Obsession (1954) and All That Heaven Allows (1955). See more »

Goofs

Early in the movie when the platoon is dismissed, one of the soldiers is seen carrying a machine gun on his shoulder. It is clearly visible that there is no barrel inside the barrel shroud. See more »

Quotes

Professor Pohlmann: Without doubt, there would be no need for faith.
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Connections

Edited into Raid on Rommel (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

A TIME TO LOVE
(uncredited)
Music by Miklós Rózsa
Lyrics by Charles Henderson
Performed by uncredited blonde in cabaret scene
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Powerful and poignant
2 August 2017 | by See all my reviews

I can recommend this war film. Despite distracting weaknesses in production quality, the power of the material carries the viewer along very effectively. The scenario is the dying days of World War II from the perspective of a German soldier. This represents unusual material for Hollywood, and romantic leading man John Gavin is odd casting as the hero. Although his flashes of American pearly whites are incongruous, he and indeed all the actors do quite well in their parts although hampered by the forced pace of the direction and the artificial quality of the sound recording. Clearly overdubbed, the dialogue has the quality of a read- through in an indoor studio, despite most of the action being out-of-doors. The cinematography is quite good and the sets impressive as the soldier Ernst moves from the horrors of the Russian front to the heavily-bombed hometown where he returns on leave. Trying to find what has become of his parents, he receives little sympathy from his countrymen and women, who are deadened (or maddened) by the bombardment from the skies they are experiencing. Officialdom is represented by a range of repulsive types, underlining the moral ambiguity the hero is struggling with after his experiences on the front. Where in all this horror is anything worth living for? The answer comes in his developing relationship with the winsome Elizabeth, portrayed by a delightful actress whose name is not familiar to me. What hopes of happiness in the maelstrom of the times? A poignant moment comes when the couple fantasize where they would like to go for a honeymoon, only to reflect that as Germans they would be hated just about everywhere. I found this a memorable film.


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